After filing for bankruptcy, Grubb & Ellis sent letters to brokers and employees informing them they wouldn’t be compensated for commissions and other payments they were owed pre-bankruptcy. The New York Observer reported that more than 300 objections were filed by employees across the U.S. to prevent the court from approving the motion.
While some of the objections were for smaller claims, such as unused vacation time, others are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars. Brokers who are owed commissions for deals before the bankruptcy filing date have become unsecured creditors of the firm. Michael Gottlieb, a Manhattan-based vice chairman, for example, said he was owed more than $50,000 in back commission, nearly $100,000 in upcoming commissions for deals that will soon close and $250,000 as payments due next year because of his employment contract.
BGC Partners, which acquired the firm’s assets, has offered two-year loans, whose debt would be forgiven after that time, equal to commissions owed to brokers in an effort to retain them. But many are uncomfortable with the arrangement, the Observer said. [NYO]