Time Running Out To File For Morgan Keegan Settlement MoneyBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 07 Jun 2012 04:19pm |
Time is running out for Mississippians to claim money they lost money on a bad bet with the investment firm Morgan Keegan. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the company did not fully disclose how risky their bonds were until the funds collapsed.
Between 2007-and-8 seven Morgan Keegan bond funds that were touted as safe and conservative collapsed and lost more than a billion dollars.
A 200-million dollar settlement resulted from the collapse after it came to light that the company was not up front about what was in the accounts.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says there is only a week for people who lost some...or all...of their money to file a claim for a partof the settlement.
"These types of distributions, a thousand or two-thousand dollars, these are the difference in somebody having their blood pressure medicine or making their house payment. It is a big deal and it should be a big deal. When you get down to the individual investor that is when it is important," Hosemann said.
Roughly 24-hundred Mississippians lost 70-million dollars to the fund.
However, the settlement money will not fully restore all that they lost.
"I am not saying that this fund started out to deceive people on the front end. This is the kind of thing that I think evolved over time,"
Memphis-based Attorney Jerome Broadhurst filed the initial law suit that started the case....he says it quickly became clear something was very wrong with the funds.
"Funds that are supposed to be, at least on their face, fairly conservative bond funds. The drop was so dramatic that something seemed unusual and probably very wrong about it," Broadhurst said.
In this case, investors could not accurately assess their risk.
But in normal circumstances, financial advisor Nancy Lottridge Anderson says it is the responsibility of theconsumer to check out what they are investing in.
"Anybody can do this. If you will take a little time, learn, pick up a book, pick up a money magazine (or) take a class. You don't have to learn all the details but learn enough of the language and how things work so that you can read information and make sense of it," Anderson said.
The secretary of state has a phone bank and information on their website to help investors who lost money to these Morgan Keegan funds.
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