I’ve seen a few requests to find out what happened in FINRA’s mediation hearing/kangaroo court. So I will oblige your request even though I was forced to sign a disclaimer to never talk of the reaming I took at the legal hand of FINRA’s mediation mockery. So here’s what happened.
Up till my hearing date I had to sell just about everything in order to save my home and stay alive. This included selling my vehicles, an entire music studio & instruments that took me 25 years to aquire, tools, my parents wedding rings, art, etc etc. The local pawn shops have made a killing off of me.
So instead of walking 60 miles to my hearing in Denver I took a cab for $200. The driver was a real life natzi. I had to pawn my phone for cab fair. Having worked for a Jewish firm in Chicago for many years, the ride was a bit awkwardly intolerable.
I felt I was going to my own funeral & I wasn’t far from the truth. The police now occasionly do courtesy checks on me to see if I’ve finnally committed suicide. TDA brought their corpo attorney all the way from lovely Nebraska & another from a Denver firm to cut his teeth. The mediator might as well have been wearing a TDA tie, and I’m pretty sure he was wearing a toupee. Hell they even went out to lunch together while I waited in a conference room. He brought me a turkey sandwich & a cookie. I saved the cookie for later.
Up till then I hadn’t eaten a proper meal for around two weeks due to lack of funds because my food stamps ran out. This technique is used to gain trust by interrogators, and I certainly felt as though I was at a sentencing hearing. My crime was thinking TDA was on the level.
I was representing myself & soon learned there was no hope. Financially I forced to go to mediation 30 days before my hearing and without proper legal council, was shit out of luck. So one bit of advice is to have legal council, and if possible meet them in person. I had an attorney I paid who was “guiding” me, but was really no help at all. She made more money than my settlement. I never met her in person and she made a nice sum of money for pounting out the obvious. I felt a bit swindled again. When your down the jackles have their way.
The process of choosing a mediator was a bit wonky. TDA struct all mediator choices except for one. I ranked mine and because he was not struct, FINRA chose him even though he was not a top pick. So TDA got their guy with a 90% settlement rate. I wonder why?
The mediator gets paid handsomely either way so without legal council, my arguments went unheared. I tried to open my case and explain my arguments but you know your in trouble when the mediator says he doesn’t understand the math, or the terminology of ECN’s or most of my technical analysis. So I was doomed from the get go. So get a professional financial analyst to dumb down the technical points in lay man’s terms for the arbitration council.
TDA tried to make arguments but I covered them. One good one was where they said, “On my taxes it says trader.” But the fact is the account was mearly a retirement vehicle, and I was also a real estate agent, construction worker, consultant, janitor, & head cook & bottle washer. Trader seemed like the most applicable and politically correct.
My case was never opened, and all we did for 9 hours was negotiate a $ amount. I started at around $250,000, and TDA’s first offer was for $175. So the mediator went back and forth for 9 hours and eventually I had to settle on a paultry sum because I had no choice. I don’t wish to disclose the amount because it is embarasing.
The mediator even had the audacity to say, “my case was the most well put together than he had ever seen.” It took me a year to put together only to run out of money and forced to settle for peanuts. TDA brilliantly pushed the arbitration date out as far as possible, saying their plate was full, only to quickly snap up an earlier date for mediation. Humm. Classic.
TDA got away with murder, and both of their attorneys most likely high fived each other on a lay up case at a steak dinner while I rode home 60 miles in a natzi cab with a cookie. But the mediator kept up his 90% settlement rate.
TDA got off cheap because a full on arbitration hearing would be more expensive. I’ve been told the settlement amount is refered to as a “gift.” But it was really just a way for TDA to use it as a tax loss on the corpo balance sheet. While I swing from the perverbial gallows.
What happens afterward? You become one of the lost. I’ve had over 20 different jobs in a year and a half, walked up to 20 miles a day to & from minimum wage jobs, & put over 1000 miles on my bike in 3 months. You find yourself riding in monsoon rains, hail, snow etc. Catching the horrible H1 flu cuz you can’t see a doc. Aggrivating a Lynn Frank foot injury where you rip the tendons off the metatarals in your foot. Get put on 2 anti depressants until you can’t think, unable to afford your heart meds so it doesn’t fail. Or unable to walk because of multiple spinal injuries after working back breaking jobs. Good times.
The not so funny part is I’ve never even utilized NFLX’s wonderfull streaming platform. Hell I can’t afford cable or internet anymore, let alone food for Christ’s sake. This blog has been entirely written on a smart phone. With the loot I’ve lost, I should get a lifetime subscription but I can’t afford cable.
The mediator was very up front about my dismal hopes without an attorney. His snide remarks/jabs included, “You’d have been better off flushing your money down a toilet,” or “you have no leveredge,” or “do you know any good places to eat on Chicago because I have a case there soon.” His demeaner was condesentary and aloof, and I knew I was screwed because he was from lovely Boulder, CO. I unfortunately live in the taint of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
The aftermath is unfortunate. You find yourself working with people on work release from jail, ironic considering my FINRA mediation felt more like a sentencing hearing. I was sentenced to abject poverty for life.
I was basically pushed into a corner and pulverized for nine hours to no avail by TDA’s corpo thugs. Not a fun afternoon. All for nothing.
You unfortunately find yourself reduced to the lowest common social denominator. Taking any job you can find, living day to day, falling into the financial debt pit. Hitting up the local food pantries, looking for clothing at Good Will, etc. Always wondering where the next meal may come from, and keeping the foreclosers at bay. The best part is you buy food for your dog and sacrifice your own.
You go from a Toyota Tundra to a 1979 El Cameno that smokes like the Uncle Buck mobile. But it has potential. Just like my case. Hopefully an attorney will see the infractions & viability of my case to help save a life.
More nonsensical posts to come describing my demise, what you should do in FINRA case, & how to hopefully survive with nothing in these most peculiar of times in a town that thinks a new baseball park smack down town will be the solution to its economic depression.