FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/09/2017
REPRESENTATIVE TAN PARKER INTENDS TO FILE LEGISLATION TO PROTECT THE ELDERLY FROM FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION
Flower Mound Lawmaker Vows to Combat Elder Financial Abuse in Texas
(Austin, Texas) Yesterday Representative Tan Parker announced his intention to file legislation to better protect senior citizens from financial abuse and exploitation. In addition, he joined AARP in unveiling the newly published "Managing Someone Else's Money" guides during National Consumer Protection Week.
"Over the past interim, this serious matter came to the forefront of discussions before the House Committee on Investments and Financial Services, which I have the privilege of leading," Parker stated. "Protecting the most vulnerable in our society is a responsibility we all share. Since the interim, I have been working with AARP and many others to develop a legislative solution that will better safeguard this growing elderly population."
Current law states that Adult Protective Services (APS) can only investigate cases of fraud if the victim has an ongoing relationship with their abuser, which means that APS is unable to prosecute cases of fraud that occur as a result of internet scams or identity theft. The proposed bill will allow certain entities at the frontline of financial decisions to request a hold on a suspicious transaction so that elderly persons do not fall victim to traditional scams, abuse by caregivers, identity theft, or other forms of exploitation.
Tens of thousands of people in Texas act as a fiduciary for an elderly or disabled person and often they do not have a full understanding of what they are tasked to do. This new series of guides are designed to educate certain individuals about their duties and responsibilities as a power of attorney, trustee, court-appointed guardian, representative payee, or supporter and explain four valuable principles for how to act as a fiduciary. These four principles include acting in the best interest of the person that the fiduciary is helping, carefully managing their money and property, keeping the fiduciary's money and property separate from that of the person, and maintaining good records of activity.
"Elder financial abuse costs seniors an estimated $12.76 billion per year, but this exploitation affects far more than the bank accounts of elderly loved ones. It impacts their mental state, their way of life, and their relationships with the ones they care about," Parker continued. "With 78 million baby boomers in America currently in or nearing retirement, the state of elder financial abuse has been a growing concern for many years now and the Texas Legislature is ready to take action."
Now in his 6th term in the Texas Legislature, Representative Parker is focusing his efforts on promoting fiscally responsible government spending, foster care reform, transportation investments, border security, mental health advocacy, property tax reform, and providing a vibrant education system. Parker will also continue his work and advocacy for the protection of children, and has previously been highly recognized for his legislative successes related to abuse prevention, ending teenage homelessness, and public safety. Representative Parker is the current Chairman of the Investments and Financial Services Committee. He also serves on the House Committees on International Trade and Intergovernmental Affairs and Redistricting.