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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,890

    Default Re: Dispute Over Commissions - Illegal Business Says He Doesn't Have to Pay

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Again, I am a little confused about the general tone of the responses here. Just because the owner of the business may be operating without the proper dealer's license doesn't mean that the OP knowingly participated in any kind of illegalities nor does it mean that he shouldn't be paid his commission.

    I agree that if he sues the guy in small claims court he may have a hard time collecting a judgement, but there is no reason why he shouldn't go ahead and do it anyway.
    I agree with you. The issue of not being a licensed dealer is the neighbor's problem and has nothing to do with OP's agreement to help the neighbor by posting ads, answering calls and emails. His verbal contract can be established by past performance in that receiving a 25% commission on RVs sold prior.

    OP was not in business with his neighbor. He was not an employee of his neighbor. He helping out his illiterate neighbor and there is nothing that OP posted that would indicate that he had any knowledge the neighbor was operating a non-licensed business.

    However, I would like to know who handled the title transfers. The neighbor was obtaining these RVs. Was he buying them or acting as an agent for the owners? Did he purchase them, title them in his own name and then sell them for profit? Was he jumping titles? And what did OP know of all this?

    If the neighbor was only working as an agent for owners that wanted to sell their RVs, he was not a dealer and I don't see him as operating an illegal business.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    862

    Default Re: Dispute Over Commissions - Illegal Business Says He Doesn't Have to Pay

    I also agree with llworking, budwad and Shadowbunny. To me this is a civil matter. The OP invested time and effort based on an established history of getting paid 25%. Apparently he/she did too good a job selling 3 units in 3 days, creating a windfall large enough that the neighbor got greedy and decided to renege. In my opinion, the OP need not fear any consequences from suing, but the RV seller might. It’s civil, and I doubt a small claims judge is going to try to figure out whether the business should be licensed.

    Of course it’s hard to know what kind of evidence the OP has to present in court. According to the Oregon State Bar Small Claims Court page, “If you have a hearing, bring your witnesses. Also bring any pictures, diagrams, account books, bills, receipts, contracts, notes, dishonored checks or other evidence that will help the judge make a decision.

    OP, also you should be aware that the small claims filing fee is $95. As for collecting on a judgment, I agree that it might be difficult but it does help that you’re dealing with a neighbor and you know where he lives. Also if at any point he becomes uncomfortable with the situation, perhaps there is a decent chance you can work out a suitable compromise. However, if all of this feels like too much for you then as suggested by Shadowbunny just refuse to work with him anymore and let it go.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,359

    Default Re: Dispute Over Commissions - Illegal Business Says He Doesn't Have to Pay

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    I don't understand why everyone is assuming that the OP's statement as to the origin of the RVs indicates that the people are in the business of selling illegally obtained RVs.
    The statement in the original post that the other party to the contract with the OP sells "RV's [sic] that he comes up with from various places" sounds suspicious, but it's ultimately inconclusive. However, it appears that the business operation is illegal because the other party to the contract with the OP is not licensed to engage in that business. Even if that's true, it does not necessarily mean that the OP's contract is unenforceable. It's simply a possibility. One would need more info to form any sort of firm conclusions.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,936

    Default Re: Dispute Over Commissions - Illegal Business Says He Doesn't Have to Pay

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    there is nothing that OP posted that would indicate that he had any knowledge the neighbor was operating a non-licensed business.

    However, I would like to know who handled the title transfers. The neighbor was obtaining these RVs. Was he buying them or acting as an agent for the owners? Did he purchase them, title them in his own name and then sell them for profit? Was he jumping titles? And what did OP know of all this?
    Ay, there's the rub.

    I have bought and sold a considerable amount of cars in the past 40 years. I have often jumped titles and skirted dealer licensing laws. For the volume of vehicles sold by the OP for 25% of the profit I don't believe for a minute that he didn't know and wasn't complicit in something illegal. For the moment I'm sticking to illegal purpose making the contract unenforceable but I'm willing to wait and see how the OP fares in small claims court.

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