$850,0000 CLIENT RESULT
Recovery against National Brokerage Firm for Misrepresentations Regarding the Sale of Annuity and Insurance Products
Responsibilities of FINRA
FINRA is overseen by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Their primary goal is to ensure that the financial markets in the United States are running smoothly and fairly. Some of their key responsibilities include educating investors, implementing and enforcing ethics guidelines for all registered brokers and broker-dealers, and ensuring that brokers and firms comply with these ethics rules.
Investors who have reason to believe that their stockbrokers or financial planners have wronged them in some way, causing them large stock and investment losses that could have been prevented if it hadn’t been for the misconduct of these individuals and/or corporations, have options. Those investors can file complaints with FINRA and potentially be awarded repayment of their losses through arbitration or mediation. But knowing whether your losses were due to broker misconduct or negligence isn’t always easy. Experienced FINRA attorneys know the types of dishonest schemes that brokers use to defraud investors. Our FINRA attorney can help you understand whether you have been a victim of an unscrupulous stockbroker. If you have been, we can help you hold them accountable for their actions.
You Could Get Full Restitution for Your Investment Loss. Turn To Our Skilled Investment Fraud Lawyer To Learn More.
When to File a Complaint with FINRA for Investment Losses
Even if you have noticed a considerable loss in your portfolio, you may simply think that it was part of the risk you took in investing in the first place. This may be true in some cases, but you should be able to count on your stockbroker to avoid such losses wherever possible.
Some stockbrokers will make poor decisions surrounding your investments if it means they’ll see considerable personal financial gains, so you should be prepared to bring them to justice for this type of misconduct.
With that being said, there are some types of fraud that brokers engage in more frequently than others. The good thing is that these schemes almost always leave a trail of financial documents that can support your case if you choose to proceed with FINRA arbitration.
These schemes include:
- Failure to supervise. Brokerage firms may be liable if they failed to properly supervise or train a broker who commits a violation.
- Misrepresentation and/or omission. Misrepresentation is when a stockbroker intentionally withholds material information or provides investors with misleading information in order to influence an investment decision.
- Excessive trading. Excessive trading, also known as churning, is when brokers over-trade in investors’ accounts in order to generate commissions for themselves on each trade.
- Failure to diversify. To avoid undue risk, investment portfolios should be diversified across businesses, industries and product types. When they are not and investors lose money, brokers may be liable for a failure to diversify.
- Selling away. Selling away is when a stockbroker sells investments, often high-risk ones, that are not approved or offered by their brokerage firm.
- Unauthorized trading. Unauthorized trading occurs when brokers make trades in nondiscretionary accounts without the authorization of the investors.
- Unsuitable investment recommendations. When brokers recommend investment opportunities that are not aligned with the investment objectives and risk tolerance of their customers, those unsuitable investment recommendations may be evidence of fraud.
In the event that you are unsure whether you’ve been defrauded by your broker, you can bring your financial records and other relevant documents to one of our FINRA lawyers, who can assist you with your case.
If we find any evidence of misconduct, we’ll take the steps necessary to get your money back, which might require filing a FINRA complaint for arbitration. Call us for help at 800.931.8452.
“I want to give a shout out to Wolper Law Firm, P.A.. I was very fortunate to have him in my corner. I never worried while he was handling my case. He’s very trustworthy, understanding, professional, kind, has awesome communication, and he always responded immediately. I could not be more satisfied. He provides A+ quality service. I highly recommend him, and he is now my go to lawyer. I wish he advertised on tv so others could be aware of his A+ firm. Thank you, Mr. Wolper for your dedication, hard work and taking my case.” – Kim I.
What to Expect from Your FINRA Arbitration Hearing
Your FINRA arbitration hearing will take place before either a single arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators, depending on how sizable your losses were. The higher your losses, the greater the likelihood that a panel of three arbitrators will be necessary.
An arbitration hearing is quite similar to going to court in that both parties have the chance to present their version of events. You will be able to make a statement, present evidence demonstrating the losses you endured, and have witnesses testify for you. These can be both individuals who speak about the facts of the case, known as fact witnesses, and expert witnesses, if appropriate.
The other party will also be given the same opportunity to defend themselves.
Once the arbitrators have heard both parties plead their case, they will retire to deliberate and review the evidence of the case. From beginning to end, it could take as long as 18 months to hear a decision and to obtain an award if your claim is a success. If the arbitrator’s decision comes down in your favor, the responsible party will have up to 30 days following the decision to get your settlement to you.
Failure to do so can result in additional sanctions by FINRA and legal action on the part of your attorney, should it become necessary.
Don’t Wait When You Suspect Fraud – Reach Out to Our FINRA Attorney
Pursuing arbitration through FINRA is often the best way to ensure that you are fully compensated for the losses you took due to broker negligence or misconduct. You may also have other options for getting your money back, depending on the details of your case.
If you are interested in learning more about how a highly trained FINRA lawyer at Wolper Law Firm, P.A. can help you with your claim or other options you may have, come in for a free, confidential case review. When you are ready to set up your free review, we can be reached by phone at 800.931.8452 or via the quick submission form included below.
Our FINRA Attorneys Answer Common Questions
Filing a FINRA complaint can be overwhelming, and the thought of having to bring your case before a panel of arbitrators may be intimidating. We’ve seen firsthand just how difficult it can be to gather up the courage to fight for the money that is rightfully yours. For this reason, we have provided answers below to frequently asked questions so you can better understand some of the most common concerns surrounding FINRA complaints and what to expect if you choose to move forward with your arbitration claim.
If you have other questions or would like a more personalized idea of what’s to come for your case, specifically, contact our office to set up a free consultation with a well-informed FINRA lawyer.
FINRA mandates that any complaints must be filed within six years of the date of the incident in question. If you did not discover a stock loss, investment loss, or other situation involving stockbroker misconduct until after the incident occurred, the six-year deadline may not begin until the discovery date. Unfortunately, if your FINRA complaint is not filed within six years, in most cases you will lose the chance to be awarded the compensation you might have otherwise won. If you believe you may have been the victim of stockbroker misconduct, don’t wait to speak with an attorney about filing a FINRA claim.
No, you cannot. When arbitrators issue a decision, the decision is final and is not able to be appealed. For this reason, many wronged investors will start off by going to mediation in the hopes of obtaining a settlement prior to going to arbitration. If mediation is unsuccessful, the next step is arbitration. Arbitration is typically less expensive, and decisions are generally issued more quickly than they would be if you tried to file a lawsuit against a crooked broker in the courts, which usually makes arbitration the more attractive option overall for investors who have suffered significant losses.
In FINRA mediation, an impartial and trained mediator helps brokers/brokerage firms and investors resolve disputes and reach settlements. Mediation is an informal process in which neutral mediators work to facilitate communication between the parties. Mediators do not make resolution decisions themselves, but instead encourage parties to reach agreements that are mutually acceptable. For mediation to occur, both sides must agree to it. Mediation can take place before arbitration or even during the arbitration process.
As previously mentioned, going to mediation is an excellent option if you want to avoid a hearing, and filing a lawsuit could be another option. The potential downsides to these methods is that a mediation settlement may not result in a full recovery of your losses, and a lawsuit can take years to resolve. FINRA arbitration is often the most likely to deliver the results you are looking for. Not only could you possibly recover full compensation for your losses, but you will have the opportunity to hold the liable party accountable for their misconduct, thus decreasing the chances that another investor will suffer damages as a result of the same irresponsible stockbroker or brokerage firm.
Investment disputes that come to FINRA are settled through arbitration (or mediation), not through a civil lawsuit. However, in some cases, investors may wish to file lawsuits through the courts rather than going to FINRA arbitration. But if you have signed an arbitration agreement with your brokerage firm, you probably will not be able to resolve your claim through a lawsuit in civil court. If you haven’t signed an agreement, our FINRA attorneys can help you explore your options for pursuing restitution to see what makes the most sense for your situation. Call us at 866.814.4939 to arrange a free consultation. Our attorneys are highly experienced at representing clients, both in FINRA arbitration and in civil litigation.
No—you don’t have to hire an attorney to file a complaint. If you believe your broker defrauded you and you want to report it to help protect other investors, you can file a complaint online with FINRA. Through an online FINRA complaint, you can initiate an investigation of your broker and/or the brokerage firm; if violation is found, FINRA will take appropriate actions against them. These actions could include fines, suspensions and even barring the broker from the industry. However, simply filing an online complaint with FINRA will not result in your getting your money back. To have a chance at getting compensation, you will have to take your claim to arbitration and/or mediation through FINRA. While you aren’t required to hire an attorney to arbitrate your case before FINRA, you stand a better chance of a favorable outcome if you do. Experienced FINRA attorneys understand what type of evidence is needed to prove fraud by stockbrokers and how to present the evidence to convince arbitrators in your favor. We cannot guarantee that an arbitration hearing will go your way — no attorney can. However, when you work with our FINRA lawyer, you can be sure that your case will be handled knowledgeably and professionally. Because, as previously stated, an arbitration decision cannot be appealed, it is to your great benefit to put your case in the best possible position for success. Our attorney has a greater than 95% success rate in recovering compensation for investors.
Anyone who invests in the stock market may be a victim of broker misconduct and fraud. Often people who are taken in by unethical brokers are passive investors who don’t regularly review their brokerage account statements, so they don’t realize that fraud is taking place. Elderly investors who have built up a lifetime of retirement savings are also often targets of unscrupulous brokers. In fact, elder abuse in investing has become a focus area for state and federal regulators. If you are a senior citizen who believes you have been the victim of broker fraud, our FINRA attorneys can help you understand your legal options. You can also get answers to your questions and report concerns about potential broker fraud at the FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors. Remember, though, everyone of any age who invests can become the victim of stockbroker fraud. All investors should carefully monitor their accounts for any unusual and potentially fraudulent activity.
If your broker is found guilty of investment fraud, in addition to paying you restitution, your stockbroker could lose their broker’s license and certifications. Stockbrokers who commit fraud may also face jail time and hefty criminal fines to punish them for their wrongdoing. If you lost significant money in an investment and believe it was due to intentional fraud or negligence, contact our FINRA attorney for legal guidance today. Our well-informed FINRA lawyers can be reached seven days a week by calling 800.931.8452 or using our contact form.