Rep. Brautigam And Attorney General Rowe Announce Bill To Protect Seniors From Financial Exploitation

March 26, 2007

Rep. John Brautigam, D-Falmouth, and Attorney General Steven Rowe will present a bill that would permit bank personnel to report suspected cases of financial exploitation of the elderly to appropriate authorities.

?This legislation will allow financial institutions and credit unions to alert the Department of Health and Human Services if they have a reason to suspect that an elderly customer is being abused, neglected or exploited,? Brautigam said. ?As a lawmaker, I believe there is no more important mission than protecting the security of our vulnerable citizens, especially seniors. With this bill, we can enlist the assistance of the banking community in that effort.?

The bill, L.D. 1428, would provide immunity for the good faith disclosure of financial records for the purpose of ensuring that senior citizens are not being taken advantage of by individuals with access to their accounts.

?Increasingly, Maine seniors are finding themselves the target of financial exploitation because they have liquid assets and good credit,? said Rowe.

?If a banker has a customer who comes in by themselves every week for years to withdraw $250, then starts showing up with an unknown person and withdrawing $10,000 a week, this bill would allow that banker to disclose financial information to authorities without fear of civil or criminal liability,? Brautigam said.

In addition to Attorney General Rowe and Rep. Brautigam, the bill is supported by the AARP, the Maine Association of Community Banks, the Maine Bankers Association, the Maine Credit Union League and the Department of Health and Human Services.

?The efforts of the groups involved will go a long way toward making Maine a safer place for seniors,? Rowe said.

The Insurance and Financial Services Committee will hold a public hearing on the bill on Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 1 p.m. in Room 427 of the State House.

For more information about the bill, visit:

For Immediate Release March 26, 2007 Contact: Rep. John Brautigam, 671-6700 David Loughran (Rowe), 626-8577 Heidi Overbeck (Brautigam), 287-1430 Public hearing on Tuesday April 3, 2007 at 1 p.m.