FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Tracy Pride Stoneman
Q: I think I may be the victim of securities fraud. What should I do?
A: If you think you may be the victim of securities fraud you should take immediate action! Contact the law offices of Stoneman Law, (800) 783-0748. Or, you may fill out our contact form and Ms. Stoneman will contact you to discuss your situation shortly.
Q: My Stockbroker/Brokerage Firm/financial Advisor wants to meet to resolve my problem. Should I accept the invitation to meet?
A: It is your right and privlege to meet with these representatives however, in my experience most clients come away frustrated and have felt the meeting was a waste of their time. RED FLAGS! Firms often offer to conduct an exhaustive investigation to get to the bottom of the issue and to take action if they find any misconduct or inappropriate activity. Don't be fooled, just because their "" determines no misconduct or inappropriate activity has occured does not mean that you do not have a case. You should still seek legal counsel and let a professional review your situation and determine if you have a case!
Q: How long can I wait before I file something?
A: The only thing that stops the time clock from ticking is your filing of an with FINRA. This is different than making a complaint to FINRA. You can make a complaint to FINRA on your own but you should only file an arbitration claim with the assistance of an attorney. Likewise, only an attorney can evaluate whether you have waited too long to take action. It’s not a black and white issue and many factors influence your ability to proceed, such as the broker reassuring you that you have nothing to worry about. So talk to an attorney soon. Ms. Stoneman is always happy to talk to you.
Q: Will my arbitration be private?
A: Yes. Unlike court cases where reporters routinely scour the filings of parties for newsworthy items of interest, this cannot be done in a FINRA arbitration – by reporters or any third party. The entire proceeding is private – everything that is filed and the actual hearing itself. The only way that it would get into the press (you will notice that several of Tracy’s cases have been in the press) is if Tracy obtains the permission of her client to do so.
Q: I live outside of the United States and believe that I have been a victim of securities fraud. Whom do I contact to file a claim?
A: Contact Ms. Stoneman of Stoneman Law.
Q: Will you take my case?
A: There is no charge to speak with Ms. Stoneman regarding your case. Take a moment and fill out our contact form. Ms. Stoneman will contact you to discuss your situation shortly.
DON'T GO IT ALONE!
You should seek legal counsel! Ms. Stoneman of Stoneman Law is a securities arbitration attorney and is always happy to discuss your situation. She will advise you whether your case is good or bad and what you should do and all at no charge.
Contact Ms. Stoneman - Stoneman Law Offices - Texas & Colorado. (800) 783-0748 Free Consultation - Representing Clients Nationwide
DID YOU KNOW AND SECURITIES IN THE NEWS!
Because Montana is close to Colorado, where I live, I am more familiar with its securities laws and regulations and Montana arbitrators. Because arbitrators are from the state or region where the investor resides, my familiarity with the arbitrator roster and individual arbitrators in Montana and surrounding states is a significant benefit. And remember that I do not need to be licensed in the state of Montana in order to represent Montana investors in securities arbitrations. I don’t even need to affiliate with local counsel. I also have the benefit of the knowledge of my husband Douglas Schulz (www.securitiesexpert.com), who has been hired in over 1,140 securities related matters and testified in over 637 FINRA arbitrations and civil cases regarding investment and brokerage disputes. Because the majority of his expert work is also in Colorado and surrounding states, he too is very familiar with Montana securities arbitrators and arbitrations.
Sometimes clients come to Stoneman Law who are still friends with the stockbroker who has caused them damage. This can make for a difficult situation, however, the protocol at Stoneman Law is to not sue the broker but rather to only sue the brokerage firm. The firm is responsible for the wrongdoing of the stockbroker under a doctrine recognized by every state in the country: Respondeat Superior or “Let the Master Answer”. The brokerage firm has the money to pay anyway whereas the stockbroker may not.
Investors in Montana are protected by legislative laws and statutes together with industry rules that prohibit brokers from engaging in fraud, unsuitable sales, churning, unauthorized trading, failure to supervise, breach of fiduciary duty, or negligence. Below are useful links and resources covering some of the investor protections available in the State of Texas:
- The Montana Securities Department (link is http://csimt.gov/securities/ ) is in the Office of the Montana State Auditor and is the State's Regulatory Agency that is responsible for the regulation of the securities industry in Montana. It protects your investments by ensuring compliance with the Securities Act of Montana and investigate any complaints of fraud or improper practices.
The site boasts that is has over 97,000 stockbroker and investment adviser representatives registered to do business in the state of Montana.
- The Securities Act of Montana (link is http://csimt.gov/securities/laws/) is a state law regulating the securities industry. The Act contains provisions for the registration of securities, exemptions and sanctions for violations.
- FINRA (link is http://www.finra.org/) is an independent regulatory agency that regulates all broker-dealers in the United States.
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)(link is https://www.sec.gov/) also creates and enforces the securities laws.
Stoneman Law represents investors in all major Montana cities including Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Kalispell, Havre, and Anaconda. Consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.
Where Do FINRA Arbitrations Take Place in Montana?
All arbitrations for Montana residents take place in Helena.
And remember that arbitrations take place in the state where the investor resides, NOT where the brokerage firm or stockbroker office!!
Montana Securities News:
July 5, 2017. State regulators rarely are able to recover money for investors, however, they sure try. The Montana Securities Department was successful in getting the president of a bankrupt regional restaurant group to pay more than $1.7 million in restitution to 13 investors in a Montana securities fraud case. Ken Hatzenbeller was president of Shoot the Moon LLC, which owned 11 Chili's restaurants in Montana, Idaho and eastern Washington. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2015. Everyone agreed, though, that it was unlikely that Hatzenbeller would be able to pay the restitution.