I called Ameritrade about the reported change in margin and yes they did change from 50% to 30% because of the called trading halt. For anyone who cannot put more into the account and must sell to cover, the timing really screws them since they have five trading days to cover. Trading days are days the market is open so if you have to sell to cover the call you must sell before the halt. Had they waited until the halt, with good news, there would not have been a problem. Their timing is perfect to screw the small investor who overextended.
This from the Ameritrade web site. It shows ELN at %50 magin.
E Symbol Company Name Margin %
ECBE ECB BANCORP COM 50% ECP CANTERBURY PARK HOLDING CORP COM 50% ECPG ENCORE CAPITAL GROUP INC COM 50% ECPN EL CAPITAN PRECIOUS METALS I COM 100% EDIG E DIGITAL CORP COM 100% EDNE EDEN ENERGY CORP COM 100% EDVO ENDAVO MEDIA AND COMMICATIONS COM 100% EENT ENERGY & ENGINE TECHNOLOGY COM 100% EFSC ENTERPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICE COM 75% EGEOQ EAGLE GEOPHYSICAL INC COM - REMOVE POSITIONS 8/23/00 100% EGGSQ EGGHEAD.COM INC COM 100% EGX ENGEX INC COM 50% EGYF ENERGY FINDERS INC COM 100% EHB ENTERGY ARKANSAS PREFERRED CALLABLE QUARTERLY 50% ELI ELITE PHARMACEUTICALS COM 50% ELN ELAN CORP PLC ADR 50% ELON ECHELON CORP COM 50% EMED MEDCOM USA COM 100% EMIS EMISPHERE TECHNOLOGIES INC CM 35% ENCY ENCYSIVE PHARMACEUTICALS INC COM 50%
If they also changed the Margin for shorts, then some of the shorts will also get a margin call. That is why it is important for everyone whose broker changed margin requirements to call and ask if the short margin has been changed AND IF IT HASN'T COMPLAIN. MAKE YOURSELF BE HEARD ABOUT THIS ISSUE.
I haven't received any email or phone call from Ameritrade concerning my ELN margin. However, I was going to reduce it by half anyway before AC. I am not totally dumb. I would be able to absorb a post AC pps drop down to $4.50 if things went badly. A drop like that would be devastaing, such as BM, but I would just barely survive.
I don't see this happening, but you just never know!