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Paying back training cost

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Dec 17, 2008 4:11 am

I’m with a firm that has drastically changed their payouts, comp plan, etc.  Do I have an argument that the contracts I signed have been breached because I wouldn’t have signed them if I knew that 12 months after I went to work for the firm they were going to make it harder on newer brokers.  I had other offers but termed them down.  The contracts I signed were paying back the training cost and a non-solicit.

  Thanks   Wanting to change
Dec 21, 2008 7:16 pm

I read it, thanks.  It doesn’t address my question.  My argument is my firm has made so many changes to compensation etc that they have made it very hard for me to make a living and if when I started the compensation is etc. is what it is I would have not have signed.

  Could a local general attorney in my locale have the expertise to handle this my case?
Dec 23, 2008 12:39 am

Thanks for the reply.  That seems kind of pricey for this case.  I can’t even come close to affording that but I can make the arguments myself.  My argument is I can’t reasonably fullfil the obligation of 3 years service cost because of the change in compensation.  I would happily stay put but to fullfil the obligation would mean earning a lot less than I had agreed to although compensation wasn’t in the agreement. 

  I'll have to defend myself and if I lose I'll go back to being a pharmaceutical rep.  That might be a good thing.  Are arbitration panels snobs to unrepresented brokers?
Apr 13, 2009 11:26 pm

N0, infact the opposite. Typically the arbitration panel will split the baby.

Apr 15, 2009 2:37 pm

Who reviewed the contract for you… the devil is in the details. Contracts are made to, among other things, protect the parties from unforeseen changes in the future, and in many cases visit the topic of what would happen if such a change should occur.

As Bill said, your counsel whom reviewed the doc.'s may be able to shed some light as to your potential case. Bear in mind there is a lot more to defending yourself than just walking in front of a panel and telling your story… there are motions to be filed, discovery, knowledge of past cases and their outcome, etc…

Moreover, your argument: “I can’t reasonably fullfil the obligation of 3 years service cost because of the change in compensation”… this will not fly in my opinion, I am not a lawyer, but can think of several cases where this was not a valid excuse, but again the devil is in the details…

I wish you the best of luck and can visualize your frustration as I have seen others in my office, unable to pay for legal advice, mull these same questions…

Apr 15, 2009 4:04 pm

I'm in the same boat....wondering if I'll get sued if I leave the NFA program early. I think I'll make the first cuts in layoffs, but my model and clients no longer fits the new one my firm is moving too. Should I just wait to get fired/layed off in the second round? Or leave and hope they won't sue me b/c all my clients are below 1mm in assets?

Apr 16, 2009 11:44 pm

I went to a firm, took an upfront check and am feeling the same way as you. It will be very difficult for me to service the very clients I have spent the past decade or so developing. I just moved them over to the new firm less than a year ago and now I’m being asked to send a large number of them to the “call center”, give the client an 800 number for service. I was wondering if I had a valid argument bec/ of the direction my firm is moving… 1mill and above focusing on the hnw and uhnw

Jul 31, 2009 4:25 pm

I left Merrill’s POA program a month ago.  I got a letter in the mail from their attorneys requesting payment within 1 month.  Instead of hiring an attorney, I called Merrill’s attorney’s, explained the circumstances why I left and proved my inability to pay the ridiculous amount they were requesting.  A week later he called me back and they dropped the whole thing.  As long as you left on somewhat decent terms, they most likely won’t persue a rookie broker for repayment.