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A04475
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2064
Session of
2024
INTRODUCED BY HOGAN, LABS, MARCELL, STAATS, TOMLINSON, JOZWIAK,
MOUL, HEFFLEY AND GILLEN, FEBRUARY 27, 2024
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, FEBRUARY 27, 2024
AN ACT
Amending the act of November 6, 1987 (P.L.381, No.79), entitled
"An act relating to the protection of the abused, neglected,
exploited or abandoned elderly; establishing a uniform
Statewide reporting and investigative system for suspected
abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of the elderly;
providing protective services; providing for funding; and
making repeals," providing for financial institutions and
fiduciaries.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of November 6, 1987 (P.L.381, No.79),
known as the Older Adults Protective Services Act, is amended by
adding a chapter to read:
CHAPTER 6
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND FIDUCIARIES
Section 601. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"A person reasonably associated with the older adult." The
term includes:
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(1) an authorized contact provided by an older adult to
a financial institution;
(2) a fiduciary authorized to manage some or all of the
financial affairs of the older adult;
(3) a co-owner, additional authorized signatory or
beneficiary on an older adult's account;
(4) an attorney or financial professional known to
represent or have represented, or to assist in the management
of the financial affairs of the older adult;
(5) a parent, spouse, adult child, sibling or other
known family member or close associate of an older adult; or
(6) any other person in a position of trust with respect
to the older adult as provided by 18 Pa.C.S. § 3922.1(f)
(relating to financial exploitation of an older adult or
care-dependent person).
"Designated representative of a financial institution." An
individual provided immunity from suit for disclosing suspected
financial exploitation by 12 U.S.C. § 3423 (relating to immunity
from suit for disclosure of financial exploitation of senior
citizens).
"Fiduciary." A guardian, custodian, trustee, agent, personal
representative or other person authorized or required to act on
behalf of an older adult.
"Financial exploitation." As defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3922.1.
"Financial institution." Any person defined as a "financial
institution" under 31 CFR Subt. B Ch. X (relating to Financial
Crimes Enforcement Network, Department of the Treasury) that is
required to file suspicious activity reports.
Section 602. Voluntary reporting of financial exploitation.
(a) Reporting.--Notwithstanding any law limiting or
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prohibiting disclosure, a fiduciary or designated representative
of a financial institution having reasonable cause to believe
that financial exploitation of an older adult may have occurred,
may have been attempted or is being attempted, may report such
information to the agency which is the local provider of
protective services, or may report the information to a law
enforcement agency or the department. A report made to an agency
under this subsection shall provide:
(1) the name, age and address of the older adult;
(2) the name and address, if known, of the older adult's
guardian or next of kin;
(3) the name and address of the financial institution or
fiduciary and contact information for the individual
submitting the report;
(4) the nature of the suspected financial exploitation
of the older adult; and
(5) any specific comments, observations or other
information directly related to the alleged incident, the
older adult and suspected perpetrator of the financial
exploitation a the financial institution or fiduciary
determines is needed to facilitate investigation of the
report.
(b) Assistance by persons reasonably associated with an
older adult.--At the same time a report is made under subsection
(a) regarding the older adult, notwithstanding any law limiting
or prohibiting disclosure, the fiduciary or designated
representative may provide information regarding the report to a
person reasonably associated with the older adult sufficient to
enable the person to consult with or assist the older adult in
avoiding or remedying the suspected financial exploitation, or
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exercise any fiduciary powers it possesses to protect the older
adult, unless the financial institution has reason to believe
the person is knowingly engaged in or facilitating the financial
exploitation of the older adult.
(c) Access to records.--Notwithstanding the provisions of
section 304:
(1) A report authorized by this section may include, or
may be subsequently supplemented by, records of the older
adult the financial institution or fiduciary believes are
needed to provide protective services to the older adult.
(2) If records needed to determine if an older adult
subject to a report as authorized by this section are
provided by a financial institution or fiduciary as
authorized by paragraph (1), and the older adult, or a
fiduciary acting on behalf of the older adult, does not
provide consent to the agency to access such records, the
agency may issue an order, subject to 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 Subch.
A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth
agencies) and 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of
Commonwealth agency action), directing the production of such
records that relate to the financial transactions of the
older adult for a period of time up to 60 days prior to the
date of the report and the first reported incident of actual
or suspected financial exploitation. Other records shall only
be available to the extent provided by section 304.
Section 603. Model training program (Reserved) .
The Department of Aging and the Department of Banking and
Securities, in consultation with representatives of the
financial services industry, are authorized to jointly develop a
model training program for employees of financial institutions
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and fiduciaries regarding:
(1) the identification of activities that constitute the
financial exploitation of older adults;
(2) the recognition of the signs of potential financial
exploitation of older adults;
(3) when a fiduciary or a financial institution acting
through a designated representative may report suspected
financial exploitation;
(4) to whom suspected exploitation should be reported;
(5) the information to be included in a report; and
(6) the applicable laws, rules and regulations that must
be followed while reporting suspected financial exploitation.
Section 604. Voluntary refusal of disbursements and
transactions.
(a) Reasonable belief.--If a designated representative or
other employee of a financial institution or a fiduciary
reasonably believes, after initiating an internal review of a
disbursement or transaction, that financial exploitation of an
older adult may have occurred, may have been attempted or is
being attempted, the financial institution or fiduciary may
refuse to disburse money, or engage in a transaction, to prevent
financial exploitation of an older adult with respect to:
(1) an account of the older adult;
(2) an account on which the older adult is a
beneficiary, including a trust or guardianship account; and
(3) an account of a person suspected of perpetrating
financial exploitation of an older adult.
(b) Request by area agency on aging or law enforcement
agency.--In addition to the authorization provided under
subsection (a), a financial institution or fiduciary may refuse
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to disburse money or engage in a transaction with respect to the
accounts designated in subsection (a) if an area agency on aging
or law enforcement official requests the financial institution
or fiduciary to do so or provides information to the financial
institution or fiduciary demonstrating that it is reasonable to
believe that financial exploitation of an older adult may have
occurred, may have been attempted or is being attempted.
(c) Discretion.--A financial institution or fiduciary is not
required to refuse to disburse money or engage in a transaction
as authorized under subsection (a) or (b), but may use its sole
discretion to determine whether to refuse to disburse money
based on the information available to the financial institution
or fiduciary.
(d) Duties.--Except as provided under Federal or State law,
if a financial institution or fiduciary refuses to disburse
money or engage in a transaction as authorized by this section
to protect an older adult, the designated representative of the
financial institution or the fiduciary shall:
(1) make an immediate oral report and file a written
report containing the information required for a voluntary
report under section 602(a) within two business days;
(2) notify the older adult, and if requested provide
additional information, in the manner provided for
notification by an agency under section 308(a); and
(3) within two business days, make a reasonable effort
to notify, orally or in writing, each person authorized to
transact business on the account , that is a beneficiary of
the account or that has been authorized by the older adult to
receive notifications regarding account activity, except for
a person reasonably believed to have engaged in suspected or
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attempted financial exploitation of the older adult or a
payable on death beneficiary designated not to be notified
prior to the death of the older adult.
(e) Notice of refused disbursement or transaction.--A
notification required by subsection (d)(3) shall be sufficient
if it:
(1) states that the financial institution or fiduciary
has temporarily blocked the disbursement of money or delayed
the execution of transactions as authorized by this section
to protect an older adult from financial exploitation;
(2) provides the name of the financial institution or
fiduciary and the name and telephone number of a contact
person representing the financial institution or fiduciary;
and
(3) identifies the account or transaction to which the
notification applies.
(f) Expiration.--Except as provided under subsection (h), a
refusal to disburse money or engage in a transaction as
authorized by this section shall expire upon the sooner of the
following:
(1) issuance of a court order directing the financial
institution or fiduciary to make the disbursement or engage
in the transaction;
(2) a determination by the financial institution or
fiduciary based on its sole review and discretion to
authorize the disbursement or transaction; or
(3) 15 seven business days after the financial
institution or fiduciary first refused to disburse the money
or engage in the transaction.
(g) Extension of expiration.--A financial institution or
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fiduciary may extend the expiration date of its refusal as
provided in subsection (f)(3) by an additional 25 15 business
days if a request is made for a court order as authorized by
subsection (h) by a financial institution or fiduciary, or by
the local agency on aging, the department or a law enforcement
agency to block or extend the refused disbursement or
transaction.
(h) Order.--A court of competent jurisdiction may enter an
order blocking a disbursement or transaction, or further
delaying a disbursement or transaction, to protect an older
adult from suspected financial exploitation or order other
actions to protect the older adult.
(i) Recordkeeping.--A request of an area agency on aging or
a law enforcement official to terminate or extend a refusal to
disburse money or engage in a transaction as authorized by this
section shall be documented in writing.
Section 605. Standing of financial institutions and
fiduciaries.
(a) Initiation of proceedings.--If a financial institution
or fiduciary has a reasonable cause to believe an older adult is
subject to an imminent and substantial risk of financial
exploitation, the financial institution or fiduciary may
initiate a proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction to:
(1) extend the period of time the disbursement of money
or transactions may be refused under section 604, or prohibit
specific disbursements or transactions;
(2) request an order necessary to protect the accounts
or assets of an older adult, or in which the older adult has
interests;
(3) request the appointment of a conservator or guardian
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of the estate of an older adult;
(4) remove the powers of a fiduciary engaged in the
financial exploitation of an older adult;
(5) modify an order issued by an area agency on aging or
the department issued under this act or other law to protect
an older adult from suspected financial exploitation; or
(6) grant other appropriate relief.
(b) Notice to area agency on aging.--Prior to initiating a
proceeding under this subsection, at least 24 hours' prior
notice must be given to the area agency on aging for the county
in which the proceeding is initiated and an offer made to
consult with the agency regarding the proceeding, unless
delaying the initiation of the proceeding will threaten an older
adult with immediate and irreparable injury pursuant to the
standards applicable for an application for special relief
before notice of a hearing under Pa.R.C.P Rule 1531 (relating to
special relief, injunctions). A copy of a petition initiating a
proceeding under this section shall be provided to the area
agency on aging for the county in which a proceeding is
initiated.
(c) Intervention.--
(1) The area agency on aging in the county in which a
petition is filed under this section and the department
shall have a right to intervene as a party to the
proceeding.
(2) A financial institution or fiduciary shall have the
right to intervene as a party to a proceeding initiated by
an area agency on aging or the department under this act to
provide protective services to an older adult customer of a
financial institution or to an individual to whom a
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fiduciary owns a duty of care.
Section 606. Access to reports and communications regarding
investigations.
Notwithstanding the requirements of section 304, an area
agency on aging may disclose and discuss with a financial
institution or fiduciary reports of the suspected financial
exploitation of an older adult and the results of the
investigation of such reports to the extent reasonably necessary
to facilitate the financial institution's or fiduciary's
decision under section 604 to refuse to disburse money or engage
in a transaction or to terminate or seek an extension of its
refusal to do so.
Section 607. Immunity and defenses.
(a) Immunity.--Except as provided under subsection (c), a
financial institution or fiduciary and its directors, officers,
designated representatives, employees or agents shall not be
subject to a claim for damages or other civil or criminal
liability for taking or failing to take any action authorized,
but not required by this chapter, to:
(1) identify and report financial exploitation under
section 602(a);
(2) notify a person reasonably associated with an older
adult under section 602(b);
(3) provide access to records and information under
sections 602(c)(1) and (2) and 606;
(4) refuse to allow the disbursement of funds or a
transaction under section 604; or
(5) initiate or participate in judicial proceedings
under section 605.
(b) Additional immunities and defenses.--Notwithstanding any
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other law to the contrary:
(1) The refusal by a financial institution to engage in
a transaction authorized under this chapter shall not
constitute the wrongful dishonor of an item under 13 Pa.C.S.
§ 4402 (relating to liability of bank to customer for
wrongful dishonor; time of determining insufficiency of
account).
(2) A reasonable belief that payment of a check will
facilitate the financial exploitation of an older adult shall
constitute reasonable grounds to doubt the collectability of
the item for purposes of 12 U.S.C. Chs. 41 (relating to
expedited funds availability) and 50 (relating to check
truncation) and 12 CFR Pt. 229 (relating to availability of
funds and collection of checks).
(c) Limitation.--The immunities and defenses provided under
this section shall not apply to a financial institution or
fiduciary or a director, officer, designated representative,
employee or agent of a financial institution or fiduciary that
intentionally or knowingly engages in the financial exploitation
of an older adult.
Section 608. Electronic records and signatures.
Any requirements of this chapter requiring a written request,
authorization or report may be satisfied by the use of
electronic records and signatures as authorized by the act of
December 16, 1999 (P.L.971, No.69), known as the Electronic
Transactions Act.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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