Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC

BP Claims for Real Estate Agents and Self-Employed Individuals

By David Schexnaydre, Esq.

While our law firm mainly processes BP Claims for our business-owner clients, many individual employees ask us if they are eligible to make a BP claim.  The answer involves asking a few questions:

1) Are you in the Seafood Industry (whether catching, processing, distributing, selling or serving)?; or,
2) Are you in the Tourism Industry?; or,
3) Did your employer qualify for a BP claim AND can you show a decrease in income between April 2010 and December 2010 AND will your employer sign a sworn affidavit that the decline in income was directly related to the BP Oil Spill?; or,
4) Do you get a 1099 at the end of the year AND do you file federal income tax Form 1040 with Schedules C, D, E, or F?  
A major group of self-employed claimants includes real estate agents.  Generally, real estate agents are exclusively contracted with a Realtor or Real Estate Agency but are not direct employees.  Thus, they are considered Self-Employed Individuals under the BP Settlement Agreement.  
There are a couple of challenges associated with bringing claims on behalf of real estate agents. First, real estate agents tend to not keep monthly profit and loss statements, which is the preferred method of proving monthly income and expenses by the BP Settlement Agreement.  As a result, Pajares & Schexnaydre has created easy-to-use templates for recreating monthly profit and loss statements from source documents, which is allowed by the terms of the BP Settlement Agreement.  The source documents needed are:
1) A printout from the Realtor or Real Estate Agency showing monthly commissions paid to the real estate agent from 2007 through 2011, along with 1099s matching the annual amount;
2) Receipts for expenses incurred by the real estate agent for that same time period but only in a limited number of categories known as Variable Expenses under the BP Settlement Agreement.  As applied to the typical practice of real estate agents, those expenses include (a) fuel, (b) donations/contributions, (c) travel/entertainment, and (d) education/training.
With the printout of commissions, 1099s, and receipts of expenses, we can reconstruct monthly profit and loss statements to calculate the amount, if any, for which a particular agent may qualify.
In addition to proving the necessary decline in income, real estate agents can also qualify for lost commissions on contracts canceled due to BP Oil Spill.  A couple of caveats: (1) the contract must have been in place before the April 20, 2010 spill, and (2) the real estate agent must produce contemporaneously-created documentation that the BP Oil Spill was the reason for the cancellation of the Agreement to Purchase or Sell, i.e., the documentation must have been created at or near the time of the cancellation, not now.
Pajares & Schexnaydre has performed analyses for a number of real estate agents.  While some agents do not qualify, we have submitted claims on behalf of other real estate agents for five and six figures.  The key to making a successful BP Claim on behalf of a real estate agent is having a dedicated staff like ours who is willing to take the time and effort to organize five years' worth of data into an easy-to-review, understandable format that complies with the requirements of the BP Settlement Agreement.
For a free analysis of whether you qualify for a BP Claim as a Self-Employed Individual, feel free to contact David Schexnaydre at [email protected] or by filling out the "How Can We Help You" form on this blog site (

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Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC
2895 Highway 190, Suite 212
Mandeville, LA 70471

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