possible BAI class action law suit

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U2's picture
U2
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After speaking with serveral law firms, we believe that there may be grounds for a class action suit for deceptive and fraudulent hiring practices.  We are gathering names and contact info. of FA's who believe that they were misled when they were recruited at Bank of America Investment Services.  If you believe that you were misled or lied to when you were hired by BAI and want to participate in a possible class action suit, please send me a PM with your contact information.

Incredible Hulk's picture
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ugh.

nestegg's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-14

Oh boy...you mean you didn't know that working for a bank was a bad idea to begin with!

KensLoveChild's picture
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U2 wrote:After speaking with serveral law firms, we believe that there may be grounds for a class action suit for deceptive and fraudulent hiring practices.  We are gathering names and contact info. of FA's who believe that they were misled when they were recruited at Bank of America Investment Services.  If you believe that you were misled or lied to when you were hired by BAI and want to participate in a possible class action suit, please send me a PM with your contact information.So, exactly how many law firms did you speak with before finding one that would file yet another frivolous law suit?Get in line.

NOVA's picture
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You joined July 2, 2009?  No wonder you were surprized.

NOFX's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-22

Will you please disclose the average production of the people you sign up?  That will be the punch line.

whalehunter's picture
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500k

trailman's picture
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Count me in!  I'll send you my info.  I agree that I was absolutely misled when I was recruited.  They are the worst!  You had to be there to understand.  

trailman's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-21

Not as much as Whale, but 400k if it matters!

alwaysbullish's picture
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What he is suggesting is hardly frivolous.  U2 is totally on target.  I know of a dozen people who were promised things that were not delivered upon once they were on board and they relied on these representations to their detriment including me.  I will be in contact privately and I will encourage those I know to do the same.  I would also encourage anyone else to do so.  This is not a case of sour grapes.  This is a case of a broad pattern of misrepresentation in their recruiting practices.

Incredible Hulk's picture
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I can't help but wonder if "U2" has a partner across the hall that is currently seeking "misled or lied to" investors upset that the market has fallen.

A hand in every pocket...

Jersey2008's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-09

You must be an executive with B of A, If you knew the details or were involved in the situation you would feel differently.  Thank you for your glowing contribution! It would be nice to see fellow representative ban together to help build a great ethical community for the financial services industry......oh, thats right...that what we are suppose to do!  So , your negative comment does not help!

Jersey2008's picture
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I forgot that they allowed the lawyers of B of A to repsond to the Advisors forums.

Incredible Hulk's picture
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Dude, you (or anyone else for that matter) that took a check have sold your soul to the devil for the next 5, 7 or 9 years. If there was a breach of contract, by all means, file suit, but there is no need for a class action. If you were "misled" but didn't have anything in writing, then cry me an f'in river.

Popeye $'s picture
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I'm wondering if U2 is Mark Benson looking for disgruntled BAI advisors to can next.

13&Counting's picture
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I will be in contact with you.  I also know of multiple advisors with very similar stories of misleading recruiting practices.  I had a solid practice prior to BAI, but my firm was about to be purchased by another bank.  So, I took the proactive approach and starting looking and based on what was said by BAI during my recruiting process I a made the change, BIG mistake.  I am now on the independent side rebuilding.  Hindsight I should have moved this direction before moving to BAI, or at least should have stayed with my prior firm and dealt with whatever hand the takeover bank was going to offer.  Yes, one could say that we are just crying a river, that is if there were only one or two of us.  There is a distinct pattern here that happened to advisors from all walks of life, with a wide range of productions levels, experience levels and book sizes.  Also, at least in my case, this has nothing to do with the market correction and everything to do with BAI's need to say and do anything to get me to sign on the dotted line.  The purchase of Merrill was very timely for BAI, because word was getting out and their recruiting was drying up fast and advisors were walking.  Bottom line - if I closed sales transactions in the same manner in which they have been known to recruit I would probably lose my license.  And, don't even get me started on the impact this entire mess has had on my family!

WORLD PEACE's picture
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Incredible Hulk wrote:Dude, you (or anyone else for that matter) that took a check have sold your soul to the devil for the next 5, 7 or 9 years. If there was a breach of contract, by all means, file suit, but there is no need for a class action. If you were "misled" but didn't have anything in writing, then cry me an f'in river.
 
well put

burtonfinancial1's picture
Joined: 2008-09-30

I have a contact for any current BAI FAs who would like some help with an exit strategy. PM me and I'll hand that off. This particular firm has brought me some solid advisors over time and I've been told they've helped some disgruntled BAI FAs land some nice opportunities in a few areas as of late.  One positive note about being at BAI right now is the fact that you're more marketable than most FAs at other bank programs. That's huge given the circumstances at that lousy place. 

robbedbybofa's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-13

I am interested and have done a lot of homework on this issue.. please send me an email with your contact info.
you can go to finra.org and read the arbitrations online and a lot of them are deceiving.  PLEASE NOTE THAT A LOT OF THE AWARDS SAY, " STIPULATED AGREEMENT" --- WHICH ONLY MEANS THAT THE AWARD SHOWN ON THE FINRA WEBSITE IS ONLY GOOD IF THE TWO PARTIES "SECRET AGREEMENT," (WHICH THEY DONT SHOW) IS NOT MET.   A LOT OF BOFA BROKERS ARE SETTLEING FOR PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR..  I SPOKE WITH A FEW OF THEM WHO HAD THE STIPULATED AGREEMENT AND THEY SETTLED FOR 50 CENTS OR LESS ON THE DOLLAR...
I ALSO SPOKE WITH ONE OF THE LAWYERS WHO RESPONDS ON REP. AND HE SAID THAT BOFA MAIN GOAL IS TO AVOID SHOWING BROKERS WINNING ON THE FINRA WEBSITE... THEY ARE WORRIED...

trailman's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-21

Very well put!  We all have very similar stories!

Jersey2008's picture
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I know a few more guys that have had the same experience with B of A, apparently, B OF A  is starting to give problems to their pathways guys.

Behavioral_FA's picture
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a

robbedbybofa's picture
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VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE  (this can save you a lot of money  -- send me a gift)-----  ONE OF THE MANY REASONS I LEFT  BAI WAS BECAUSE OF THE NEW PAY PLAN THAT THEY ROLLED OUT IN 2009... DROPPING SOME OF OUR PAYOUTS BY 5 TO 30 PERCENT!!..again..
WHEN I LEFT,  MY HEALTHCARE WENT FROM $450 A MONTH TO $1100 WITH COBRA.... I CALLED THE BAI PERSONEL AND THEY TOLD ME THAT I DID NOT QUALIFY FOR THE COBRA CONTINUATION COVERAGE AND ASSISTANT ACT BECAUSE I RESIGNED.....  SO I STARTED PAYING THE COBRA ETC..... A FEW MONTHS LATER A FRIEND TOLD ME, "THAT JUST BECAUSE YOU RESIGNED DOESNT MEAN YOU DONT QUALIFY..." SOOOOOOO I CALLED THE BANK  BACK AGAIN AND THEY SAID NOOOOOOO... SO  I CALLED THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND THEY RETURNED MY CALL!!!....(CANT FIND HIS NUMBER), BUT HE DIRECTED ME TO  THEIR WEBSITE..  WWW.DOL/GOV AND THE TOLD ME TO LOOK AT IRS NOTICE 2009-27  http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-09-27.pdf...  AND HAD ME READ TO HIM PAGE 7  #Q-7 AND HE EXPLAINED THAT I QUALIFIED....ECT...  SO HE HAD ME FILL OUT  THE ONLINE form-- THE "APPLICATION FOR REVIEW OF DENIAL OF COBRA FORM -- ON THEIR WEBSITE. ETC.... I GOT A CALL AND QUALIFIED !!!!! the US. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR DETERMINED THAT I WAS INVOL. TERMINATED DO TO THE PAY CUTS...  MY HEALTHCARE IS CHEAPER NOW THEN WHEN I WAS WORKING FOR BAI.... (for at least 9 months)... 
HOPE THIS HELPS!!

whalehunter's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-28

Interesting, I looked into these guys and there are some serious name brand attorneys involved. Looks like this will not be a class but many arb's. BofA should be nervous. VERY nervous.

U2's picture
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Yes we have been able to retain some top notch legal help and they are very enthusiastic about our chances.In case anyone is interested these are the people who have agreed to litigate our cases.
 
Climaco, Lefkowitz, Peca, Wilcox & Garofoli Co., LPA,
Luque Geragos Marino LLP and the
Piscitelli Law Firm
 
They are doing this on a contingency basis and are interested in gathering as many plaintiffs as possible to strengthen the individual cases as well as demonstrate a clear and distinct pattern of willful misrepresentation during the hiring process.  If you have any interest in discussing your situation please contact me via a private message.
 

Behavioral_FA's picture
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b

BeenThere's picture
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U2,
 
Thanks for putting in the legwork.   I will be contacting those firms.
 
Just curious, have you already left BAI?  If so, which route did you take...(indipendent or other)?  
 
Signed,
Will never work for a wirehouse again.

BACFA's picture
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robbedbybofa,
 
ALL CAPS for a sentence means you're yelling.  For a whole paragraph, it sounds like you're screaming.

U2's picture
U2
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IT"S TIME TO FIGHT BACK:
 
Some of the affected agents have retained counsel to represent them in connection with this matter.  If anyone has similar issues or information which they believe would be helpful, and you would like or are willing to discuss it with these lawyers, you are encouraged to contact them as follows:
 
                                  In the midwest:  John R. Climaco  877-621-1228  JRCLIM@climacolaw.com
                                  West Coast:    Mark J. Geragos 213-625-3900 mgeragos@luquegeragos.com
                                  East Coast:        Daniel Marino 202-223-8888-- dmarino@luquegeragos.com

whalehunter's picture
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I would suggest a new thread as this is not a class but will be ind actions with the benefit of multiple disclosures.

U2's picture
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U2 wrote:IT"S TIME TO FIGHT BACK:
 
Some of the affected agents have retained counsel to represent them in connection with this matter.  If anyone has similar issues or information which they believe would be helpful, and you would like or are willing to discuss it with these lawyers, you are encouraged to contact them as follows:
 
                                  In the midwest:  John R. Climaco  877-621-1228  JRCLIM@climacolaw.com
                                  West Coast:    Mark J. Geragos 213-625-3900 mgeragos@luquegeragos.com
                                  East Coast:        Daniel Marino 202-223-8888-- dmarino@luquegeragos.com

Mark Geragos' number and email address was incorrectly typed.  Sorry for the confusion, it has been corrected.

whalehunter's picture
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trailman's picture
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Ok, so I spoke to one of these attorneys and they believe we have a strong case.  Apparently, they are gathering information from brokers around the country that we can all benefit from in our fight against them.  I remember seeing on this forum months ago where someone suggested financial advisors needed a union.  Well, we may not have a union but we will have strenght in numbers against BAI.

today1's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

what if you left BAI and already paid back the note they gave you.  do you still think it is worthwhile to talk to the attorneys?

whalehunter's picture
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Yes, it's more than the note. MUCH more.

today1's picture
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burn baby burn. the old bait and switch by management might end up being another bite in the rear for them.

whalehunter's picture
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Former managers and CM's are lining up to testify! Sure helps our case that they have been let go!

Happy's picture
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I wish you all the very best.  I was very close to making a switch to BAI last December.  Two months later, the BOM was gone and all the bankers were fired.  While I did not make the move, I feel that I was mislead as to the direction and opportunity at BAI. 

I have friends that did move though, and I know they are regretful.  I hope you are successful in your lawsuits.  They have merit and you deserve to be compensated.

trailman's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-21

You are so lucky you did not go there.  It would have been a huge mistake.  I would be using the name HAPPY also if I did not go there.

U2's picture
U2
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Joined: 2009-07-02

I wanted to give everyone an update.  The three law firms representing us have received numerous phone calls.  They are working on a contingency basis and have agreements drafted.    There is strength in numbers and sharing mutual discovery.  We have been dealing with a stacked deck but are now leveling the playing field.  The more reps that share their information the better it is for everyone.  So, if you believe that you were misled when you were recruited than please reach out to one of the attorneys.  Anyone who was recruited by them in the last five years knows the truth.  It is time to unite and fight back.  If you fall into the above category or know someone who does, please encourage them to contact these attorneys and/or read this thread

trailman's picture
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I have spoken to several of the guys in my area and they are all on board.  It is good to see that we are not fighting this alone.

Dollar007's picture
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robbedbybofa wrote:
I am interested and have done a lot of homework on this issue.. please send me an email with your contact info.
you can go to finra.org and read the arbitrations online and a lot of them are deceiving.  PLEASE NOTE THAT A LOT OF THE AWARDS SAY, " STIPULATED AGREEMENT" --- WHICH ONLY MEANS THAT THE AWARD SHOWN ON THE FINRA WEBSITE IS ONLY GOOD IF THE TWO PARTIES "SECRET AGREEMENT," (WHICH THEY DONT SHOW) IS NOT MET.   A LOT OF BOFA BROKERS ARE SETTLEING FOR PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR..  I SPOKE WITH A FEW OF THEM WHO HAD THE STIPULATED AGREEMENT AND THEY SETTLED FOR 50 CENTS OR LESS ON THE DOLLAR...
I ALSO SPOKE WITH ONE OF THE LAWYERS WHO RESPONDS ON REP. AND HE SAID THAT BOFA MAIN GOAL IS TO AVOID SHOWING BROKERS WINNING ON THE FINRA WEBSITE... THEY ARE WORRIED...
 
 
 
What utter nonsense. Are you trying to bring others down with you? They are not settling for 50 cents or less on the dollar and for you to say that here is irresponsible and misleading. It sounds to me like you are one of these poor unfortunates............Go cry somewhere else.

MtnMan's picture
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Joined: 2009-09-27

I don't know what I was thinking when I made the decision go work for a bank five years ago.  Ultimately, it was a friend of mine who suggeted I contact BAI.  We previously worked together at a large wirehouse.  He was having phenomenal results with BAI and their Premier Banking and Investment Model (PB&I).  Based on my meeting with a BAI Manager's promises, I joined.
 
I'm not going to get into details here, only to say that BAI consistantly over promised and underperformed.
 
Bottom line:  THE ONLY REASON TO AGREE TO A LOWER PAYOUT, WORK UNDER A DICTORIAL, FEAR INDUCED, POWER AND CONTROL MODEL IS.....THE REFERRALS GENERATED FROM THE PREMIER BANKING AND INVESTMENT MODEL. 
 
PB&I is now History.
 
BAI blew up PB&I, fired 95% of the Premier Bankers and the referrals came to a complete halt!  That's not what I signed up for. 
 
So, after 5 years with BAI and 20 years in the business, no more referrals and a significantly lower payout, I went independent a few months ago.  I cannot even tell you how much stress I left behind.  I exceeded my expectations with my transition and will make more income the first year then I would have made staying at The BAI Gestapo.
 
BAI breeched their contract.  Period.
 
 
 
 
 

KensLoveChild's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-11

Welcome to the club, Brother.

Omar's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-19

Once my CM got canned...referrals disappeared like a fart in the wind.

floridabroker's picture
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Does anyone have an update on this potential case? I had a conference call about 10 weeks ago, but havn't heard a whole lot since and was just looking for a status update.  

U2's picture
U2
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Joined: 2009-07-02

The attorneys representing us are among the most powerful in the country.  They are working on a contingency basis.  They are speaking with each rep and gathering their information.  They will be using everyone's information, discovery and testamony to fight each case and bring action against them for damages.  There are ex client managers and market directors that will testify.  The attorneys believe we have a strong case.  Our cases will be much stronger with everyone working together.  The only problem I have heard so far is that the attorneys have been slow to respond to calls.  So please be patient.  If you are having a problem getting in touch with them, send me a pm a I will see if I can help.

robbedbybofa's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-13

I just talked with another x bai rep on 10/7/09...  His info can be viewed on the finra arbitration website.  On the finra arbitration is says his STIPULATED AWARD WAS 90K PLUS FEES ETC.... again stipulated doesnt mean anything unless x broker doesnt meet the turns of the settlement. And the bank and finra are not showing the settlement.  He settled for 30 cents on the dollar...   And for those who dont believe me or question this, just call some of the guys that have a STIPULATED award.  This is the third one I got ahold of and confirmed!!!

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