Gov. Abbott Signs Law Aimed at Financial Exploitation
That’ll never happen to me, you think. Dad will never fall for it, you say to yourself. Mom’s way to smart for that to happen to her, so says you. But, financial exploitation happens every day all day.
U.S. News and World Reports recently reported one in five people age 65 or older fall prey to financial fraud or abuse. Thieves prey on vulnerable adults to the tune of an estimated $36.5 billion each year. That’s big business.
Now, thanks to a new law, passed by the Texas Legislature and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas has new tools to combat the thieves and protect the vulnerable. The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors – Texas championed the bill so that member advisors could protect their clients.
“It’s a sad fact that more of us have a family member – because of dementia or simply age – who is vulnerable to financial predators. We think it won’t or can’t happen to a loved one, or us, but it does happen. These new tools will help protect Texas families and their finances,” said Chris Hatton, President of NAIFA – Texas.
Provisions in the new law:
- Define financial exploitation, which was undefined under Texas law.
- Give banks, stockbrokers and other financial advisors the option to contact local law enforcement.
- Give financial institutions the option to place a 10-day hold on an account once a report is made to law enforcement or the Texas Department of Family Protective Services.
- Allow a financial advisor or institution to contact a third party if they suspect financial exploitation as long as the third party isn’t the suspect party.
“It’s not unusual for a financial advisor to suspect a problem before a client, or a family member, realizes what’s happening,” said Hatton. “This law gives us the ability to take action to stop this kind of exploitation.”
Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), who chairs the Investments and Financial Services committee in the Texas House, authored the bill. Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), who chairs the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, sponsored it in the Senate. Gov. Abbott signed the bill into law on June 9.
For more information, please contact:
Kim Kieschnick Hollie Gandy
Interim Executive Director Chairwoman, Public Relations Committee
Direct: 512-716-8792 Direct: 806-242-0550
Cell/Text: 512.750-7924 Cell/Text: 806-236-6061
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors is the respected professional association of over 2,500 insurance agents and financial advisors in Texas and 40,000 across the United States.
NAIFA’s mission is to advocate for a positive legislative and regulatory environment, enhance business and professional skills, and promote the ethical conduct of its members.
NAIFA members assist consumers by focusing their practices on one or more of the following: life insurance and annuities, health insurance and employee benefits, multiline, and financial advising and investments.
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