In short, the following provisions of the recently-approved Rule apply to all matters in which expungement of a customer dispute disclosure is requested as a claim or counterclaim:
- The minimum filing fee assessed by FINRA against the party seeking expungement relief is set at $1,575.
- The minimum initial prehearing conference (IPHC) session fee is set at $1,125.
- The minimum hearing session fee is set at $1,125 per hearing session.
- The minimum process fee, assessed against the respondent(s) member firm(s), is set at $3,750.
- The member surcharge, assessed against the respondent(s) member firms(s), is set at $1,900.
Here’s a comparison of existing fees with the new, increased fees:
The fee increases ultimately raise the average cost of expungement by approximately $9,200 in total, all of which goes straight into FINRA’s pockets. In matters where both expungement and monetary relief are requested, the new Rule requires that parties are assessed “the greater of” either the fee associated with the monetary claim, or the new minimum fees outlined above.
The new Rule also speaks to a deviation away from evenly splitting hearing session fees among the parties and a shift toward assessing hearing session fees against the party requesting expungement.
When will those requesting expungement become subject to the 3,690% increase in forum costs?
FINRA has amended its Codes of Arbitration Procedure for Customer and Industry Disputes (Codes) to apply minimum fees to requests for expungement of customer dispute information, whether the request is made as part of the customer arbitration or the associated person files an expungement request in a separate arbitration (straight-in request). The amendments also apply a minimum process fee and member surcharge to straight-in requests, as well as a minimum hearing session fee to expungement-only hearings.
The amendments are effective for cases filed on or after September 14, 2020.
A full summary of the proposal can be found here.
If you want to avoid these new fees, you should have your case for expungement filed immediately.
Give us a call at (303) 952-4025 for a free consultation.