Defining cases of commingling

There is an old adage that says you never should mix business with pleasure. Outside of referring to your activities, this saying can be applied to any aspect of business. Whenever a professional combines business and personal resources, the potential for trouble exists. Many of those that we here at St. Denis & Davey have worked with in Jacksonville have seen firsthand how difficult it may be to recover assets and funds from a fiduciary once said professional has mixed them with his or her own. A term exists for this particular breach of trust: commingling. 

Commingling is defined as a fiduciary mixing personal funds and assets with that of an employer, client or ward. Some common examples of this may include: 

  • A real estate agent placing the money for your down payment on a property into his or her own personal bank account
  • A landlord using your deposit money for personal reasons
  • An investment broker combining yours and other customer-owned securities with those of his or her brokerage
  • An attorney mixing funds allocated for your case with his or her own

Once a fiduciary has combined your assets with his or her own, the issue of accountability for them then becomes murky. In each of the aforementioned cases, you are not lending the fiduciary money, but rather entrusting him or her with it. Thus, you are not being asked to assume a credit risk on the fiduciary (even in the case of investment funds, the only risk you should face is that of your portfolio accounts' performances). 

In many cases, commingling is considered a criminal offense. When an attorney is accused of it, he or she risks disbarment. You can find out more about the legal options available to you in cases of commingling by continuing to explore our site. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email us for a response

Tell Us About Your Case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Contextual

Contact

Jacksonville Office
1300 Riverplace Boulevard
Suite 401
Jacksonville, FL 32207

Toll Free: 866-542-1996
Phone: 904-396-1996
Fax: 904-396-1991
Map & Directions

Miami Office
1395 Brickell Avenue
Suite 800
Miami, FL 33131

Phone: 305-200-8674
Phone: 305-200-8675
Fax: 305-200-8801
Map & Directions

West Palm Beach - By Appointment Only
301 Clematis Street
Suite 300
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Phone: 561-832-5991
Fax: 561-832-5985
Map & Directions

Panama City Office
305 Cherry Street
Panama City, FL 32401

Phone: 850-481-1386
Fax: 850-640-1247
Map & Directions

Tampa Office
10150 Highland Manor Drive
Suite 200
Tampa, FL 33610

Fax: 813-314-2163
Map & Directions