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Are the Mutual Fund Settlements Legit?

I received a stack of envelopes in the mail last week. I almost tossed the papers since they looked sort of like junk mail. Apparently we’re involved in a class action mutual fund settlement, but is it a scam? Honestly, that was the first thing that crossed my mind.

Good thing I didn’t toss the papers! The mutual funds were involved in market-timing and late trading in what was called the 2003 mutual fund scandal [1]. I remember the scandal vaguely in the news, but at the time I didn’t realize we were affected by it since we were busy with our wedding at the time.

Mutual Fund Settlement

The court papers I received directed me to the mutual fund settlement website [2] where it lists all of the mutual funds involved.

They mutual funds involved are:

  • Alger
  • AllianceBernstein
  • Allianz
  • Bank of America/Nations
  • Columbia
  • Federated
  • Invesco
  • Janus
  • MFS
  • One Group/Bank One
  • Pilgrim Baxter (PBHG)
  • Putnam
  • RS
  • Schwab/Excelsior
  • Deutschebank/Scudder
  • Strong

How to Get Your Mutual Fund Settlement Money

Here’s what you need to know about submitting a claim:

Mutual Fund Settlement Period: The time periods are different for each fund, but go as far back as October 1, 1998 through September 30, 2003.

Deadline to submit your claim: December 8, 2010.

Mutual Fund Settlement Process: If you got a notice in the mail, you can go to the website listed and file your claim form with the claimant number. If you didn’t get a form in the mail, you can still submit a claim directly on the website.

You will need to identify how many shares you held of each mutual fund at the end of each of the years involved. This is where I’m relieved that I have more than a decade of transactions in Microsoft Money [3]. I can put together a report very quickly before I begin the tedious process of digging out all the statements.

Our Mutual Fund Settlements

Late last year we received a check from a Invesco mutual fund settlement, but I didn’t think much of it. Now that I’m looking into it, I realize we have a lot of affected mutual funds. Many of them are because our home state 529 plan [4] was run by Strong.

But some of the mutual fund settlement times go back to when I was still in college. I was just learning about index fund investing [5], so I had money in many actively traded mutual funds included a handful on the list!

I guess I know what I will be working on for the next few weeks…

Time to check your investment histories! Are you involved in any of the mutual fund settlements?