Bipartisan Vote Moves Assemblymember Dababneh’s Bill to Protect Seniors from Financial Abuse to State Senate

Monday, May 15, 2017

SACRAMENTO – The California State Assembly today approved with bipartisan support Assembly Bill 611 by Assemblymember Matt Dababneh (D–Woodland Hills) to provide protections for seniors and dependent adults from financial abuse and fraud.

AB 611 solves a common problem within financial institutions where bank officers and employees are presented with situations that require them to honor a power of attorney despite the fact that a financial elder abuse report has been filed on the holder of the power of attorney.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to prevent financial abuse before it occurs,” said Assemblymember Dababneh. “My bill provides an important new tool for financial institutions to stop a potentially harmful situation before it occurs and offer better protection for seniors and dependent adults who are most vulnerable to these types of crimes.”

Financial institutions play a large role in combating elder financial abuse. The California Department of Social Services recently reported that Adult Protective Services received 12,177 reports of financial abuse from financial institutions in the 2015-16 fiscal year.

“We rely heavily on the employees of our financial institutions to combat elder abuse in California. This bill gives these employees the tools they need to fully utilize their unique knowledge and provide much-needed additional protections for this at risk population,” stated Assemblymember Dababneh.

“California’s banking community has long advocated for important financial protections for seniors, and we are very pleased to support AB 611,” said Beth Mills, Senior Vice President, Communications and Marketing, California Bankers Association. “This measure is vitally important to preventing elder financial abuse perpetrated by agents with a power of attorney who may be stealing money and assets. Twenty-one other states have adopted similar protections for their seniors, and we encourage the Legislature to put its full support behind this measure.”

AB 611 now moves to the State Senate.