Paying for Customer Arbitration Before FINRA: What does it Cost?

By Patricia Uceda, Spring 2014 Student Intern

costIf you are trying to decide if you want to arbitrate a claim before FINRA, you may be wondering how much it will all cost. FINRA charges primarily two fees for arbitration: a filing fee and a hearing session fee. The amount of your respective filing fee or hearing session fee will depend on the amount of your claim. Additionally, FINRA has provided an Arbitration Fee Calculator to simplify the process for you.

Filing Fee

If your claim is less than $1,000, your filling fee will only be $50. This fee will increase to $175 if your claim is between $2,500 and $5,000, or $600 if your claim is between $25,000 and $50,000. A party does have the option to submit a request for a fee waiver if they are unable to pay because of financial hardship. FINRA will waive or partially waive the fee, defer payment of the fee, or deny the request depending on the information you provide in support of your request.

Hearing Session Fee

The hearing session fee also depends on the size of your claim. It can range from $50 with claims less than $2,500 to $450 for claims over $500,000. This fee is shared with the other party, and the panel will determine much of the fee each party must pay. If your claim is $50,000 or less, you can waive the hearing session fee by choosing to have a simplified arbitration. In a simplified arbitration all forms and pleadings are sent to a public arbitrator who makes a decision based solely on the written materials. However, you will still have to pay a filing fee unless it is waived.

Additional Fees

There are also various other types of fees you can get charged as your arbitration progresses, such as a discovery motion fee or a contested subpoena fee. FINRA has assembled all the potential fees in arbitration cases here, proving further information on each fee as well as filing and hearing session fees.

Arbitration Fee Calculator

If all that information seems a little confusing to you, don’t worry because FINRA has completely simplified the process for you with their Arbitration Fee Calculator. This calculator helps parties estimate their filing and hearing session fees based on input from the user such as relief requested and preferred arbitration method. Of course, as discussed above, additional fees may accrue as the case progresses. However, the Arbitration Fee Calculator is a good place to start.