One worrying takeaway from the first week of the Financial Services Royal Commission is how many elderly people are being adversely affected by irresponsible lending.
Such lending is often the result of an agreement with a family member, for example an adult child, to help that person financially by entering into a joint loan. These loans are secured against the older person’s home, which is a huge risk if the loan defaults and the older person cannot service the debt...
Associate Professor, Curtin Law School
Dr Eileen Webb has recently joined the Curtin Law School where she will coordinate the elder law program. She is a foundation member of the Australian Research Network on Law and Ageing (ARNLA). Eileen also teaches and researches in real property, housing, small business and consumer law.
Throughout Australia older people are losing their savings, property and homes through financial abuse, usually at the hands of persons close to them such as an adult child or grandchild.
A sense of entitlement, ‘Inheritance impatience’ or opportunism can encourage people to ‘help themselves’ to an older person’s assets.
Elder abuse is not a new problem. It has been occurring in Australia and elsewhere for generations - but its only now that serious steps are being taken to address it...