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Don't Wait to Complain!

May 30, 2017

The law imposes deadlines on the time you have to file a complaint.  Generally, claims for fraud or breach of fiduciary duty must be brought within three years of when you knew the facts which would support the claim.  Claims for securities fraud must also be brought within three years.  Claims for negligence must be brought within two years.  The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration rules prevent you from bringing a claim in arbitration more than six years after the investment.

With the growth of alternative investments in what are essentially broker-sponsored private funds, it is often difficult for an investor to know whether the investment is performing as it was represented at the time of the investment.  Often, the value of the investment never changes on your monthly statements until it suddenly fails without notice.  If you suspect that it is not performing as represented, talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.  Too often, these investments fail long after they were sold, preventing you from bringing legal claims.

Similarly, don’t wait to complain because your broker is your friend or you don’t want to get them into trouble.  If you have a problem with an investment, address the issue before you run out of time to bring a claim.