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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 118759
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I was working as a producer insurance agency in NJ 3 years.

Customer Question

I was working as a producer for an insurance agency in NJ for almost 3 years. I worked from home and I have about a $200,000 book of business. The verbal agreement that we had for 3 years was I was paid 50% of the agencies commissions monthly. This had never been an issue and I was always paid every month. Last April I had advised the agency's owner that my husbands job was relocating and my family was moving to Georgia. The agency owner said that this was a good time to put a written contract in place. On or about April 28, 2015 I received a draft of a contract via e-mail. The written contract had been nothing that we has discussed when we started working together 3 years ago. We met in May to discuss this contract and I clearly expressed my concerns and how I felt about the contract. We discussed a few absolute changes and I was told to get back to him with other changes. I asked him to give me until after the move so I could concentrate on this contract and make the changes, he agreed. We spoke again in July briefly about it and I was told his attorney was still working on it. My official move date was June 25, 2015 I notified the state of NJ of my new address and I applied for a nonresident NJ license at the end of July (the state says you have 90 days to notify them of an address change) I sent a follow up request in August. On September 1, 2015 I received my clearance letter from the State of NJ was well as my nonresident license. The same day I received this clearance letter I mailed my application to the State of Georgia (I had to attached my clearance letter to the application) That day I also e-mailed the agency's owner and told him I had sent everything to Georgia to get a Georgia license. He send me an e-mail stating that he will need my Georgia license to pay my commissions. I advised that I will forward to him as soon as I receive it. In the meantime I received a revised contract and I itemized the changes that I needed in order for me to sign. I then receive an e-mail stating that he will be taking the attorney fees out of my commissions. I responded that I will not pay for changes in a contract that protects the agency and I am fine working with our verbal agreement that we've been working with for the past 3 years now. I received my Georgia license on September 29, 2015 and I forward him my Georgia license as well as my non resident NJ license. I received an e-mail that this is not to his satisfaction and he will not pay Septembers commission until he receives a letter from NJ stating that I can write business. I called the state of NJ and was told they do not issue such a letter that my nonresident license is my proof. I sent another e-mail explaining my conversation with the state I also copied the link to the NJ department of insurance license search and I also provided him with a phone # ***** call himself I stated that I have provided every documentation possible for him and to please send my commission check. Today I receive a response that he has written to the State of NJ and will not release a commission check until he receives written notification back from them. The only reason he is doing this is because I didn't sign the contract - NJ is not going to respond to him do I have any legal recourse here? I've use the word verbal contract several times but I do have a monthly breakdown of my commissions that he put on an excel spread sheet as well as my monthly commission statements from the companies. I'm not sure what to do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Yes, you have an oral contract and you have proof of the pattern and practices over the last 3 years of payments and since there is no written contract, that would be what the court would go off of.

You need to file suit against him for breach of contract if you cannot get NJ to provide him the information directly. Your only recourse to get the money though if he is not paying would be to file a civil suit against him in the court in NJ to pursue your money.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How do I do this living in Georgia? Do I need to retain a NJ attorney?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, you would need to use a local attorney in NJ to sue him and you can find one at the same sites used by other attorneys, or