Removing Barriers Blog

Senate Aging Committee Financial Abuse Hearing
Posted November 30, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

On Wednesday, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing entitled “Trust Betrayed: Financial Abuse of Older Americans by Guardians and Others in Power.” Witnesses at the hearing included elder law practitioners and state and federal officials who chronicled the variety of types of financial exploitation seniors face, and different ways to combat this abuse. 

CUNA was in attendance at the hearing, and submitted a letter for the record noting that the cooperative nature of credit unions means employees are often in a key position to be able to detect potential financial exploitation. Our letter also reiterated support for S. 2216, the Senior$afe Act of 2015, which would improve the ability of credit unions to protect seniors from unscrupulous activity by providing limited immunity for properly trained financial employees who disclose concerns about financial exploitation of senior citizens to the appropriate authorities. One witness, Jaye Martin, Executive Director for Legal Services for the Elderly in Augusta, Maine, said her state’s Senior$afe program had been a tremendous success and should be replicated nationwide, which S. 2216 attempts to do. The bill’s lead sponsors in the Senate, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) are the Committee’s Chair and Ranking Member, respectively.