Financial transaction

Parker: Fighting Financial Abuse in Texas Together – Cross Timbers Gazette | Denton County South | mound of flowers

By State Representative Tan Parker

In our great state, there is a growing population of Texans over the age of 65. People are living longer, and Texas is home to an estimated 4 million “seniors,” a population that is expected to more than double by 2050. Families have more opportunities to share with older relatives, bring generations closer together, and grow together. develop mutually. It also means working together to meet the needs associated with aging, such as long-term care, housing, health and financial security protections.

Our state still has work to do to make sure older Texans get the care they need, and I look forward to addressing those areas in the next 88e Legislative session next year. From improving support for caregivers to increasing health care and housing options, policymakers must continue the dialogue and prepare to take meaningful action to help our most vulnerable populations. It’s getting harder and harder, especially since historic inflation caused by reckless spending by Democrats in Washington, DC is hitting those on fixed incomes the hardest.

During my service as a legislator, some of the most difficult conversations are those shared by families whose loved ones have been the target of any type of abuse. Feelings of helplessness, guilt and shame are some of the most difficult and heartbreaking to deal with and overcome. Strengthening protections for our most vulnerable Texans has been the foundation of my legislative work as your state’s representative, and the need for broader protections remains a critical call for every state legislator as well as leaders in Washington DC, our local communities, non-profit organizations, and in our own neighborhoods and homes. Work must be done to protect our most vulnerable citizens.

One area too often overlooked is that of financial abuse among our aging population. With declining cognitive and physical health, predators are trying to position themselves to take advantage of the elderly financially with a wide range of scams such as fake IRS notices, lottery tricks, love promises and more. others to cheat them out of their hard-earned. dollars. It is estimated that the elderly are exploited on more than 36 billion per year in the United States. Yet in recent studies, experts cite that only 17% of older people report having experienced financial abuse, fearing that others will believe they are losing their ability to live independently.

Over the past 12 years, the total number of fraudulent victimizations has increased by 221% – a horrific and alarming statistic. To help make a difference, I have championed legislation specifically aimed at ending the exploitation of vulnerable populations by giving financial institutions, securities professionals and investment advisers more power in the fight against those who seek to inflict damage. Texas House Bill 3921 (2017), which I authored, allows financial institutions to suspend individual transactions if the institution suspects financial abuse. Holds can last a maximum of 10 business days, unless an extended hold is requested by a state or federal agency, or by law enforcement investigating the alleged financial abuse. This extended suspension can only last for a maximum of 30 business days after the expiration of the initial suspension.

If a financial institution believes there is exploitation, they are required to investigate the situation and submit a full report to the Adult Protective Services (APS) Division of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) . The law also requires that each financial institution adopt internal policies, programs, plans or procedures to block a transaction involving the account of a vulnerable adult. It also requires that the cause be established before suspending a transaction as a safeguard. In drafting House Bill 3921, my hope was to see greater protection for vulnerable Texans by allowing an effective way to stop financial abuse at the source and minimize devastating losses. By giving financial institutions closest to seniors greater ability to curb abuse, we minimize financial abuse.

Honoring our aging loved ones and providing care, protection and enrichment for their unique needs is one of our greatest callings in life. I am grateful for the engagement of our community whose stories have shaped the politics that now guides Texas.

I am grateful to serve you in the Texas House of Representatives. If you would like to share a thought, please contact me at 512.463.0688 or by email at [email protected]. You can also find me on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching @TanParkerTX