Have you invested money in a mutual fund that is suddenly worth far less than it was originally? Have you discovered hidden costs in an investment which were not disclosed to you? Do you suspect your investment adviser of not playing by the rules when it comes to your assets?
You may need a securities fraud lawyer.
If you think you have been the victim of a financial scam or incompetent financial advice, here are three things you should look for in a lawyer to help you.
1) A Winning Track Record
Talk to prospective counsel to see if they have represented other investors who have been cheated. Ask about how much they have recovered for clients, and under what circumstances.
Securities fraud lawyers help investors who have been scammed by fake companies. They may also represent retirees who have succumbed to unqualified or felonious brokers claiming to work in their best interests. Increasingly, they represent investors who strongly disagree with corporate actions such as mergers which prove detrimental to company value.
Find someone who has represented others in similar circumstances to you.
2) Arbitration Experience
Many large financial institutions and brokerage houses ask clients to sign an arbitration agreement when they begin a relationship. This means that in the case of a dispute, you forego your right to go to trial and instead agree to have the dispute settled by an arbitrator.
Most customer agreements between a brokerage or investment entity state that in the case of dispute, the resolution will be resolved through the forum known as FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Arbitration sometimes favors the financial organization over individual plaintiffs. Banks and investment houses may have deep pockets and powerful law firms at the ready to defend claims.
If you think you have a case against a financial adviser, find an attorney who has experience arbitrating these cases. The rules are different than in a courtroom. Relationships within the system and knowledge of the players can help too.
You want a securities lawyer who has achieved generous settlements on behalf of plaintiffs in financial arbitrations. For one example, read more here
3) Understanding Class Actions
If you have been taken advantage of by an investment adviser, brokerage house, or fund, chances are you are not the only one. There may be many other people who are in the same boat.
If there are numerous claims against an institution or individual responsible for financial fraud, there may be grounds for a class action suit.
If you are part of a class action suit, you have the advantage of joining with many other people whose experience mirrors yours. This can bolster your case by showing this was a pattern of behavior.
However, class action suits can be complicated and take a long time. If you think you may be a part of a much larger case, make sure you choose an attorney with experience in this specialized area of the law.
It’s Your Money: Hire a Securities Fraud Lawyer
Many people are embarrassed when they realize they have lost money by investing with an unscrupulous organization. It’s hard to admit that you didn’t realize you were the victim of fraud.
However, do not let pride stand in the way of recovering what was taken away. Find an experienced securities fraud lawyer to help you get back what is owed you.
For more practical, real life advice on any challenge, keep checking back.