Personal Finance

Filing a consumer complaint

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  • Jan 28th, 2021 1:14 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
2241 posts
220 upvotes

Filing a consumer complaint

HI RFD, wondering if it's too late to file a complaint or pursue legal action.

Cliffs:

My mom owed the National Bank of Canada $37K (roughly $12K remaining)
A financial institution had my mom take out a $100k loan and invest it in the market (around 2011)
Loaned got called in a few years later while the investment was in the negatives
Mom has not worked or had steady income for over 20 years
Has no knowledge of financial markets or investing
Has delusional schizophrenia (diagnosed in early 2000's and currently on medication)

Without giving too much details, i received a letter from the National Bank (addressed to my mom) to continue paying off her loan which she will. I'm just incensed to learn that a financial advisor or broker took advantage of her.

She's unable to fully explain to me what financial product she bought, what happened etc except that she knows she has to pay off this loan. Again sorry for the lack of details, I have to send the National Bank of Canada a letter with approval from my mom to gain access to her loan details.

Would like to know what recourse I can take, either file a complaint or take legal action. Since the initial investment/loan agreement happened in 2011 is that too long ago to take action?
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19 replies
Sr. Member
May 29, 2012
530 posts
197 upvotes
Southern Ontario
That sucks, I'm sorry to hear about your mothers problem.
I do not have any direct help but I would recommend trying to find any documents your mom might have regarding the investment, at least try to find out who this investment advisor was.
I doubt they will do anything to help here but what I would try is a complaint to whatever regulatory body they are a member of.
Also don't let bank/investment company off the hook, also need to file a complaint with the ombudsman for banking, link here https://forms.obsi.ca/EN/Make-a-Complaint

It will be along drawn out battle but you never know what will happen if you don't try.
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
2241 posts
220 upvotes
tony311 wrote: That sucks, I'm sorry to hear about your mothers problem.
I do not have any direct help but I would recommend trying to find any documents your mom might have regarding the investment, at least try to find out who this investment advisor was.
I doubt they will do anything to help here but what I would try is a complaint to whatever regulatory body they are a member of.
Also don't let bank/investment company off the hook, also need to file a complaint with the ombudsman for banking, link here https://forms.obsi.ca/EN/Make-a-Complaint

It will be along drawn out battle but you never know what will happen if you don't try.
Thanks for the link, i wasn't sure where/who to file the complaint with. Hopefully i'm still within the timeframe to do so.
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Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
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You should also find out who sold her the original investment and if possible, see if there are options to pursue actions against the advisor/company.
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
2241 posts
220 upvotes
skeet50 wrote: You should also find out who sold her the original investment and if possible, see if there are options to pursue actions against the advisor/company.
i have the persons name and phone # now, the advisor no longer works for the company. I also see on the credit application there was no proof of income required. My mom wrote $4000/month income and the advisor signed as a witness. Really hope it's not to late to take action.
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Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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Wilmega wrote: i have the persons name and phone # now, the advisor no longer works for the company. I also see on the credit application there was no proof of income required. My mom wrote $4000/month income and the advisor signed as a witness. Really hope it's not to late to take action.
Have any steps been taken to prevent this from happening again?

C
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
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CNeufeld wrote: Have any steps been taken to prevent this from happening again?

C
Now that she's on monthly injections she's much calmer (easier to deal with), i've taken over looking after her finances.
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Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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Wilmega wrote: Now that she's on monthly injections she's much calmer (easier to deal with), i've taken over looking after her finances.
I hope you get the resolution you're looking for. Perhaps try to talk to some of the mental health associations and see if they can refer you to a lawyer who is specifically familiar with advocating for the rights of people with mental health issues.

C
Sr. Member
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Jun 29, 2012
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Vancouver
I don't have an answer to your question but if she's on disability she is judgement proof.
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
2241 posts
220 upvotes
My mom never went on ODSP, but she applied and was denied in 2011/2012. Now I realize it's cause they counted her $100k investment as assets cause she was denied based on finances.
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Sr. Member
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Jun 29, 2012
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Wilmega wrote: My mom never went on ODSP, but she applied and was denied in 2011/2012. Now I realize it's cause they counted her $100k investment as assets cause she was denied based on finances.
Perhaps she should try again? How unfortunate. :(
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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What kind of loan is it?
Sr. Member
May 29, 2012
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Southern Ontario
any updates OP?
I hope you were able to get things sorted out
Sr. Member
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Jan 14, 2007
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tony311 wrote: any updates OP?
I hope you were able to get things sorted out
I believe you suggested OBSI (hence the quote) but I think @Wilmega should also be complaining to IIROC ("Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada")

IIROC complaints

If OP's mother made an investment it was more than likely through National Bank Financial Inc. an IIROC member firm as well as an OBSI member. Even if the loan was from National Bank of Canada (the Parent company) the investment advisor would be licensed and IIROC's enforcement department is the one to deal with IA's who don't look out for the clients best interests.

Not sure of a time constraint or if an advisor who took advantage of OP's mom would still be in the business but if they are you can find out. Investment advice that does not meet an investors knowledge level and risk tolerance is a major enforcement item the regulators go after and I don't know if there is a limit on this

Good Luck
Deal Fanatic
Jul 1, 2007
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Investors Group or World Financial Group?

I wish people would stop falling for that crap.
Money Smarts Blog wrote: I agree with the previous posters, especially Thalo. {And} Thalo's advice is spot on.
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
2241 posts
220 upvotes
tony311 wrote: any updates OP?
I hope you were able to get things sorted out
I initially connected with OBSI but they referred me to OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI) cause my complaint is with the the Advisor who works for Great West Life. OLHI directed me to file a complaint first with Canada Life which I did a few weeks ago. I'm in the final stages and waiting to hear back.
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[OP]
Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
2241 posts
220 upvotes
IMHIP2 wrote: I believe you suggested OBSI (hence the quote) but I think @Wilmega should also be complaining to IIROC ("Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada")

IIROC complaints

If OP's mother made an investment it was more than likely through National Bank Financial Inc. an IIROC member firm as well as an OBSI member. Even if the loan was from National Bank of Canada (the Parent company) the investment advisor would be licensed and IIROC's enforcement department is the one to deal with IA's who don't look out for the clients best interests.

Not sure of a time constraint or if an advisor who took advantage of OP's mom would still be in the business but if they are you can find out. Investment advice that does not meet an investors knowledge level and risk tolerance is a major enforcement item the regulators go after and I don't know if there is a limit on this

Good Luck
That's a really good point I couldn't have said it better myself. The advisor is still in business and at the same office as well.
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[OP]
Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
2241 posts
220 upvotes
Thalo wrote: Investors Group or World Financial Group?

I wish people would stop falling for that crap.
It was Freedom 55 Financial (owned by Great West Life)
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Deal Fanatic
Jul 1, 2007
8492 posts
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Ah them too.

Always the top salespeople at each company doing the loans to effectively sell more investments to those who don't have enough money.
Money Smarts Blog wrote: I agree with the previous posters, especially Thalo. {And} Thalo's advice is spot on.
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
2241 posts
220 upvotes
Update

Not surprisingly they denied my request. Stating my mom filled out their questionnaire indicating she had vast knowledge of financial markets and products. Also that she stated verbally had the income required to get approved for the loan.

I filed a second appeal, then will wait for a final decision from the provided before moving on to OHLI. They did not confirm my moms income with bank statements, tax returns, t4 slips. So you can be broke and basically tell their financial advisors you have a million dollars and they sell you any of their financial products.
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