Reposted from ABA.com – Financial caregivers play an important role in ensuring that all finances — from routine to complex — are managed wisely, helping their loved ones maintain the best quality of life possible.
Tips for Financial Caregivers
Learn the rights and restrictions that apply to your role. Financial caregivers are fiduciaries with a duty to act and make decisions on their loved one’s behalf. Learn the legal implementations of your assigned authority in order to better facilitate your role.
Manage money and other assets wisely. Financial caregivers are in charge of any daily, unexpected and future expense their loved one may incur. Due to fixed income or limited finances, it is extremely important that caregivers eliminate unnecessary costs and budget accordingly to ensure that all money is properly allocated.
Recognize danger signs. Seniors have become major targets for financial abuse and fraud. Make sure to stay alert to signs of scams or identity theft that may put your loved one’s assets in peril.
Keep careful records. When acting as a financial agent, proper documentation is not only encouraged but required. Make sure you keep well-organized financial records, including up-to date lists of assets and debts and a streamline of all financial transactions.
Stay informed. Be attuned to changes in financial ability and take appropriate action. Stay up to date on changes in the laws affecting seniors and implement accordingly.
Seek professional advice. Consult a banker or other professional advisors when you’re not sure what to do.
Types of Financial Caregivers
Understanding your role as a power of attorney. POA is designated by your loved one and gives you the authority to act and make decisions on their behalf, including managing and having access to their bank and other financial accounts. Authority continues if loved one becomes incapacitated and ends when power is revoked or your loved one dies.
Understanding your role as a trustee. Authority is given once you are named as trustee or co-trustee of a revocable living trust. As a trustee your authority applies only to the property noted in the trust, authorizing you to protect, manage and distribute the trust’s assets as directed in the trust document. Authority continues after the death of the trust creator or grantor.
Understanding your role as a federal benefits fiduciary. A federal benefits fiduciary is appointed to accept and delegate federal government benefit payments, such as Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits, in the beneficiary’s best interest. Funds for the beneficiary are received through an account set up solely for this purpose. As a representative payee for Social Security benefits or a VA fiduciary for VA benefits, you are required to keep detailed records of all transactions related to the beneficiary and file annual reports detailing how benefits were used.
Important Information for JD Bank Customers Regarding the Equifax Data Breach
Equifax is one of three major credit reporting agencies and handles the data of 820 million consumers and more than 91 million businesses worldwide.
On Sept. 7, Equifax announced that the records of approximately 143 million Americans were breached between May & July of this year.
Those records contained names, birth dates, addresses, Social Security numbers and some driver’s license numbers. At this time, it appears hackers did not gain access to full credit reports.
In addition to the personal information accessed, 209,000 credit card numbers were obtained.
Equifax has indicated that debit cards were not exposed – therefore criminals are unlikely to have the ability to withdraw funds from a checking account.
The biggest risk posed by this breach is the threat of identity theft.
Consumers should visit Equifax’s website to determine whether their information was compromised and may choose to enroll in its free credit monitoring program, TrustedID Premier.
Equifax is offering free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection to all U.S. consumers for one year following the breach.
You do not need to provide credit card information to enroll.
Consumers who sign up for the program will not be automatically enrolled or charged at the end of the year.
It is critically important that you monitor your bank account and credit report for unauthorized transactions.
When JD Bank and our customers work together, we can better prevent fraud.
JD Bank uses a combination of safeguards to protect your information, such as employee training, strict privacy policies, rigorous security standards and encryption systems.
In addition to using Equifax’s TrustedID Premier, consumers can check their credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – for free – by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Unfamiliar accounts or activity could indicate identity theft.
If you suspect you are a victim of fraud, you should alert JD Bank right away.
Be wary of e-mails that come from Equifax.
Criminals often take advantage of breaches and craft sophisticated phishing e-mails encouraging consumers to provide personal information.
Due to the high number of victims, Equifax is only notifying the 209,000 consumers whose credit card information may have been affected via postal mail.
Equifax has agreed to waive all credit freeze fees through November 21, 2017, for people who want to freeze their Equifax credit files.
It’s important that consumers understand the pros and cons to credit freezes and consider their personal situation.
Renting an apartment, getting quick credit in an emergency, taking advantage of a one-time offer, or even getting a cell phone, all require quick access to your credit report which is restricted during a freeze.
Fraud alerts are an alternative for people who are concerned about identity theft. It gives consumers added protection without limiting access to credit.
A fraud alert puts a red flag on your credit report which requires businesses to take additional steps, such as contacting you by phone before opening a new account.
To understand your rights as a consumer if your personal information was compromised in the breach, visit equifaxsecurity2017.com.
Was my information stolen?
If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance it was. Go to a special website set up by Equifax to find out: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Potential Impact,” enter some personal information and the site will tell you if you’ve been affected. Be sure you’re on a secure network (not public wi-fi) when you submit sensitive data over the internet.
In addition, you can order a free copy of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to one free report from each of the credit bureaus once per year.
Monitor your bank accounts.
We also encourage you to monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Use JD Bank online and mobile banking to keep a close eye on your accounts.
Watch out for scams related to the breach.
Do not trust e-mails that appear to come from Equifax regarding the breach. Attackers are likely to take advantage of the situation and craft sophisticated phishing e-mails.
Should I place a credit freeze on my files?
Before deciding to place a credit freeze on your accounts, consider your personal situation. If you might be applying for credit soon or think you might need quick credit in an emergency, it might be better to simply place a fraud alert on your files with the three major credit bureaus. A fraud alert puts a red flag on your credit report which requires businesses to take additional steps, such as contacting you by phone before opening a new account.
How do I contact the three major credit bureaus to place a freeze on my files?
JD Bank offers services that help our customers protect their identity. CardValet allows you to control how, when and where your debit card is used with an application on your smartphone. JD Bank has added Card Valet to our fraud prevention tools and it’s great for cardholders who want to proactively manage & monitor their accounts.
Strengthen the security of your JD Bank debit card with CardValet, which conveniently helps you protect your debit card with your mobile device. You can turn your card OFF if it is misplaced or stolen and turn your card ON when it is ready to be used. Also, limit the amount of any transaction for your debit card using great features like transaction controls.
Nothing beats the convenience of your JD Bank debit card – and protecting your card through your mobile device is easy with CardValet. Also receive alerts to know when, where and how your cards are used. CardValet is a great way to manage the risk and help fight fraud.
Safeguard your debit cards. Check out many other great features on the CardValet app now.
Whether you’re looking to fund a special purchase or cover a major expense,
personal loans may be a good option to finance costs. Today there are personal loan options for
nearly every consumer, but before you head to the bank, it’s important to become familiar with
common loan terminology.
JD Bank has compiled a helpful list of personal loan terms that are important to understand when
considering an agreement with a lender:
Equity: Difference between value of an item and remaining principal left for the borrower to
pay off on the loan for that item.
Term: Period over which a loan agreement is in force. Short-term loans are generally less than
three years whereas long-term loans can be paid out over more than three years. Long-term
personal loans are typically used for mortgages, cars and education.
Secured & Unsecured Loans: A secured loan requires borrowers to offer collateral, like a
house or car, as an assurance in case the borrower defaults on the loan. Unsecured loans do
not require collateral, but often come with higher interest rates.
Interest Rate: A percentage of the principal paid by the borrower to the lender over the
duration of the loan term. When shopping for a loan, lower interest rates are best. Be cautious
of lenders that have a wide interest rate range – for example, lenders whose lowest interest
rate is 5 percent and highest is 13 percent.
“Personal loans can be a great way to finance many types of expenses,” says Susan Hebert, JD
Bank’s Kinder branch manager. “But it’s key for consumers to fully understand the agreements
they’re entering into. JD Bank makes it a priority to ensure that every customer walks away with no
question left unanswered.”
If interested in learning more about personal loans, contact a JD Bank branch manager at a location
nearest to you.
Serving southwest Louisiana for more than 65 years, JD Bank offers full-service personal and
business banking with 24 locations. For more information, visit www.jdbank.wpengine.com or call (800) 789-
5159. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
JD Bank Offers Tips to Stay on Budget During Holiday Season
LAKE CHARLES, La. – Between shopping, traveling and entertaining, consumers are more likely to overspend during the holiday season than at any other time of the year. JD Bank offers a few simple ways you can stay within your budget and ensure the merriment lasts long before and after the holidays:
Create a shopping strategy early. Decide on an overall budget and determine how much you can afford to spend as soon as possible so you can take advantage of sales. This should help you refrain from last minute impulse buying.
Do your research. Before purchasing anything, do some online research and comparisonshop. You can also save dramatically online by using coupon codes or purchasing from sites that offer free shipping or other cost saving incentives.
Keep track of your spending while on the go. Use your bank’s mobile app to stay on track with your budget goals and provide awareness of your spending in real time. If you plan on using cash, bring the exact amount you’ll need and eliminate the option of overspending all together.
“Unfortunately, overspending is not our only concern during the holidays. It’s vital to be safe with your money during this season as it is a prime time for fraud and identify theft,” said Joe Becnel, Security Officer for JD Bank. “Keep a close eye on your account balances and make sure you fully understand your bank’s fraud protection plan in case anything were to happen.”