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Regions Morgan Keegan Claims Resolved through Arbitration

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Memphis, TNAlthough lawsuits have been filed regarding Regions Morgan Keegan funds, alleging investors in certain RMK funds were not made aware of the risks associated with those funds, some claims are being taken to arbitration and resolved there. The claims made in arbitration are similar to those in the lawsuit—that RMK funds, including the RMK high income fund, suffered massive losses because they were vulnerable to changes in the market and that the defendants either misrepresented or did not disclose material facts about the funds.

An article in The Tennessean (02/20/11) notes that 129 arbitration claims have been heard by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel through mid-February 2011. Those claims have resulted in awards of approximately $24 million, but that $24 million does not include payouts to investors in which the award amount was kept confidential.

Recently, in an arbitration filed against Morgan Keegan & Company, investor Edward Karrels was awarded approximately $350,000 for his claim that the Regions Morgan Keegan Select Intermediate Fund was an unsuitable investment because of undisclosed risks associated with that fund. In addition to approximately $280,000 in damages, the FINRA arbitration panel awarded $70,000 in attorney's fees and an additional $18,000 in costs to Karrels.

Morgan Keegan faces both arbitration and lawsuit claims that agents sold more than $2 billion of bond funds that were actually backed by subprime mortgages. Those funds dramatically dropped in value when the subprime mortgage crisis hit. Investors allege they were not told about the risky nature of the RMK funds; instead, they say they were told the investments were safe and conservative. The funds reportedly lost between approximately 50 and 65 percent of their value.

Among the bonds in question are the RMK Select High Income Fund and the Select Intermediate Bond Fund. Although funds from other companies also lost money when the subprime mortgage crisis hit, they reportedly did not lose nearly as much value as the RMK funds lost.

Investors are now filing lawsuits and/or arbitrations against Morgan Keegan hoping to recover some of their money that was lost when the subprime mortgage crisis hit and the funds lost so much of their value.


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