Leaving ML/BAI

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Jul 14, 2010 7:50 pm

I would like some serious help here, not the bs that always gets posted on here.  I came to BAI 2 and a half years ago and had it made, referalls out the #$%.  Now that they have forced us to ML, I cant really see myself there much longer.  However, I did take the come over here money when I signed on.  I wanted to hear from others who have left with contracts stil  in place in the form of forgivable loans and how they dealt with it.  Yes I did spend some of it to pay off years of debt incurred whlie building up my book. 

Jul 15, 2010 9:06 am

Stockguy - 

I have heard numerous stories all with different outcomes.  One guy who left three years ago has been fighting legally to keep his money.  Recently I heard of a guy who just came over from wells, and left BAI 7 motnhs later and they have not cam after him, but who knows.  The latest info that is pretty interesting is that all contracts that were signed prior to merger are null and void and that is why they are asking everyone to refinance and repaper.  So if you did either, i think they will come after you.

Jul 15, 2010 11:56 am

I have only heard of other b/d's giving money to cover, other than that goodluck and don't let them get you down 

Jul 15, 2010 1:33 pm

[quote=stockguy]

I would like some serious help here, not the bs that always gets posted on here.  I came to BAI 2 and a half years ago and had it made, referalls out the #$%.  Now that they have forced us to ML, I cant really see myself there much longer.  However, I did take the come over here money when I signed on.  I wanted to hear from others who have left with contracts stil  in place in the form of forgivable loans and how they dealt with it.  Yes I did spend some of it to pay off years of debt incurred whlie building up my book. 

[/quote]

Due to my own Arbitration matters, I've extensively studied the Finra awards online website. It is EXTREMELY unlikely in the event of an arbitration that you would not be forced to pay back a loan. The arbs really don't care what the excuses are. If you move, you need to prepare to pay off the balance...

Jul 15, 2010 1:38 pm

[quote=cutacheck]

Stockguy - 

I have heard numerous stories all with different outcomes.  One guy who left three years ago has been fighting legally to keep his money.  Recently I heard of a guy who just came over from wells, and left BAI 7 motnhs later and they have not cam after him, but who knows.  The latest info that is pretty interesting is that all contracts that were signed prior to merger are null and void and that is why they are asking everyone to refinance and repaper.  So if you did either, i think they will come after you.

[/quote]

In my ongoing Arb matter....

My firm got taken over via bankruptcy/failure, and even though my contract was "non transferrable" the arbs have not dismissed the element of "non solicitation". I refused to sign the contract when presented to me by the new firm, and quit instead. Can you believe that?? Also, my non licensed FA, got dragged into Arbitration and she's NEVER SIGNED AN AGREEMENT to arbitrate. Again, the arbs have declined to remove her from the "respondent" list.

Anyone that says a contract isn't worth the paper it's written on, is a FOOL. The contract/outcome is entirely up to the opinion of the 3 panel arbitrators...

Be careful, get good legal advice, and don't do anything stupid.

Jul 16, 2010 12:11 am

stockguy - yes, they will come after you if it's a sizeable amount (they have to balance it with the cost of their lawyers).  But you can probably drag it out and at least negotiate a settlement so they can avoid arbitration.

cutacheck - Transition money is structured and contracted like a personal loan (albeit a forgiveable one).  The new papers were to refinance the loan at a lower rate.  The original contracts would not be null and void just because Bank of America bought Merrill.  Are Countrywide home equity loans voided because BAC bought them? 

Jul 16, 2010 10:05 pm

Stockguy,

I left BAI after two years there primarily because the promises they made during the recruiting process were nowhere close to actuality.  I went through arbitration and won my case.  I counterclaimed them for fraud.  Which brings me to the point.  I think that to win in arbitration or to have a chance of settling for a reasonable amount of cents on the dollar requires you to have experienced something similar and be able to reasonably prove it with corroborating witnesses, notes, emails, etc.  If you read through the FINRA cases involving BAI, you will see many, many cases being decided against the FA.  There are many FA's in my area whose experience was the same as mine and are scheduled for arbitration.  Some have settled at small cents on the dollar.  Hope this helps.

Jul 19, 2010 6:40 pm

It's not worth moving and getting sued.  The stress, the cost of attorneys and the ultimate outcome of repayment will distract you so far from your business that you'll wish you had a different career.  Keep producing, grow your book of business and don't take the next round of checks if you have any type of plan to leave.  There is a price to taking upfront checks and being the firms biatch is one of them.  Good luck! 

Jul 20, 2010 6:34 pm

[quote=cutacheck]

In my ongoing Arb matter....

My firm got taken over via bankruptcy/failure, and even though my contract was "non transferrable" the arbs have not dismissed the element of "non solicitation". I refused to sign the contract when presented to me by the new firm, and quit instead. Can you believe that?? Also, my non licensed FA, got dragged into Arbitration and she's NEVER SIGNED AN AGREEMENT to arbitrate. Again, the arbs have declined to remove her from the "respondent" list.

Anyone that says a contract isn't worth the paper it's written on, is a FOOL. The contract/outcome is entirely up to the opinion of the 3 panel arbitrators...

Be careful, get good legal advice, and don't do anything stupid.

[/quote]

You really want to be careful.  You were NOT at the firm that was taken over, you were the TAKER, which the arbs will have little or no patience in dealing with.  Also, if you took it, don't doubt for second that they will hold you hostage.  With the big changes at BOA/ML, I would ride it out as long as you can, see if you can make it.  My guess is that within a coupe of years, the whole thing will be different again.