Financial Exploitation The Undetected Abuse To Seniors Part 1

Undetected or Unreported?

For all types of elder abuse: for every reported case, there are 23.5 unreported cases.

For financial exploitation: for every reported case, there are 43.9 unreported ones.

For neglect cases: for every case undergoing investigation, there 57.2 unreported cases.

The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study was the second-largest study ever conducted on elder abuse and the first one conducted on a statewide scope. Although the studys contents have not yet been released by New York State Office of Children and Family Services, the grim figures above were presented during a recent conference.

Scarier still, is the implication that the incidences of abuse may actually be even higher since the study excluded older persons who were unable to participate in telephone surveys.

Surprisingly, the most commonly reported was emotional abuse, followed by physical abuse; however, financial exploitation seemed to be the most prevalent form of elder mistreatment.

If previously undetected, how do we know if its occurring at all? And what can you do to stop it?

Prevention

Monitor Financial Activity. Look for these things:

Unusual activity based on ability, e.g. ATM use by a physically impaired person
Unexpected new withdrawals in round numbers ($50, $100, $1,000, etc.)
Withdrawals from a savings account or from checking accounts despite of penalties
Increased financial activity on bank statements
Requests to change account beneficiaries or issuance of authorizations
Elder showing signs of confusion related to finances
Property title changes or re-financing reports

Monitor Inheritance and Wills. Watch out for:

Changes in Power of Attorney or Durable Power of Attorney
Will or trust modifications when the elderly is incapable of requesting changes
Requesting will or trust changes that are in favor of a much younger friend

Caregivers should take note of these unusual behaviors:

Avoidance of discussion of financial matters that were once routine
Elderly showing signs of depression
Caregiver says the elderly wants to avoid calls and visits
Caregiver seeming to be overly concerned with financial matters
Caregiver speaking for the elder even when the elder is around
Perform background check if the caregiver has other means of support other than the elders income

Where to Get Support

For more resources related to elder abuse, you can contact the APS Network. You can find the appropriate contact numbers to call by clicking on the Report Abuse button on their website and then choosing your state.

If you require immediate legal assistance, you can contact local attorneys with years of expertise in elder law. For example, in Indianapolis City, you can reach out to Applegate-Harden Law Firm.

Debt Consolidation Is debt doing you part

Debt consolidation is the art of snowballing little debts into one giant snowman. However, some debt consolidation companies might even make you believe that theyll actually make the loans go away, or carve out such a wonderful deal that you wont even feel the pain of repayment. Some of their promises include a guaranteed reduction in monthly payments or a near zero interest rate. Hello, who are we kidding out here? Its time for a reality check think of them as no more than a bad joke.

What debt consolidation might do for you, however, is to shift your repayment burden. If you do opt for it, in effect you will be taking a new loan to pay off old ones. Often, the new loan might be secured against some little property you may own, and therefore will entitle you to lower interest rates. Unless youre certain of being able to pay it off, youd do well to seek friends willing to offer you free accommodation once your home is taken over by the creditors!

Still, you might find debt consolidation a viable solution in case youve run up a huge sum on your credit card account. Credit cards typically carry very high interest rates, and if you choose to take a secured loan to clear off your payments, youll probably have saved yourself a few dollars in interest.

Assuming that youve decided to bite the bullet, watch out for the usual pitfalls.

Theres no such thing as an easy loan. If youre what is politely called a credit risk, be sure that no lender is going to dish out the stuff without some pretty stiff conditions. If they make it sound like the loan approval is a done deal, run a mile! Its quite likely that theyre going to charge you some astronomical interest rate, so cleverly packaged you wont even know it.

Beware of smooth talkers. If the company youre talking to promises to take care of everything, make sure they really do. After all, theyre going to get paid for it if not from you directly, certainly from the creditor. Some companies are known to be slack, and land up delaying payments! When that happens, you go from looking bad to worse.

Watch out for predatory lenders. Oh yes, they do exist. Some companies wait and watch till a debtor has dug a little hole for himself, before they make their move. At times like these, the debtor is so desperate hell take any quick fix thats thrown his way, even if it comes at the maximum permitted interest rates.

Since debt consolidation is a double edged sword, in time of need it is advisable to approach the larger or better known companies such as American Debt Consolidation or E-LOAN.But the bottom-line is that you will need to make a fundamental readjustment in your spending habits if you want a permanent solution to your debt problem.