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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I owe a commission from an agreement i signed nov. 2011. My

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I owe a commission from an agreement i signed nov. 2011. My husband and i were told that we could pay what we could when we could. I was working for this Agent/Broker as an agent at the time. The commission owed was $12,900. We were in another transaction on the sale of a large ranch when i was give a letter stating that when that deal closed the broker/agent was going to take the $12,900 owed to him. the deal started to go south and he handed me my licence back. In Dec. 2012 he contact me asking if i was going to pay him the commission owed. I told him of course but i had thought that he had received that money out of the ranch deal. i have at this point paid him $1,200 dollars of total due. He contacted me last month asking to have his commission collateralize with a promissory note and a deed of trust and threatening to bring in a lawyer. i had no problem with that i would just need to know what he had in mind, and that the commission agreement had a signed arbitration clause(he says he did not sign knowingly and sent a copy of the unsigned agreement). when i received the promissory note and deed of trust he had increased the amount owed to $13,000 and attached a 5% interest to the original amount. i responded that i felt the amount needed to reflect the amount owed and since the commission agreement did not have interest neither should the document. He agreed and then i did not received the new document. when i email him i had not received the new documents he said he had sent it to the lawyer and that he was going to attempt to get a judgement and garnish our wages to recover his commission plus the lawyers fees and interest. A letter is being sent to me.

1. can he go with a lawyer and not go with arbitration.
2. can he garnish our wages.
3. What are my options.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your legal question.

He can file a suit against you and attempt to get a judgment against you or proceed to arbitration and get an arbitration award against you for the amount due on the commission. If you want the case to be arbitrated, then you will have to file an Answer and Motion to Enforce Arbitration Agreement. Either way, if he wins either in court or in arbitration, he will be able to get an order from the court to garnish your wages to satisfy the award or judgment.

Your best option at this point is to gather the full amount due and tender payment to him.

What are the reasons that the commission was not paid on the original transaction in the first place?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The seller owed back taxes and liens and did not have the ability to bring them current so our cash went to the back taxes and liens instead of the commission. This was what was recommend to us by the Agent/Broker.

If the Agent/Broker recommended that the cash be used to pay this instead of the commission, was there any agreement on the modified payment of the commission itself?

Also, was this recommendation by the Agent/Broker made in writing?

Was the agreement to accept the commission later from other sources in writing as well?

When I say "in writing" this could simply be an email exchange between you two.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Yes but i cannot find my copy.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, there are no terms on the commission agreement.


Yes but i cannot find my copy.


You have some arguments that you can assert defensively.

The first would be that the Broker waived the commission orally by having the money paid out on other issues.

The second would be that there is a written agreement to accept the commission from other sources, and this fell through as a result of impossibility.

Thus, arguably, there is no commission owed, or if it is owed, it is certainly only owed on the original amount with no interest. These defensive arguments are not strong given the fact that you have ostensibly agreed to him in your communications that the money is owed.

Again, I think your best move is to get the money together and tender the original commission as a settlement.

Either way, court litigation or arbitration, it's not exactly cheap. Arbitration costs around $1000 - $5000, excluding your attorney's fees if you choose to hire an attorney. Court costs are expensive as well, with there being a $250 - $450 charge for each motion filed with the court. So, if you can round up the money to pay the Broker off, that will likely be the best route for you.
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