Annuities aren’t suitable for every investor. If you were conned into inappropriately investing in an annuity and suffered serious losses because of this, a lawyer knowledgeable about annuity fraud may be able to help you initiate a complaint.
Every investor has their own goals for their investment portfolio. Some of the most common types of investment opportunities are annuities. However, annuities are not appropriate for all investors; in fact, they are suitable only for certain types.
If you invested in an annuity and realized that you will never see any gains or you have suffered massive losses due to an annuity investment, you may be able to file a complaint with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) seeking full recovery of your losses.
We understand that you may be intimidated by the thought of moving forward with arbitration proceedings. But when you have an experienced annuity fraud lawyer at Wolper Law Firm on your side, your chances of winning in arbitration may be significantly increased.
What Are Annuities?
An annuity is an insurance contract that provides you with regular payments once the annuity has matured. This is a great way to ensure that you have an income after you retire and can ensure that your retirement savings are protected.
However, while this may sound like a wonderful opportunity, purchasing annuities is not always appropriate for every investor. To purchase an annuity, you must typically put up most or all of the funds upfront. Because the annuity doesn’t mature for a period of time, usually anywhere between fifteen and thirty years, annuities are not generally suitable for senior investors who may not be able to reap the benefits of their annuity.
How Does FINRA Arbitration Work?
FINRA arbitration allows wronged investors to hold their financial advisors accountable for misconduct and negligence.
In the case of annuities, if your stockbroker failed to provide you with all of the necessary information before you purchased the annuity, or if they encouraged you to purchase an annuity that was unsuitable for you, you may be able to recover your investment in FINRA arbitration.
During a FINRA arbitration, you will have to present evidence to support your case. Then, your financial advisor will have to provide a reasonable explanation for encouraging you to purchase an annuity.
If your arbitrators determine that your financial advisor has wronged you, they may order them to repay you within thirty days of the decision. Your lawyer can give you more information about what to expect from your FINRA arbitration hearing.
Why Choose Us
Choosing the right securities lawyer can be challenging, especially if you’ve never filed a securities lawsuit.
That’s where the Wolper Law Firm in Florida comes in. Our securities lawyers are knowledgeable, tenacious and will handle every aspect of your case on your behalf, from gathering evidence and filing paperwork to representing you in court. We have:
- A 99% recovery rate for investors
- Obtained stunning results for our clients, including a $10 million securities fraud settlement against a national brokerage firm and a $1.25 million recovery against a national brokerage firm in a dispute about theft and failure to supervise
- Pursued claims across the nation in all forums, including before state and federal courts, the American Arbitration Association (AAA), JAMS, and the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA)
- Numerous testimonials from satisfied clients.
The Wolper Law Firm is headed by Matthew Wolper, a trial lawyer focusing on securities arbitration and litigation. His specific practice areas are:
Before forming the Wolper Law Firm, Matthew Wolper was a partner with a national law firm, where he spent fourteen years representing preeminent Wall Street brokerage firms and banks in large-dollar securities cases. These rich experiences, along with his trial readiness and work ethic, have enabled Mr. Wolper to assist a wide range of investors. Accordingly, he has handled hundreds of securities cases nationwide before state and federal courts, AAA, FINRA, and JAMS.
Mr. Wolper earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and his law degree from Nova Southeastern University, where he graduated in the top two percent of his class and was a member of the Nova Law Review.
As for ratings, Mr. Wolper maintains an AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale Hubbell, which is given only to attorneys who are ranked by their peers at the highest level of professional excellence for their ethical standards, communication skills, and legal expertise. Super Lawyers has also recognized him as a “rising star” since 2012, a distinction for less than 2.5% of lawyers in Florida.
How to Avoid Annuity Fraud
FINRA arbitration can be complicated. Luckily, you can avoid it by avoiding annuity fraud in the first place. Follow these tips to prevent annuity fraud:
Read the Terms and Conditions Carefully
Before you sign anything, read the terms and conditions of your annuity carefully. Dishonest brokers often try to push annuities that are worthless to you. For example, if you’re elderly, they might try convincing you to get an annuity that requires you to wait a decade or longer to avoid a penalty.
Buy Only from Licensed Brokers and Agents
Do not buy annuities from unlicensed brokers and agents. Ask them for their name and licensee number to ensure that you’re buying annuities from a licensed agent or broker. You can then look them up on the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s website, which offers a database of disciplinary and financial information for insurance companies across the U.S.
Be Wary of High-Pressure Sales
If a broker or agent pressures you to buy an annuity as soon as possible, they probably don’t have your best interests at heart. Tell them you need more time to make an informed decision.
Avoid “Free” Dinner or Lunch Seminars
Unfortunately, “free” dinner and lunch seminars are often run by brokers and agents who engage in high-pressure sales. As such, you may be signing up for more than just free food — by the time you walk out, if you’re not careful, you might have gotten an annuity that doesn’t benefit you.
Look Out for Quick-Switch Selling
Be wary if a broker or agent who sold you an annuity last year suggests replacing it with another one. Ask them about the pros and cons of switching your annuity. If you decide to replace your annuity, ask the broker to give you a replacement notice that clearly shows the pros and cons of replacement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Annuity fraud law can be difficult to understand. Here are our answers to clients’ frequently asked questions about annuities:
Yes. An annuity is an insurance contract where you make a series of payments or a lump-sum payment. In return, you will receive regular disbursements either immediately or sometime in the future.
Annuity rates vary depending on various factors, including the issuer, contract structure, and the issuer’s leniency. Ask as many questions as possible to ensure you get a fair deal.
Annuities have several benefits, including customization, guaranteed income, and tax-deferred growth.
On the other hand, disadvantages include high costs, complexity, and limited or no access to your money if you need it early. Annuities also offer modest returns compared to real estate, stocks, and higher-yielding bonds. As such, they aren’t the best pick for investors with long-term horizons and goals.
Annuity fraud is when brokers and agents exploit the public’s ignorance to sell annuities. Many brokers and agents target seniors who are terminally ill, convincing them to get annuities that lock away money for over 10 years. You can protect yourself from annuity fraud by learning to recognize possible scams and asking questions.
Common annuity agent scamming tricks include:
- Using fake titles and credentials
- Asking you to send money to an agency, individual, or P.O. box rather than the insurance company you’re buying the annuity from
- Using your financial information to sell you products you don’t need, such as a living trust.
Twisting and churning are deceptive insurance and annuity sales practices. Twisting is when agents or brokers encourage clients to switch an annuity from one company for an investment from another company that is worth less. Agents engage in twisting to get large commissions.
Meanwhile, churning happens when agents convince annuity owners to trade an annuity policy for another one. As a result, the client may lose value on the policy they previously had or owe additional premiums. The goal of churning is to collect a commission from selling a different policy.
CONTACT A REPUTABLE LAWYER REGARDING ANNUITY FRAUD
If you are ready to get started on your FINRA arbitration complaint but aren’t sure where to start, contact an annuity fraud lawyer at Wolper Law Firm to discuss the details of your case. We can be reached through the quick contact form included below or by phone at 855.453.8618 to schedule your free no-obligation case review.