Removing Barriers Blog

Senior$afe Act of 2015 (H.R. 4538) Passes House
Posted July 06, 2016 by Chandler Schuette

This week, the House of Representatives passed by voice vote a CUNA-supported bill that would protect good-faith reporters of suspected elder financial abuse. The Senior$afe Act of 2015 (H.R. 4538) was introduced by Reps. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine). We sent a letter in support of this bill, which urged all House members to vote for it. 

The bill would provide legal immunity for financial services employees who disclosed concerns about elder financial abuse. 

Rep. Poliquin, who also helped author this bill noted that  financial abuse against seniors gets worse every year. He expressed that “this bill will help local bank and credit union tellers, and retirement advisors to stop these crimes before they happen by reporting this crookery to the proper authorities.” He also thanked chairmen Hensarling and Garrett for quickly moving this bill through committee, and also thanked Maine Senator Susan Collins for authoring the original language in the Senate.  

Maxine Waters, the ranking member of the Financial Services Committee, stated that “industry has raised concerns that they are afraid of privacy lawsuits if they report fraud. Although regulators have worked on this, it seems that congressional action is necessary. However, this should not be the end of our efforts to prevent fraud.”

The Maine Credit Union League and Maine credit unions worked with Senator Collins several times to discuss elder financial abuse and ways to combat it.