Is It Possible To Recover What I Lost to an Investment Scam?
As an investor, you know that risks must be taken into account. You need to assess potential risks and recognize ways to mitigate them before every investment decision. Although some securities and assets carry more associated risks than others, there is one risk they all share in common: the potential for fraud.
If your stockbroker or financial advisor acted negligently, you have the right to pursue damages for your losses. Most disputes with brokers are dealt with through securities arbitration, in which a panel of arbitrators decides the outcome of your case. Once the panel reaches a decision, it is considered binding and final.
The securities arbitration lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter have built a reputation for excellence in these complex and difficult cases. We are committed to holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions and recovering our clients’ losses.
Assessing the Merits of Your Case
If you believe you may have been the victim of investment fraud, you must first determine the validity of your case. Not every investment loss is the result of misconduct, so it is important to understand exactly what happened and why.
Investment fraud can take many forms, and these types of cases can be incredibly complex. It is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable securities arbitration lawyer who can review the critical details of your case, such as:
- The goals of your investment
- The Information your broker provided
- You account activity
- Your total loss amount
What to Do If You Believe You Are the Victim of Investment Fraud
If you believe–or even suspect–that you are the victim of securities fraud, consider taking the following actions:
Gather all records related to your investment, such as:
- Trade confirmations
- Correspondence with the stockbroker or firm
- Regular account statements
In addition to preserving emails and written statements, document all communications you had with your broker and/or firm, including phone calls.
Do Not Take Actions That Can Be Used Against You
Although your first instinct may be to resolve the issue directly, avoid sending a written complaint letter to your broker. Anything you send, whether it is an email or mailed letter, can be used to damage your claim. It is imperative to avoid taking any actions that can be used against you.
Talk to a Securities Arbitration Lawyer
Brokerage firms employ the assistance of vast legal teams. These attorneys will do everything possible to avoid liability for your losses. When making a claim, be sure that you have an experienced securities arbitration lawyer on your side. A seasoned attorney will build your strongest case and protect your rights and best interests.
Understanding the Arbitration Process
The process for recovering an investment loss begins with filing a claim with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA). This process usually proceeds through four phases:
Phase One – Filing the Statement Claim
To begin FINRA proceedings, you will detail your version of the facts related to your investment dispute and request for damages. This is done through a Statement of Claim filed by your attorney on your behalf. Once the Statement of Claim is filed, it will be served on the “Respondent”, (the broker or firm against whom the claim is filed). After reviewing the Statement of Claim, the broker or firm will respond with a Statement of Answer. This contains the Respondent’s response to the dispute and claim for damages.
Phase Two – Arbitrator Selection
During this phase, one to three FINRA arbitrators are randomly selected from a predetermined list. The amount of damages in the claim will dictate the number of arbitrators selected. A prehearing conference is then held, once the arbitrators have been identified. During the prehearing conference, the arbitrators, your lawyer, and the Respondent’s lawyer will schedule a final hearing date and settle certain procedural issues for the claim, such as the discovery timeline.
Phase Three – Exchanging Information
During this phase of the FINRA claim process, your lawyer and the lawyer of the Respondent will exchange information regarding the facts and details of the investment. Your attorney may then work to negotiate a settlement. If a fair settlement cannot be achieved, your lawyer will prepare for a final hearing.
Phase Four: Final Arbitration Hearing
The final arbitration hearing is the final phase of the claim process. During this phase, your lawyer will present the facts in your case and argue against the Respondent’s defense. Once arguments have been given, the arbitrators will give a final decision. This usually happens within a 30-day period. When a decision has been made, all parties involved will be notified. If the case is decided in your favor, the stockbroker or firm must generally pay you the damages within 30 days from the date the decision is announced.
Call Our Securities Arbitration Lawyers Today
If you were the victim of securities fraud, you need an experienced securities arbitration lawyer on your side. Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter has extensive experience helping investors recover money in FINRA and other securities arbitrations. Our accomplished attorneys are standing by to help you obtain the justice you deserve.
Contact our office today online or at (800) 766-1000 for a free consultation. We proudly serve clients throughout the State of Florida and Nationwide.