Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman

Broker. - A broker, unlike an auctioneer, usually has no special property in the goods he is authorized to sell. Ordinarily also he must sell them in the name of the principal, and his sales are private. He receives a commission usually called brokerage. He can act only as the agent of the other party when the terms of the contract are settled and he is instructed to finish it. Brokers are of many kinds. They relate to bills and notes, stocks, shipping, insurance, real estate, pawned goods, merchandise, etc. A bill and note broker who does not disclose the principal's name is liable like other agents as a principal. He is also held to an implied authority, not only to sell, but that the signatures of all the parties thereon are genuine. Unless he indorses it he does not warrant their solvency.

An insurance broker is ordinarily employed by the person seeking insurance, and is therefore unlike an insurance agent, who is a representative of an insurance company, and usually has the authority of a general agent. A delivery of a policy therefore, to an insurance broker, would be a delivery to his principal. He is a special agent. Unless employed generally to keep up his principal's insurance, he has no implied authority to return a policy to be cancelled, and notice to him that a policy had ceased, would not be notice to his principal.

An insurance broker must exercise reasonable care and diligence in selecting none but reliable companies, and in securing proper and sufficient policies to cover the risks placed to be covered by insurance; and if he selects companies which are then in good standing he would not be liable should they afterward become insolvent.

Merchandise brokers, unless factors, negotiate for the sale of merchandise without having possession or control of it. Like other agents they must serve faithfully and cannot act for both parties, seller and buyer, in the same transaction, without the knowledge and consent of both. In many transactions he does thus represent both by their express or implied authority, and therefore binding both when signing for them.

A real estate broker in the employ of his principal is bound to act for his principal alone, using his utmost good faith in his behalf. And a promise by one of the principals in an exchange of real estate, after the completion of the negotiations, to pay a commission to the other party's broker, to whom he owed nothing, is void for lack of a consideration.

To gain his commission a broker must produce a person who was ready, able and willing both to accept and live up to the terms offered by the owner of the property. Nor can a property owner escape payment of a broker's commission by selling the land himself and at a price less than the limit put on the broker.

The business of a pawnbroker is legally regulated by statute, and the states usually require him to get a license. As the business may be prohibited, a municipality or other power may regulate and control his business. The rate of interest that he may charge is fixed by statute. The pawnee may lose his right by exacting unlawful interest. Nor has the pawnee the right to retain possession against the true owner of any article that has been pawned without his consent or authority. If the true owner has entrusted it to someone to sell, who, instead of selling, pawns it, the pawner is protected in taking it as security. The sale of pawned goods is usually regulated by statute. If none exists, and there is no agreement between the parties, the sale must be public after due notice of the time and place of sale. If there is any surplus, arising from the sale, he must pay it to the pawner, and not apply it on another debt that he may owe the pawnee. The pawner, or an assignee or purchaser of the pawn ticket may redeem it within the time fixed by law or agreement, or even beyond the agreed time if the pawnee has not exercised his right of sale. Subject to the pawnee's claim, the pawner has the same right over the article pawned as he had after pawning it, and may therefore sell and transfer his interest as before. Lastly the pawner is liable for any deficiency after the sale of the thing pawned, unless released by statute. See Agency.


Do It Yourself Legal Forms
Law for the Laymen - Broker
Page Updated 8:26 PM Thursday 7/10/2014