Have you been a victim of stockbroker fraud or negligence? If so, you may have a case against them. But, you have to proceed in the right way to obtain the best outcome.
Your case will come down to everything from your evidence to how you file your claim. That’s why you must have the right plan before suing your broker. Not sure what to do?
Don’t worry. We’ve you covered. We’ll give you 6 tips for suing your stock broker to get the best outcome possible. Read on to learn more!
6 Tips for Suing Your Stock Broker
Did you know that in 2017 the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) received 3,002 complaints? This number only includes the complaints investors submitted to them. Stockbroker fraud and negligence has been on the rise.
The worse thing about it is that many times investors don’t notice the losses. In other cases, they don’t investigate their advisor’s track record. Either way, the investors end up with the short end.
If you find that you’ve been a victim of stock fraud or negligence, you must start your claim process as soon as possible. Sometimes when you wait too long, you can lose your case.
To get the best outcome, you must understand and follow the process. That’s why we’re going to give you some tips to get the best outcome on your stockbroker fraud claim. Here are 6 tips to sue your stockbroker:
1. Conduct a Thorough Research
Before you file any claim or case, you must research about stockbroker fraud and negligence. What did your stockbroker do? Do their actions fit the elements of broker fraud or negligence?
A good place to start is researching the FINRA. This is the authority who regulate stockbrokers. You could use their BrokerCheck to see if this isn’t the first claim against your stockbroker.
This information could be part of your evidence. Also, you should search if the investment firm had recent claims against them. This can give you an idea of the possible outcome if you file a claim against the firm.
2. Gather All Your Evidence
It doesn’t matter the type of claim you decide to file, your evidence will make or break your case. To get the best outcome, you must gather all the relevant information you can find. You should take a look at your statements, communications, and agreements with your stockbroker.
Don’t forget to gather all your communications with the brokerage firm as well. The use of this evidence will depend on the type of claim you file. If you decide to file a case, your lawyer will need a lot of evidence to prove their case.
In contrast, if you claim goes through arbitration the process will be faster. The arbitration panel might take a look only at certain evidence proof.
3. Narrow Your Basis of Claim
In some cases, you might be able to prove several basis of claims. Yet, it might provide you with the best outcome if you only pursue the strongest claim. Was your stockbroker churning your account?
This happens when your broker places too many trades on your account to gain more commissions. Your stockbroker might’ve been outright negligent.
They didn’t supervise your account and their employees like they should’ve. Any of these claims aren’t easy to prove. That’s why your evidence must show significant control of the stockbroker over your account.
4. Review Your Brokerage Account Agreement
Many people forget about the first document a broker makes them sign to open their account. You should have a copy of it. It’s important that before you file a claim, you read your account agreement.
Today, most brokerage firms won’t open your account before you sign this document. The rule of thumb in the industry is to include an arbitration clause in the agreement.
If your account agreement has an arbitration clause, you won’t be able to file a lawsuit. Your recourse will be the FINRA dispute resolution procedure. The process may be faster.
But, your settlement might be smaller than in a lawsuit. You may hire an attorney to represent you in this process as well.
5. File the Right Type of Claim
In stockbroker fraud, you may file your claim using one of five options. These may vary on a case by case basis. You may file your claim with a regulatory agency.
The two agencies are the FINRA and SEC. Also, you may follow FINRA’s Arbitration Process. This option will depend on the brokerage account agreement you signed.
The last option is to file a lawsuit. It’s recommended that you do your research and get legal advice to make sure you’re filing the right type of claim.
6. Consult a Stock Loss Attorney
You may be able to file a complaint on your own through the FINRA or SEC. But, it’s recommended you consult a stock loss attorney before filing any claim or complaint. Suing a stockbroker is a tough process to navigate.
That’s why it will be better to have an expert in your corner to guide you. The right stock loss attorney will take their time to go over your evidence and your options. Also, they’ll discuss the possible outcomes and settlement amounts.
Your attorney should have experience in stockbroker complaints and settlements. Some stock market attorneys offer free case reviews. This can be a great way to get an expert to take a look at your claim.
Can You Win Your Case Against Your Stock Broker?
Yes, you can win your case against your stockbroker. It all starts with your research and evidence. Before suing your stockbroker, you must make sure you have a case against them.
Remember that you shouldn’t wait long after you have knowledge of the damage. Also, you must make sure your investment agreement didn’t include an arbitration clause. If this is the case, your claim must be seen through arbitration.
A great way to cover your bases is by consulting a stock market attorney. They’ll be able to represent you and give you a better idea about your options.
Do you need a stock attorney for you fraud or negligence case against your broker? We can help! Contact us to schedule your initial consultation today.