Variable annuity investments combine insurance and investment features, offering investors a range of options. They typically include a mix of securities such as stocks and bonds. However, the complexities of these investments and the high commissions paid to brokers that sell them can create opportunities for fraudulent practices.
If you know or suspect you have incurred investment losses due to fraud related to variable annuities, you need and deserve professional legal assistance. A knowledgeable variable annuity investment fraud lawyer from Erez Law PLLC can interpret the intricate securities laws and regulations surrounding these investment products. They can also provide useful guidance, protect your rights as an investor, and help you explore all avenues for recovering your losses.
Identifying Variable Annuity Investment Fraud
Identifying variable annuity fraud begins with understanding how brokers and other financial professionals may misrepresent these complex variable annuity products. A broker or financial advisor might provide inaccurate or incomplete information about the high risks, high fees, or potential low returns of variable annuities. This leads investors to make decisions based on false pretenses. Brokers may also fail to consider the suitability of variable annuity investments, given their client’s risk tolerance.
Common signs of variable annuity fraud include:
- High-pressure sales tactics or aggressive persuasion by brokers who recommend variable annuities
- Promises of guaranteed investment returns with low risk
- Surrender charges and other hidden fees that were not properly disclosed at the time of entering into the variable annuity contract
- Recommendations that seem unsuitable for the investor’s retirement age, financial status, or risk tolerance
- Misleading statements about the features or benefits of the annuity
- Excessive trading of annuity products (also known as “churning”)
- Lack of clear, understandable information regarding withdrawal penalties and terms
The Role of a Lawyer in Fraud Cases
Investment fraud lawyers can help clients who have lost money due to their broker’s or financial advisor’s misconduct. Their knowledge of financial regulations and arbitration procedures allows them to manage these challenging cases effectively in these and other ways:
- Assessing the Validity of a Potential Fraud Claim: Investment fraud lawyers critically evaluate the circumstances of each case to determine whether the evidence supports a fraud claim.
- Gathering and Analyzing Evidence of Misrepresentation or Misconduct: Securities fraud attorneys meticulously collect and scrutinize documents, communications, and transaction records to uncover any misrepresentation or misconduct by brokers.
- Filing FINRA Arbitration Claims: Lawyers handle the filing process for arbitration claims with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), ensuring accuracy and procedural compliance.
- Navigating State and Federal Securities Laws: Attorneys understand and interpret the complexities of state and federal laws governing securities to offer informed legal advice.
- Evaluating Financial Losses and Potential for Recovery: Attorneys assess the financial impact of investment fraud on their clients and estimate the potential for recovering losses.
- Representing Clients During Arbitration: Lawyers represent their clients in the FINRA arbitration process, advocating on their behalf and highlighting evidence of fraudulent practices.
- Facilitating Settlements with Brokerage Firms: They negotiate with brokerage firms to reach settlements that are in the clients’ best interests.
- Handling the Collection of Awards or Settlements: Lawyers manage the collection process once they reach a settlement or award to ensure their clients receive the compensation they are due.
Contact an Investment Fraud Lawyer Now
If you believe you’re a victim of variable annuity investment fraud, don’t try to handle this challenging situation alone. Erez Law PLLC can help. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and let us help you seek the justice and recovery you deserve.
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