Unable To Pay Back Relocation

I recently left a position with a company because it was costing me money to stay and an oppurtunity became available elsewhere that would put me closer to my family. I had been through a relocation with the former company which depleted my savings as well as put a strain on my marriage. I am required to pay back 30% of the relocation benefits but no funds are available. What are my options?

1 answer  |  asked Jul 28, 2003 6:04 PM [EST]  |  applies to Texas

Answers (1)

Margaret A. Harris
Relocation Expense Repayment

Too many people find that the agreement to repay an employer for relocation expenses that the employer advanced is not affordable. But, small comfort to you. If the written agreement that obligates you to pay back some money that your former employer advanced for your move is straightforward, the company can file suit against you and seek judgment against you. You would really need a lawyer at that time, and the lawyer would need to be paid. There is no way to know whether your former employer will try to get this money out of you or, if so, to what ends it will go. Sometimes a former employer will negotiate with you and accept 50 cents on the dollar; sometimes not. Sometimes the decision-maker is ticked off that the employee left and will be unwilling to compromise one nickel. It is possible that the written agreement is not airtight; that would require hiring a lawyer to look over the agreement for you. Sometimes a lawyer can identify a claim that you might have against the company that you could use to bargain away the obligation to pay back the relocation expenses. Sometimes, a company never gets around to filing a lawsuit despite the threats -- given today's economy, however, I don't know how likely this would be. I would recommend a brief consultation with a lawyer to look at the agreement and figure out if there's some wiggle room for you.

posted by Margaret A. Harris  |  Jul 28, 2003 6:36 PM [EST]

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