senate Bill S6451

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Authorizes banks to refuse payment of moneys when there is reason to believe that a vulnerable adult is being financially exploited

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 24, 2014 referred to aging

S6451 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Aging
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §473, Soc Serv L; amd §4, Bank L

S6451 - Bill Texts

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Authorizes banks to refuse payment of moneys when there is reason to believe that a vulnerable adult is being financially exploited.

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BILL NUMBER:S6451

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law and the banking
law, in relation to authorizing banking institutions to refuse to
disburse moneys in circumstances of the financial exploitation of a
vulnerable adult

PURPOSE: This legislation would authorize a banking organization, upon
the reasonable belief of the organization, a social services organiza-
tion, or a law enforcement agency, that the financial exploitation of a
vulnerable adult has occurred or may occur, to refuse to conduct any
transaction that requires the dispersal of moneys in the account of a
vulnerable adult or moneys held for the benefit of such adult. This
legislation also authorizes a banking organization to provide access to
or copies of historical records or recent transactions relevant to
suspected financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult to law enforce-
ment agencies and social service officials responsible for administering
the provisions of this article. The term financial exploitation of an
adult is as defined in Social Services Law section 473.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends the Social Services Law 473, relating to the provision
of Adult Protective Services. This bill adds a new subdivision 9 to
authorize a banking organization, which reasonably believes that the
financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult has occurred, to refuse to
conduct any transaction that requires the processing of funds of a
vulnerable adult. It also allows a social service agency or a law
enforcement agency to report a suspected incident of financial exploita-
tion to a financial institution. In addition, a banking organization may
provide law enforcement agencies and social service officials, responsi-
ble for administering the provisions of this article, with access to or
copies of historical records or recent transactions relevant to
suspected financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

A banking organization is not required to refuse to disburse funds
pursuant to this act, but if such organization does so based on the
reasonable suspicion that financial exploitation may occur or has
occurred, or based on the information provided by a social services
official or law enforcement agency, then such banking organization shall
report the incident to the responsible social services official.

A refusal to disburse moneys pursuant to this section shall terminate
upon a finding by the banking institution that disbursement will not
result in the financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, or the issu-
ance of a court order directing the disbursal of money.

Section 2: Amends banking Law section 4 to make conforming amendments to
this law so that it is consistent with the new provisions provided for
in the Social Services Law.

Section 3: Provides for an effective date of 180 days after this act
shall become a law.

JUSTIFICATION: Persons over the age of 65 are the fastest growing
segment of the American population. While senior citizens constituted
only 4% of the total population in 1900, by 1994 the proportion of
seniors in the United States had grown to 12.5%. By 2050 almost 25% of
all Americans will be over age 65. This dramatic shift in population
distribution has produced tremendous upheavals in family structure and
in our societal response to the treatment and care of our senior popu-
lation. One problem faced by many seniors today is how to care for
themselves when their traditional network of support, their children and
grandchildren, are occupied with raising their own families and are
often spread out over a wide geographic area.

Evidence suggests that there may be a surprisingly high percentage of
senior citizens who are, either intentionally or unintentionally,
mistreated by family members or institutional caregivers. This maltreat-
ment can take many forms, ranging from physical and psychological abuse
to neglect to financial abuse and exploitation. The loss of one's
financial assets can have a severe and long-term impact on a senior's
wellbeing and quality of life.

Encouraging the reporting of suspected financial exploitation of vulner-
able adults, and giving financial institutions the ability to freeze an
account during an investigation, is an important public policy goal that
should be achieved.

This bill provides protections for all vulnerable adults that are
protected under the Adult Protective Services Programs as provided for
under Social Services Law Article 9-B, which includes all vulnerable
adults that are 18 years of age or older.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Passed in the Senate in 2013 (S.5597).

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 180th day after it
shall become a law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  6451

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 24, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  ZELDIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Aging

AN ACT to amend the social services law and the banking law, in relation
  to authorizing banking institutions to refuse to  disburse  moneys  in
  circumstances of the financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 473 of the social services law is amended by adding
a new subdivision 9 to read as follows:
  9. (A) AS USED IN THIS SUBDIVISION:
  (I) "BANKING INSTITUTION" MEANS ANY STATE OR FEDERALLY CHARTERED BANK,
TRUST COMPANY, SAVINGS BANK, SAVINGS AND  LOAN  ASSOCIATION  OR,  CREDIT
UNION.
  (II)  "VULNERABLE  ADULT"  MEANS  AN  INDIVIDUAL WHO BECAUSE OF MENTAL
AND/OR  PHYSICAL  IMPAIRMENT,  IS  UNABLE  TO  MANAGE  HIS  OR  HER  OWN
RESOURCES, OR PROTECT HIMSELF OR HERSELF FROM FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION.
  (B) IF A BANKING INSTITUTION, SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR LAW ENFORCE-
MENT AGENCY REASONABLY BELIEVES THAT FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF A VULNER-
ABLE  ADULT  HAS OCCURRED OR MAY OCCUR, THE BANKING INSTITUTION MAY, BUT
SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO, REFUSE ANY TRANSACTION REQUIRING THE DISBURSAL
OF MONEYS IN THE ACCOUNT OF:
  (I) A VULNERABLE ADULT;
  (II) WHICH A VULNERABLE ADULT IS A BENEFICIARY,  INCLUDING  TRUST  AND
GUARDIANSHIP ACCOUNTS; AND
  (III) A PERSON WHO IS SUSPECTED OF ENGAGING IN THE FINANCIAL EXPLOITA-
TION OF A VULNERABLE ADULT.
  (C)  A BANKING INSTITUTION MAY ALSO REFUSE TO DISBURSE MONEYS PURSUANT
TO THIS SUBDIVISION IF A SOCIAL SERVICES  OFFICIAL  OR  LAW  ENFORCEMENT
AGENCY PROVIDES INFORMATION TO SUCH INSTITUTION DEMONSTRATING THAT IT IS
REASONABLE  TO BELIEVE THAT FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF A VULNERABLE ADULT
HAS OCCURRED OR MAY OCCUR.
  (D) A BANKING INSTITUTION SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO REFUSE TO  DISBURSE
FUNDS  PURSUANT  TO THIS SECTION. SUCH A REFUSAL SHALL BE IN THE BANKING

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD11512-03-4

S. 6451                             2

INSTITUTION'S DISCRETION, BASED ON THE  INFORMATION  AVAILABLE  TO  SUCH
INSTITUTION.
  (E)  ANY BANKING INSTITUTION WHICH REFUSES TO DISBURSE MONEYS PURSUANT
TO THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL:
  (I) MAKE A REASONABLE EFFORT TO PROVIDE NOTICE, ORALLY OR IN  WRITING,
TO ALL PARTIES AUTHORIZED TO TRANSACT BUSINESS ON THE ACCOUNT FROM WHICH
DISBURSEMENT WAS REFUSED; AND
  (II)  REPORT  THE INCIDENT TO THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL RESPONSIBLE
FOR ADMINISTERING ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE FOR
THE AFFECTED VULNERABLE ADULT.
  (F) THE REFUSAL TO DISBURSE MONEYS PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION  SHALL
TERMINATE UPON THE EARLIER OF:
  (I)  THE  TIME  AT WHICH THE BANKING INSTITUTION IS SATISFIED THAT THE
DISBURSEMENT WILL NOT RESULT IN THE FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF A  VULNER-
ABLE ADULT; OR
  (II)  THE  ISSUANCE  OF AN ORDER BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION,
DIRECTING THE DISBURSAL OF THE MONEYS.
  (G) A BANKING INSTITUTION MAY PROVIDE ACCESS TO OR COPIES  OF  RECORDS
RELEVANT  TO  SUSPECTED  FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF A VULNERABLE ADULT TO
LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIALS  RESPONSIBLE  FOR
ADMINISTERING  THE  PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE. SUCH RECORDS MAY INCLUDE
RELEVANT  HISTORICAL  RECORDS  AND  RECENT  TRANSACTIONS   RELATING   TO
SUSPECTED FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION.
  (H)  A BANKING INSTITUTION OR AN EMPLOYEE OF SUCH AN INSTITUTION SHALL
BE IMMUNE FROM CRIMINAL, CIVIL OR ADMINISTRATIVE LIABILITY FOR  REFUSING
TO  DISBURSE  MONEYS  OR DISBURSING MONEYS PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION,
AND FOR ACTIONS TAKEN IN FURTHERANCE OF  THAT  DETERMINATION,  INCLUDING
THE  MAKING OF A REPORT OR THE PROVIDING OF ACCESS TO OR COPIES OF RELE-
VANT RECORDS TO A SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, IF
SUCH DETERMINATIONS AND ACTIONS WERE MADE IN GOOD FAITH AND  IN  ACCORD-
ANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  S  2. Section 4 of the banking law is amended by adding a new subdivi-
sion 4 to read as follows:
  4. A BANKING INSTITUTION OR AN EMPLOYEE OF SUCH AN  INSTITUTION  SHALL
BE  IMMUNE FROM CRIMINAL, CIVIL OR ADMINISTRATIVE LIABILITY FOR REFUSING
TO DISBURSE MONEYS OR DISBURSING MONEYS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION NINE  OF
SECTION  FOUR  HUNDRED SEVENTY-THREE OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW, AND FOR
ACTIONS TAKEN IN FURTHERANCE OF THAT DETERMINATION, INCLUDING THE MAKING
OF A REPORT OR THE PROVIDING OF ACCESS TO OR COPIES OF RELEVANT  RECORDS
TO  A SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, IF SUCH DETER-
MINATIONS AND ACTIONS WERE MADE IN GOOD FAITH  AND  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH
SUBDIVISION  NINE  OF  SECTION  FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY-THREE OF THE SOCIAL
SERVICES LAW. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE TERM "BANKING INSTI-
TUTION" SHALL MEAN ANY STATE OR FEDERALLY CHARTERED BANK, TRUST COMPANY,
SAVINGS BANK, SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSOCIATION OR, CREDIT UNION.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law.

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