Simplified Arbitrations

If a party files an arbitration claim in which the amount in dispute is $50,000 or less, exclusive of interest and expenses, FINRA will process the claim using the Simplified Arbitration rule. Simplified arbitration cases are also called "paper" or "small claims" cases.

All provisions of the Code apply to these arbitrations, with some exceptions. 


On average, parties who file Simplified cases get a decision within eight months from the date they file their case. Please open this link to see the Simplified Case Timeline


You must submit filing fees at the time you file your Statement of Claim. The amount of this fee is based on the total amount of your claim including any punitive and treble damages but excluding interest and expenses. Filing fees for Simplified Cases range from $50 to $600 depending on the size of the claim. To determine the filing fee please use FINRA's Arbitration Filing Fee Calculator. Parties who choose to have an arbitrator decide their case based on written submissions, without an in-person hearing, will not incur any hearing fees.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you can request a waiver of the fees. FINRA will require you to send documents to support your request, such as tax returns, bank records, pay stubs or other evidence of financial hardship. If you are unable to provide these documents, you may submit an affidavit attesting to your financial hardship. You can find more information at: Arbitration Fee Waivers.


A single arbitrator will decide an arbitration administered under this rule, unless the parties agree in writing otherwise.


No hearing will be held in simplified arbitrations unless the claimant requests one. If no hearings are held, the arbitrator will render an award based on the pleadings and other materials submitted by the parties.


  • Customer Cases
    The parties may request documents and other information from each other.  However, the Document Production Lists in the Discovery Guide and described in Rule 12506 will not apply to these arbitrations. The arbitrator may, in his or her discretion, choose to use relevant portions of the Document Production Lists in a manner consistent with the expedited nature of simplified proceedings. Upon receipt of the documents and information, parties may file additional documents with FINRA for the arbitrator to consider. FINRA staff will advise the parties of the deadline for such submissions.
  • Industry Cases
    The parties may request documents and other information from each other.   

Increases in Amount in Dispute

If any party to a simplified arbitration increases the amount in dispute to more than $50,000, the arbitration will no longer be administered under this rule, and the regular provisions of the Code will apply.

View the following for additional information: