July 19, 2011 > Protection for veterans from financial predators
Protection for veterans from financial predators
Submitted By Andrew La Mar
A bill by Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) that prohibits unreasonable fees from being charged to veterans who receive assistance applying, and qualifying, for federal benefits passed the Assembly on a 72-0 vote on July 5, 2011.
Senate Bill 180 now goes to the governor's desk for his consideration. The legislation has sailed through the Senate and Assembly without opposition.
"Veterans have sacrificed mightily; they have put their lives on the line protecting freedom for all of us," Corbett said. "It's essential we honor these men and women and protect them from unscrupulous financial predators who try to profit at their expense."
Veterans have been targets of a growing number of scams in which they are charged as much as $10,000 for assistance in qualifying for federal benefits. Sometimes these veterans are offered nothing more than information they can obtain for free, and then charged heavily for it, and other "pre-qualification services" can include moving veterans' money into irrevocable trusts and deferred annuities.
The legislation was sponsored by the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform and is supported by the Consumer Attorneys of California, Congress of California Seniors and many veterans groups, including the Alameda County Veterans Affairs Commission.
For more information, visit www.sen.ca.gov/corbett