Most investors invest through an investment firm or securities professional. They sign a lot of paperwork. In amongst that paperwork is an agreement that they sign. It says that if there is a problem, the investor agrees to a specific resolution process. They basically give up their right to civil court. They agree instead to be bound by FINRA arbitration.
What is FINRA?
FINRA stands for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. They oversee securities professionals, and brokerage firms.
How Long Do I Have To File a FINRA Claim?
If an investor suspects wrongdoing, or that their investment was mishandled, they have up to six years to file a FINRA claim.
How Do I File a FINRA Claim?
You must complete a Statement of Claim. Once completed, it’s mailed to your nearest FINRA office. You will submit filing fees with your claim. They can be as high as $1800.00. You must also agree at that time to adhere to FINRA’s rules.
What Happens After I File My Statement of Claim?
The party you filed the claim against has 45 days to respond. Once they do, the arbitrators are selected. One to three arbitrators will serve, depending on the amount of the claim. Next, both sides will go through the discovery process. After that, a time and place are set for the arbitration hearing.
What Does an Arbitration Hearing Consist of?
Now, the hearing start to resemble a civil trial. Each side calls witnesses and presents evidence. There are closing arguments at the end.
When Will I Find Out if I Won?
The arbitrations panel will issue a written decision within 30 days.
I’ve given you the basics here. FINRA Arbitration is complex, and can be confusing. If you feel as though you’re ready to file a FINRA claim and enter the arbitration process, do yourself a favor. Hire an accomplished attorney, one that specializes in investment law, and let them handle it for you.