I have a question about rights of the salesperson to receive residuals from merchant accounts. I am a salesman and have a small number of merchants signed up with a company. I have been receiving residuals for at least four years. I still service all my accounts. I respond when they have a problem; I provide paper.
I recently signed up a new client in June, did not receive a sign-up bonus and should have started to receive the first residual from this account in August. The client signed a three-year contract. This company has now decided to not give me any more residuals until I produce more clients.
Do I not have some rights to receive the residuals or even a buyout of the portfolio? The only pay I receive for signing this client up is the residual. As long as my clients are processing with them, am I not entitled to a residual? Is there any recourse for this?
Eureka Springs, Ark.
We asked payment attorney Adam Atlas, who is a frequent contributing writer for The Green Sheet and member of our advisory board, to answer your question. Following is his answer:
The rights of an agent to compensation for merchants referred to an ISO should be set out in the written agent agreement between the agent and ISO. In the absence of clear wording granting the agent compensation of one kind or another, the agent should not expect that compensation to be reliable, as the legal basis on which to extract payment will be very limited.
Unfortunately, a prior practice of paying a bonus or some other compensation is legally unreliable unless it is set forth in writing. Having read Jack Byrne's story, I recommend that he have a serious discussion with the ISO about each party's respective expectations of one another and make written clarifications to the agent agreement where necessary.
We hope this helps you keep residuals flowing your way.
I am surprised that you haven't written anything more extensive on what happened at Cynergy than printing their press release. How did they go bankrupt? What happened there? Where did all the money go? Was there mismanagement?
Northstar Merchant Services
"A new chapter in Cynergy's story," The Green Sheet, Sept. 14, 2009, issue 09:09:01, which is about Cynergy Data's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and asset purchase agreement, is not a press release, nor is it based on one. As part of researching the story, The Green Sheet conducted interviews with Cynergy Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Paladini and Randy McCoy, Operating Partner at ComVest.
While the questions you ask about Cynergy's situation have a place, the matter is in the courts now, and more information will come out as the bankruptcy proceeds. Also, The Green Sheet's mission is educational; we do not specialize in investigative journalism. We emphasize accurate, in-depth coverage of issues of concern to our readers, but we must balance our need to extract facts with the desire on the part of those we write about to have a degree of control over what information they release to the public, and when. For these individuals are our long-time, loyal readers, too, and deserve our respectful consideration, especially when going through a transition.
Thank you for your feedback.
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