Setting our targets on elder financial abuse
Originally published on the CFPB Blog, see http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/setting-our-targets-on-elder-financial-abuse/.
CFPB Blog post by Skip Humphrey
|Yesterday, I testified in front of Congress about the work we’re doing for older Americans and wanted to share directly with you what we’re up to, as well. This work is incredibly important to me – and our Office for Older Americans as a team is thrilled to be getting to work on what has silently become an epidemic – elder financial abuse.If you have a story we should hear, make sure to tell your story today.
For the past year, I have been privileged to lead the Office for Older Americans. Our statutory mandate covers two broad areas:
In our first year, we have made preventing, detecting and redressing elder financial exploitation job number one.
In doing so, we have recognized that collaboration is critical — on the local, state and national levels, and between the public and private sectors. To jumpstart and foster these collaborative efforts, we have travelled throughout the country to meet with state, local and tribal officials, including attorneys general, financial regulators, adult protective services administrators, commissioners on aging, chief justices, court administrators, and tribal elders.
We have also engaged with non-profits, community organizations and industry groups to explore ways to help and to partner with them. For example, we participate in a working group with the Financial Services Roundtable to enhance the capacity of financial institutions to report suspected elder financial abuse.
In addition, we have been actively engaged with our federal partners. Last month was the inaugural meeting of the Elder Justice Coordinating Council, an 11-agency body convened to shine a light on the disastrous impact of financial exploitation and catalyze the development of a prevention strategy.
At the meeting, we heard important themes from national experts:
CFPB already has initiatives underway that address issues flagged at the Council meeting.
Congressional leadership and support is critical to implementing a multi-faceted solution to the serious problem of elder financial exploitation. We look forward to continued information sharing with members of Congress on this important topic and the CFPB’s contributions.