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Bailing Out Deadbeat Arbitration Awards

More than $62 million in FINRA arbitration awards have never been paid, according to a recent study.

That means that one out of every three investors who were defrauded, misled and wronged by their investment adviser and then took the matter to arbitration, litigated and won - never got paid.

Now FINRA CEO Richard Ketchum said FINRA was looking into setting up a fund for unpaid awards. Testifying before a Senate subcommittee on March 3, Ketchum told Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), "Something should be done about it. We are looking at whether, one way or another, there should be a fund to try to at least address the small investors that are terribly harmed."

Ketchum was not specific about the type of fund he had in mind. But such a fund, which would require SEC approval, was proposed in a study last month by the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association.  For years, the federal courts in New Jersey have had a fund for unpaid awards to help people who have gone to court, only to lose out on deadbeat defendants. That fund is paid in part by lawyers from out of state who waive in to try a case and have to pay a fee.

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