On May 24, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Senior Safe Act of 2018 Public Law No. 115-174) (“Act”) as part of a larger bill that revises many of the provisions of Dodd Frank relating to credit unions, community banks, and small regional banks. The Act was modeled after a similarly named Maine statute and co-authored by Susan Collins (R-ME), the Chair of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Claire McCaskill (D-MO). The purpose of the Act is to encourage a collaborative effort between regulators, financial firms, and legal organizations in order to prevent senior financial abuse by providing immunities for reporting under bank privacy laws. It also encourages the development of education and training at financial institutions by conditioning these grants of immunity on the requirement that financial institutions provide training programs regarding recognizing and dealing with elder financial exploitation. Under current laws, concerns about lawsuits resulting from false claims of fraud or abuse can discourage banks from reporting that an older adult might be the victim of fraud. The new law facilitates reports by banks and other financial providers with regard to suspected abuse as it outlines a process to assure immunity for such reports.
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