The money that I ost was the difference between my avg purchase price, and the $17 dollars that the F-heads sold me out at.
I have wired them funds for at least two margin calls this year, and this time they didn't even wait 24 hours for the wire.
Besides sending emails to the margin dept. and the clown that is supposedly my rep, (I have never heard from this person), I talked to them Friday morning when they had only sold 1,700 shares of what they said was going to be just over 7,000. They wouldn't call the margin dept to stop them, as they said that an email went out to everyone saying that they were selling out all margin calls. It is my opinion that they freaked out, and didn't want to risk losing their equity. They ended up selling over 10,000 of my shares. The financial rep at my credit union used to work for Smith Barney, and suggested that I tell them to either buy the shares back and put them into my acct, or I will contact an attorney to sue or arbitrate. He said that arbitrations tend to favor the customer, and if the calls that I made were recorded, then there is the evidence that I was making every effort to make the margin call. He also said that it is FINRA that I should report this incident to.
I will not just shrug off the loss of $133,000, when it was Etrade that freaked out and sold me out, less than 24 hours after I was into a margin call.
Etrade is a really bad company to deal with, and I would advise everyone to stay clear of them. This is not the first time that I have had problems with them, and if the market comes back and I can trade BELFB at a profit and get rid of the margin debt, I will move my account to another firm!
The 130k......now that wasn't all from BELFB right.... I mean the $17 to $19 is only $2 so if it only involved BELFB that would be about 65,000 shares and only 78K traded the whole day. So I assume it involved all your holdings.
Now, as to the legal issues...
They say on their site...."However, even if a firm has contacted a customer and provided a specific date by which the customer can meet a margin call, the firm can still take necessary steps to protect its financial interests, including immediately selling the securities without notice to the customer."
Not sure what their own maintenance requirement is on margin accounts... for Etrade under normal circumstances. I do believe they retain the right to change it under certain conditions and perhaps without notice, although that seems unfair.
But most likely with the market falling 7+ percent in the first hour on Friday, you went well past their requirements. Now, since the same thing or greater could have continued in the afternoon and also on Monday, I can't see how they can be legally required to just sit there and do nothing. I mean, Friday could have ended up down 10%, easily followed by another 10% Monday. Under those circumstances, they could hardly wait until Tuesday. Not sure exactly where you were by the call on Thursday or what their requirements are. Their rep should have explained the risk, however you would have had to do your own selling in the first minutes on Friday to avoid them doing what they did since there was not telling that Friday might have gone down -20%..
Good luck with your efforts, but from reading their site regulations, I wouldn't spend a lot of money on a lawyer. Read everything first before retaining legal help.
Remember I was in and out of BELFB many times and made good money. But I left that tiny holding in a Roth account that always bugged me. Purchased it at 36 and then forgot about it as I sold all my regular holdings (at profits) Then saw my 36 dollar shares go down to 16 and perhaps even dipped into 15 range.... Fast forward to, what was it? last year and I leaped with rapid pulse...to jump out near 39.. Perhaps you'll have to spend the many years waiting to do what I did.. I ended up about $3 up....but it wasn't worth the wait.
Well, I don't know why you have held this stock so long.
I once did for years....from about 36 down to about 16 and the when I finally saw blue sky at the 38 to 39 dollar level you can bet your butt I leap out with joy and disbelief...
Now its down about 40% from where I jumped out.
I guess we all have one of these stocks in your lives. Better than one I held almost all the way down to nothing. The old Home Base.....competitor of Home Depot and Lowes. I lost about 90% of my investment in that. Still causes me pain because I would visit the stores and say to myself "this place is crap".......but I held on believing it would turn around.
Well I don't know what to say. It could be years before we get back to 38+ dollars per share. I mean like 5 years or more if this economy tanks as expected. Belfb could easily dip under $20 per share.
Don't know what to tell you.
Awaiting Balduscus next post to see if his math improves.