New CFPB initiatives to prevent elder financial abuse and improve financial literacy

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The CFPB has issued a new guide designed to help operators and staff of nursing facilities and assisted living residences protect residents from financial abuse. The guide indicates that it is for administrators as well as business office staff, social service personnel, and any staff members involved in the admissions process. It includes information about warning signs of financial abuse and steps for preventing and deterring such abuse.

In October 2013, the CFPB released four booklets to serve as guides for financial caregivers, particularly those who handle the finances of older Americans. The guide issued today represents the CFPB’s latest efforts directed at carrying out its very worthwhile Dodd-Frank mandate to help older Americans avoid financial exploitation.

Another of the CFPB’s very worthwhile Dodd-Frank mandates is to develop initiatives to improve the financial literacy of consumers. Earlier this week, Director Cordray announced that the CFPB was partnering with Rhode Island’s Office of Library and Information Services to make the state’s libraries into neighborhood centers of financial education.  The new partnership is part of the CFPB’s Community Financial Education Project, whose goal is to provide librarians with financial education resources and tools. Director Cordray indicated that the project now includes more than 50 library systems.  

Yesterday, we conducted a webinar to assist financial institutions in developing elder financial abuse prevention and reporting programs. In the webinar, we reviewed the Interagency Guidance on Privacy Laws and Reporting Financial Abuse of Older Adults issued late last year by the CFPB and prudential bank regulatory agencies, surveyed state elder abuse prevention laws, explained the reporting required by federal and state laws, and discussed how to create an effective elder financial abuse prevention program to detect possible elder financial abuse and to ensure proper reporting.


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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