1.800.931.8452
We can help recover your investment loss. Free consultations, always. CONTACT US

FINRA Expungement Lawyers Helping With Expungement of Customer Complaints From FINRA’s Central Registration Depository and BrokerCheck Database

FINRA Expungement Attorney Helping With  Expungement Customer Complaints From FINRA’s Central Registration Depository and BrokerCheck Database

FINRA Expungement Lawyer for Financial Advisors, Stockbrokers and Financial Industry Professionals

Customer dispute information contained in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA’s) Central Registration Depository (CRD) and BrokerCheck website can have negative consequences for brokers regardless of whether the dispute was frivolous, settled amicably or rejected following an arbitration proceeding. This is particularly true of information contained in BrokerCheck, a free, searchable database easily accessible by anyone with an internet connection.

Few online searchers are sophisticated or diligent enough to investigate the allegations contained in customer dispute disclosures they find recorded in BrokerCheck. Claims against brokers are taken at face value, regardless of merit or outcome. Customer complaints in BrokerCheck suggest, at a minimum, a history of unsatisfied customers and, worse, intimations of trouble ahead for both potential customers and employers. The FINRA U5 expungement lawyers of Wolper Law Firm can help.

The Most Effective Remedy is Expungement of the Customer Dispute. Our Expungement Lawyers Can Help.

While it is possible for brokers to leave an explanatory comment regarding information recorded in the BrokerCheck database, the most effective remedy is expungement of customer dispute information from the database. A successful expungement request removes the dispute record entirely from both the CRD and BrokerCheck.

Brokers that have records of customer disputes in the CRD and BrokerCheck databases should strongly consider taking action now to correct these blots on their professional reputation. In fact, petitions seeking expungement are particularly well-timed, in view of recently proposed FINRA rule changes that threaten to make expungement of customer dispute information more costly and difficult to obtain.

success

Broker Disclosures Recorded in FINRA’s CRD System

Web CRD

Web CRD is a secure database that is available to broker-dealer firms as well as state and federal regulators.

brokercheck_300

BrokerCheck, a well-publicized source of information for investors, is derived from CRD records.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority makes customer dispute information available in two places: Web CRD and BrokerCheck.

In the area of customer dispute information, the data in CRD and, by extension, BrokerCheck, is derived from the disclosures that brokers make on FINRA Form U-4 (Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer) and brokerage firms make on FINRA Form U-5 (Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration). The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority requires disclosure of any consumer-initiated, investment-related arbitrations and civil litigation proceedings, regardless of outcome or whether they are still pending. These records persist in CRD and BrokerCheck permanently. The only way to remove them is by filing a request for expungement with FINRA.

Expungement Via FINRA Arbitration Proceedings

Expungement of customer complaint records in the CRD or BrokerCheck can be obtained from FINRA in two ways: (1) by requesting expungement relief when defending a customer complaint, or (2) by filing a separate request for expungement with FINRA after the conclusion of an arbitration proceeding. The grounds for expungement are identical for each procedure.

Under FINRA Rule 2080, a customer complaint can be expunged only if an arbitration panel makes one of three findings:

The claim, allegation or information is factually impossible or clearly erroneous. For example, an individual named in a customer’s arbitration claim was not associated with the member firm during the relevant time period.

The broker was not involved in the alleged investment-related sales practice violation, forgery, theft, misappropriation or conversion of funds. Importantly, an expungement request premised on this criterion cannot be granted unless the arbitration panel finds that the broker was not involved in the alleged investment-related sales practice violation.

The claim or allegation is false. Here again, the arbitration panel must make an affirmative finding that the claim, allegation or information is false, and affirmatively order expungement relief.

Several additional procedural requirements are contained in FINRA Rule 12805, which governs the workings of arbitration panels. In order to grant expungement of customer dispute information under Rule 2080, the arbitration panel must make the required Rule 2020 findings plus:

Hold a recorded hearing session (by telephone or in person) regarding the appropriateness of expungement.

Provide a brief written explanation of the reason for its finding that one or more Rule 2080 grounds for expungement are present.

In cases involving settlements, review settlement documents and consider the amount of payments made to any party and any other terms and conditions of a settlement.

Assess forum fees against the parties requesting expungement relief.

Determining Who Hears Arbitration Proceedings

Under FINRA Rule 12401, customer claims of more than $100,000, as well as claims that do not specify an amount and do not request money damages, are heard by three-person arbitration panels. Claims that are $50,000 or less are heard by one arbitrator. Claims that are more than $50,000 but not more than $100,000 are heard by one arbitrator, unless the parties agree to a three-person arbitration panel.

After obtaining an arbitration award granting expungement relief, the broker must subsequently seek judicial confirmation of the award from a court of competent jurisdiction, and then, after obtaining a court order, return to FINRA to have the disclosure expunged from the CRD and BrokerCheck systems.

Three Person Arbitration Panels

  • Customer claims of over $100,000
  • Claims that do not specify an amount
  • Claims that do not request monetary damages

Single Arbitrator

  • Claims over $50,000 but less than $100,000

FINRA Proposes to Make Expungement More Difficult

FINRA, in late 2017, proposed sweeping changes to the procedures for obtaining expungement of customer complaint information from the CRD and BrokerCheck databases. The intent of the FINRA proposal was to respond to widespread criticisms that expungement is too easy to obtain and that sanitized broker records were putting the investing public at risk.

The Securities and Exchange Commission released largely supportive comments earlier this year. If adopted, FINRA’s new procedures will make it significantly more difficult to obtain expungement of customer complaints.

For example, the proposed FINRA expungement rules would require that:

Taken together, these proposed FINRA rules changes will create barriers to obtaining expungement of customer complaint information that do not exist today.

Now is the Time to Talk to a Lawyer to Expunge Misleading Customer Complaints

While it is possible for brokers to leave an explanatory comment regarding information recorded in the BrokerCheck database, the most effective remedy is expungement of customer dispute information from the database. A successful expungement request removes the dispute record entirely from both the CRD and BrokerCheck.

Brokers that have records of customer disputes in the CRD and BrokerCheck databases should strongly consider taking action now to correct these blots on their professional reputation. In fact, petitions seeking expungement are particularly well-timed, in view of recently proposed FINRA rule changes that threaten to make expungement of customer dispute information more costly and difficult to obtain.

Call an U5 Expungement Lawyer at Wolper Law Firm today.

Churning

Now is the time to talk to an investment loss recovery lawyer. We can help recover your investment loss. Free consultations, always.

Main Office - Fort Lauderdale

1250 S. Pine Island Road
Suite 325
Plantation, FL 33324
Phone: (866) 330-5167
(954)-406-1231

We represent clients nationwide, including, but not limited to: Miami, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, Tampa, Stuart, St. Petersburg, Vero Beach, Orlando, Jacksonville, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Washington DC, Charlotte, Boston, Baltimore, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Fargo, Atlanta, Little Rock, Newark and St. Louis

Additional Office Locations (by appointment only)

Atlanta

3355 Lenox Road
Suite 7
Atlanta, GA 30326

Indianapolis

13295 N. Illinois St.
Suite 314
Indianapolis, IN 46032

New York City

275 Madison Avenue
Suite 705
New York, NY 10016

Dallas

3102 Maple Ave.
Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75201

Irvine

2600 Michelson Drive
Suite 1700
Irvine, CA 92612

Portland

5933 NE Win Sivers Drive
Suite 205
Portland, OR 97220

Denver

7900 E. Union Ave.
Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80237

Naperville

1700 Park Street
Suite 103
Naperville, IL 60563

Seattle

1001 Fourth Ave.
#3200
Seattle, WA 98154

We represent clients nationwide, including, but not limited to: Miami, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, Tampa, Stuart, St. Petersburg, Vero Beach, Orlando, Jacksonville, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Washington DC, Charlotte, Boston, Baltimore, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Fargo, Atlanta, Little Rock, Newark and St. Louis