If you’re an investor and you’ve lost assets to fraud or another cause, you may be wondering if there is any way you can recover your investment. This is certainly an unfortunate situation to be in, but not all hope is lost—you can hire a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) attorney to help with your case. So, how exactly can a FINRA attorney help?
Determine if You Have a Reasonable Claim
One of the first steps your FINRA attorney will take is looking at the details of your case to determine if you actually have a viable claim. There are a lot of details to be considered, including but not limited to account statements, financial goals, level of risk associated with the investment, any promises or guarantees your broker made, and how well you understood what you were investing in.
FINRA attorneys will examine any and all details associated with your case to determine if you should take action to try to recover your losses—they may even offer a free consultation, during which they will review your case. It’s important to note that you cannot take action to recover losses if you lost assets due to market risk or another uncontrollable cause.
Discuss Your Options
Another great benefit of working with a FINRA attorney is that they can tell you about all of your options—there may be more than one path to take in order to retrieve your lost assets. A few common options are filing an arbitration or securities litigation. Typically, arbitration is an easier option because it doesn’t involve going to court and there is a neutral third party that will resolve the dispute.
This mediation can often result in a favorable outcome and be less expensive than taking your broker to court. But ultimately, your attorney will lay out all of your options and discuss the pros and cons of each. The next steps you take will all depend on what kind of investment you made and the promises you were given by your broker.
For example, if you were encouraged to invest in franchising opportunities and the franchise didn’t do as well as you were promised it would, this may call for legal action. However, it depends on what exactly you were told by the brokerage firm and many other details. While investing in a franchise business can offer many benefits, like being your own boss, seeing large gross sales, and gaining years of experience, you need to do so carefully.
Decide How to Prepare
Once all of your options have been explained, your attorney will help you decide which step you should take next. If your lawyer suggests arbitration, the next step is to file a statement of claim, which is essentially a legal complaint. Your statement of claim needs to have strong evidence proving the broker was at fault for your lost assets and should not be written by someone who doesn’t know the FINRA rules and regulations.
Your attorney will also help you prepare for the trial-like event that will follow. They will prepare opening statements against the brokerage firm, determine which evidence will help your case, and contact witnesses as needed. They will also handle all communication with the attorneys for the broker-dealers to avoid any miscommunication or accidental confessions.
The process following a lost investment can be complicated and stressful. So in order to have the best chance at recovering your losses and keeping your sanity, make sure to hire a FINRA attorney from a reputable and trustworthy law firm to help handle your claim.