Need some advice on TD Ameritrade Class Action Settlement

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by jgarcia, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. jgarcia


    I just got the postcard about the class action settlement (, and was wondering if this was worth my time. Hope you guys can provide some advice.

    My situation is I live outside the US, from what I can tell it is only the email address I gave them that was used to spam a whole lot of people. My friends were complaining why my email kept spamming. And since then it was locked after all that crap.

    So my question is, do I qualify, what do I probably get, and most importantly, should I? (I'm actually more concerned about the other legal things or strings that might be attached as a result of joining this class action settlement, plus the possible IRS issues considering I'm outside the US).

    If your suggestion is not to bother about it, does that mean I should exclude myself or just not do anything?

  2. JPope


    I got the same postcard and wondered the same thing but I am within the states. No idea what to do with it...
  3. LeeD


    Hi, to start with, I am not a lawyer quilified in California and have no idea of the merits of the case. Nor am I a tax expert. So, any advice I provide should be considered as common-sense approach of an (educated) layman.

    First, class-action lawsuits are driven by lawyers. It is the lawyer who gets the largest part of any potential settlement as fees. Usually, the claim of each individual claimant is small enough so that they can't benefit from hiring a high-profile lawyer for themsleves.

    Second, the lawyer representing a class action will make an effort to contact everyone who may have been affected. Unless you join class action or persue the legal case in a timely manner independently, you will usually loose any rights for future settlement in this case.

    Third, you are normally not affected by any taxes on gains till you have received the gains or (at least) have made arrangements to collect the gains. So, if you decide to forfeit any gain from the lawsuit at a later point (in favour of other claimants or registered charity or just "forget" to collect it) you shouldn't have any tax liability arising from it. The money you may gain from the lawsuit will be your entitlement and you are normally not forced to collect your entitlement just so you can pay tax.

    Fourth, make sure the people who claim they want to represent you are actually reputable lawyers. There is a chance you may be giving some of your account info to a fraudster.
  4. I have at times qualified for some token settlements so returned the required form/documentation. Usually it's very small $ but a couple of times I have been surprised. Once, not nearly as many people as expected bothered to respond, resulting in my getting about 3 times the share that was expected.

    So unless you can identify a big negative or you know you don't qualify, I would say respond accepting whatever they come up with.