Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What's Going On At Ameritrade?

A caller to my office alerted me to this bit of news. First, we have been getting tons of calls about the online brokers (specifically E-Trade, Ameritrade and TD Waterhouse) and margin liquidations. Callers are complaining that their positions are being sold out for margin calls, without ever receiving a call or an opportunity to make a cash deposit. We are looking into some of those cases.

But the Ameritrade issue is a bit different - an inability to log on or to get a rep on the phone. This one is an more interesting set of facts, at least for a securities lawyer, since there is an implicit, if not explicit, requirement that the firm make its reps available to its customers, either online or by phone. You can't simply take someone's account, and then refuse to service the account.

There are apparently a large number of investors who are having this problem, and it has become a topic of conversation - angry conversation - at the Google Finance board for Ameritrade -
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