Victim of Stockbroker Fraud? Reach Out for Help.
Experienced FINRA Arbitration Attorney for Wronged Investors
It should come as no surprise that losing money on the stock market is a possibility. But when your investment losses are caused by the misconduct of your stockbroker, or even your brokerage firm, you have the right to seek full repayment of the money you’ve lost through arbitration with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA is responsible for overseeing the conduct of brokerage firms, stockbrokers, and financial advisors. When these parties engage in fraud or misconduct and their clients endure substantial financial losses, FINRA has the authority to order them to pay restitution. However, the only way you will get restitution is by proving to FINRA that your broker or financial advisor has wronged you. When you do, you may not only recover your losses, but you could possibly prevent other investors from being defrauded in the future.
Contact Us to Hold Your Broker Accountable
Our dedicated FINRA arbitration attorney is prepared to help you every step of the way. Before opening Wolper Law Firm to stand up for investors defrauded by unscrupulous stockbrokers, our attorney defended brokerages against fraud allegations. This comprehensive experience allows him to anticipate the legal arguments made by these firms and their brokers and be prepared to refute them. When we represent you, you can be sure that we will do everything possible to secure maximum recovery. Call our law firm at 800.931.8452 to arrange a free consultation.
Our FINRA Arbitration Lawyer Has Nearly Two Decades of Experience in Securities Litigation and Has Recovered Money in Over 99% of Fraud Cases. We Want to Help You, Too.
When to Call a FINRA Arbitration Lawyer
FINRA arbitration is designed to help investors who have lost money after being wronged by their brokers and financial advisors. There are many different types of misconduct, fraud, and negligence that can occur. But they all have one thing in common. There has been a breach of the broker’s fiduciary duty.
The fiduciary duty applies to all registered stockbrokers and financial advisors. It essentially says that the broker or advisor has an obligation to always act in the best interests of their client. In basic terms this means that investment suggestions must align with the goals of investors’ portfolios; brokers and advisors must do their due diligence with investment opportunities; and they must always prioritize the financial needs of investors.
Whenever this fiduciary duty has been breached, FINRA may be able to award the investor restitution for the losses that were caused by the actions or inactions of the broker. If you have lost a substantial amount of money and believe your broker did not act in your best interests, or if you are unsure whether your stockbroker should be held accountable for the loss you have suffered, it is time to contact a FINRA arbitration lawyer. Our FINRA attorney will examine the details of your case and advise you about potentially recovering your losses.
“Matt Wolper represented my interest, and those of my spouse and brother-in-law in a FINRA Arbitration. Not only was he representing three family members, but these members had wide variation in their levels of expertise in investments and in the legal issues surrounding them. Matt was very professional and consistently maintained an excellent level of communication. He not only represented us fairly, but provided us with appropriate and timely feedback, including explanations, reassurances and advise. I would recommend him and would not hesitate to use his services again.” – Jack G.
Types of Fraud Cases Arbitrated by FINRA
There are a variety of investment fraud cases that are eligible for FINRA arbitration. Some of the more common types of fraud include the following:
- Selling away. Selling away occurs when a broker sells investments that are not approved or offered by their own brokerage firm. Typically, these investments are high-risk and designed to make the broker money.
- Lack of diversification. Investment portfolios should be diversified across industries and product types to avoid undue risk to investors. If they are not and investors experience losses, brokers may be held accountable.
- Unsuitability. A broker must have a reason for recommending that the purchase or sale of an investment is suitable for a client’s portfolio. If they recommend investments that are not aligned with the objectives and risk tolerance of their clients, they may be liable for fraud.
- Excessive trading. Brokers get commissions on trades. Also known as churning, excessive trading is the practice of overtrading specifically to generate commissions.
- Failure to supervise. Brokerage firms are responsible for the actions of the brokers they employ. If a firm fails to properly train or supervise a broker who commits fraudulent or negligent acts, the firm as well as the broker may be held responsible.
- Investing on margin. Brokerage firms make money on margin accounts, which are accounts in which the investor is loaned money by the firm on a high-interest basis. Margin accounts are risky and complex and are subject to abuse by unethical brokers.
- Misrepresentation and/or omission. Misrepresentation and/or omission is when advisors and brokers make misleading statements, provide materially false information about a stock or other security, or leave out important facts in order to influence investment decisions.
- Unauthorized trading. Unauthorized trading is just what it sounds like: It is when brokers make trades in nondiscretionary investment accounts without the permission of investors.
Whether you believe you were the victim of one of these types of investment fraud or another not discussed here, our lawyer can investigate your suspicions to determine whether you may have a case for FINRA arbitration. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation.
How the FINRA Arbitration Process Works
Once you and your lawyer have determined that you have been defrauded, you can initiate a FINRA arbitration case if you are eligible under FINRA arbitration rules. Under the rules, your case must involve a broker or firm registered with FINRA and you must file a claim for arbitration within six years of when the misconduct occurred.
From there, a hearing will be scheduled and your FINRA arbitration lawyer from Wolper Law Firm will work diligently to build a powerful case with evidence to support your claim. Your case will be heard by either one or three neutral arbitrators—if your losses amount to $100,000 or more, your case will be heard by three—who are selected by both sides.
What happens in the arbitration hearing? The FINRA arbitration process is similar to court in that both sides have the opportunity to present evidence in the hearing to support their case or defend themselves. Your specific broker will need to explain to the arbitration panel why they made the decisions they did. Once the panel has heard the case, it will conduct an in-depth review to determine whether fraud occurred. If your broker was unable to convince the arbitration panel that they were acting in your best interests and the decision comes down in your favor, the panel will likely determine that you should be fully repaid for your losses.
From there, the broker will be ordered to compensate you, typically within 30 days. This is quite different from court proceedings, where it could take years in some cases before a decision is made, due to appeal after appeal.
FINRA Arbitration Decisions Cannot Be Appealed
The appeal is another difference between FINRA arbitration and courtroom litigation. You cannot appeal the arbitration decision if it does not go in your favor. The decision by arbitrators is final. For this reason, it is very much to your benefit if you have lost money due to broker fraud to get the representation of a qualified FINRA arbitration lawyer with a long record of success in winning restitution for clients. Having the assistance of a skilled investment fraud attorney can make the difference in your case.
Get Help from a Reputable FINRA Arbitration Attorney
If you are ready to hold your stockbroker accountable for defrauding you and are interested in learning more about how an experienced FINRA arbitration lawyer may be able to help, contact us to schedule a consultation. We offer wronged investors across the country no-cost case reviews to learn more about getting their money back through arbitration.
Call our FINRA arbitration lawyer today at 800.931.8452 for help or use our online contact form.
FINRA Arbitration Lawyers Answer Common Questions
Following are questions and general answers about the claim process that our FINRA arbitration lawyers commonly address. To have your concerns addressed specific to your situation, speak directly with a FINRA arbitration attorney from Wolper Law Firm.
According to FINRA, cases that go to arbitration hearings typically take 16 months to be resolved. When arbitration cases can be settled before a hearing, they may resolve in approximately one year. In either case, arbitration through FINRA is usually faster than going to court. When decisions go in favor of investors, brokers have 30 days to pay them.
While FINRA arbitration is often the most effective way to recover your investment, depending upon your situation, there may be other dispute resolution alternatives. Mediation through FINRA that results in a settlement is a possibility if both sides are agreeable. A civil lawsuit may be an option. However, many brokerage firms bind clients to arbitration. If this is true in your case, you would not be able to litigate your case through the court system.
You are not required to hire an attorney to file a complaint for arbitration with FINRA. However, you stand a better chance of financial recovery if you work with an experienced FINRA arbitration attorney. An attorney who is knowledgeable in this area will know what evidence to gather to make the most impact in your case. If your case goes to an arbitration hearing and you do not have legal representation, you will have to question witnesses from both sides, which can be intimidating. And you can be sure that the broker and/or brokerage firm will have attorneys defending them who are highly informed in securities law and the arbitration process. If you are not successful in arbitration you will not recover your money, because arbitrator decisions are final. Why take the chance? While our law firm cannot guarantee that an arbitration case will go in your favor (no attorney can), we can guarantee that your case will be treated with high importance and handled by a skilled attorney who has achieved success in the vast majority of fraud cases. Our attorney has an over-95% success rate in recovering money for investors.
In addition to filing a statement of claim for arbitration, you can also file an investor complaint about your broker and/or brokerage firm on the FINRA website. Complaints investigated by FINRA may result in disciplinary actions including fines, license suspensions and even barring from the securities industry. Filing a complaint with FINRA is not the same as filing a claim for arbitration, however. If you want to get financial recovery through FINRA, you will need to pursue arbitration or mediation. You can file a complaint in addition to seeking arbitration. Also, brokers who commit fraud can sometimes face prison time and criminal fines, depending upon the egregiousness of their misconduct.
Signs of Investment Fraud
Avoid Being a Victim by Knowing How Dishonest Brokers Operate
Here are some tactics dishonest brokers use to defraud investors. They include:
- Pressuring people to make fast decisions so they won’t lose out. Legitimate investment opportunities don’t simply disappear.
- Guaranteeing a stock or other security will perform in a certain way. There are no guarantees in investments.
- Offering an investment that is convoluted and unclear. If you cannot understand the risk, do not invest.
These are just some signs of misconduct. If you are witnessing any signs that make you suspicious and if you have seen losses in your portfolio, contact an attorney who focuses in helping investors get recoveries in fraud and negligence cases.
Our FINRA Arbitration Attorneys Seek Justice for Investors
When you trust a broker or financial advisor with your money, you expect them to look out for your interests. Unfortunately, not every broker is honest and ethical. If you believe you have been defrauded, a qualified FINRA arbitration lawyer at Wolper Law Firm can help you understand your options for seeking restitution. Our attorneys are committed to getting legal justice for investors.
Reach out to our office by phone at 800.931.8452 or through the convenient contact form we have included on this page to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. You can contact us seven days a week for help.