State lawmakers in New Hampshire have passed a bill protecting seniors from financial exploitation in the state.

The bill, NH S 252, was introduced in January 2019, and passed the New Hampshire Senate and House in July.

This is the second such bill to gain passage this year. Arizona recently enacted a law called the Protecting Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation Act.

Based on model legislation by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), the bill “permits broker dealers and investment advisors to delay disbursements from accounts of eligible individuals when such broker dealers and investment advisors, or other qualified individuals, reasonably believe that the requested disbursement may result in financial exploitation.”

Chapter leaders worked with FPA’s advocacy department and other stakeholders to amend the bill’s language to align with New Hampshire statutes, said Karen Nystrom, director of advocacy for the national Financial Planning Association.

“FPA believes that protecting vulnerable populations from financial abuse is vital to the financial health of American consumers. Importantly, we worked to make sure our members in New Hampshire had the ability to delay suspect disbursements from client accounts until a determination could be made,” Nystrom said.

“As we all know, once those funds leave an account, they almost never come back. The ability to be proactive instead of reactive is key here,” she added.

In a prepared statement, Tim Fisher and Indrika Arnold, FPA of Northern New England board members, said, “As members of the FPA of Northern New England, our priority is to protect seniors and vulnerable adults from those who would prey on them.” “Having the ability to report suspicious behavior and make sure exploitive disbursements are scrutinized is what we were fighting for.”