With so many people being affected by this devastating oil spill, Realtors must take special provisions when filing for financial loss with BP. Although there is a sense of urgency to replace lost commissions with a claim to BP remember what you are collecting...commissions. Real estate law states that only the qualifying broker may disburse commissions, and individual agents may not be compensated directly. The direction provided from legal counsel in Alabama is that agents may help prepare the documentation for a claim but the qualifying broker must file and collect the actual claim. The potential penalty of a fine and a revoked license is not an equitable trade off for pursuing the claim by an individual agent.
I will be submitting my claim today with my broker present for an offer on a Gulf front home my buyer withdrew his offer on, specifically because of the BP oil spill. It will take more time, more paperwork, more review by the adjustors, but in the long run, I am doing the right thing, the right way.