By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator
Not all cases of elder abuse are easily discernable. Many of our elderly customers are very competent and cognizant during the closing; they are aware of the transaction they are consummating and understand the implications of signing the documents.
However, a noticeable impairment or severe disability is not required for an elderly person to be taken advantage of, as Elizabeth Garcia of Chicago Title Agency discovered. In many situations the elderly person is unaware of being taken advantage of. Often, they work against their own interest, insisting on the validity of the scam. Read "YOU'VE won, now send us money" for an example of how this occurs.
Elder financial abuse comes in all different forms. Some examples are investment schemes, medical billing scams, predatory lending, identity theft, gaining rights to real property or theft of the proceeds from a cash out loan transaction. Targets can be coerced or be unaware of the scam or possibly be threatened.
The sad facts are 36% of all cases of elder financial abuse are perpetrated by a known person and 25% are by a family member, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). When it is a family member, the CFPB found that 62% of the cases involve an adult child. Many times, as a person ages they look to their children for assistance — creating a situation that can be ripe for abuse. Read "THE overbearing son" to discover a heartbreaking story.
Our National Escrow Administration team tries to avoid using acronyms unless they know the person they are communicating with is familiar with the acronyms used in the conversation. For example, when we use the term CD, most of you believe we are referencing the Closing Disclosure but for someone outside of our industry, they may believe we are referring to a compact disc. Abbreviations are used to make the conversation or the written form of words, faster.
This month's cyber buzz article focuses on acronyms and abbreviations commonly used in network security. Read "ACRONYMS and abbreviations in technology" to discover the meaning of some new terminology.