Annuities Fraud Claims Lawyers
At the law firm of Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter in Orlando, Florida, our annuities fraud lawyers have extensive experience representing people who have been financially hurt by securities fraud.
For most of us, saving up enough money to invest in the stock market takes a few years, perhaps many. Amassing enough, and investing it well enough, to support ourselves after retirement is a major goal. As we plan and save, looking forward to a comfortable and relaxed retirement, we expect the professionals, such as stockbrokers, to treat our money with the same care and respect that we give it.
Variable annuities are often bought by seniors as part of their retirement packet. The insurance company agrees to make periodic payments for the rest of your life, and a death benefit is included which guarantees a specified amount to your beneficiary.
They’re tax-deferred, but if you withdraw any money ahead of time there are steep charges. They’re a good money-maker for the insurer, who gets a generous up-front commission as well as annual trailer fees, plus fees charged for the mutual funds that are usually part of the annuity.
Investors don’t always do so well, as the funds aren’t liquid, so there’s a large fee for withdrawing any, and for an elderly person who may have sudden high healthcare costs, this can be a severe blow.
The combination of elderly clients and high commissions and fees for the insurer has made variable annuities a focus of fraud. Morgan Stanley has been facing a large lawsuit in Massachusetts for over-charging for them, after dealing with another such lawsuit only about a year previously, for which they paid a $50 million settlement amount.
If you’ve purchased variable annuities without being told the full story of how they work and what they cost, you may have a valid arbitration claim. Perhaps you’ve been given a promise of guaranteed returns; this would be false, because as their name suggests, variable annuities give returns that vary with the stock market.
At Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter we have a lot of experience representing victims of annuities fraud. We can help you assess your situation and determine what would be the best step to take next.