Paying Back a Signing Bonus... “Benefit Recovery Group”

Hey guys, I was given a signing bonus a bit more than a year ago of $10K - received $5.6K or so after tax. However, some recovery group is now chasing me down to pay the full amount lump sum with the latest email being:

"Please be advised that your file with Benefit Recovery, which has an amount due of $9,235, is delinquent. Your former employer reserves the pursue legal action to recover the funds and any additional costs of recovery. The file is currently being reviewed for further action at the discretion of your former employer since there has been no effort in resolving. Payment is therefore due immediately. 

Please remit your payment with a debit card, credit card, or electronic check on our payment portal at..."


Am I fucked? I've heard mixed cases of people ignoring comms and paybacks to let the issue fizzle away, some people definitely paying, etc. But what's my best case here? I've been out of the banking world for a while and could use some help.

Comments (25)

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2022 - 6:49pm

Yeah -- I triple checked for any open items upon leaving and HR was like nope you're good to go. My fault though it does say it in on the last page of my OL... but still -- I've read through every signing bonus-related thread and don't know what to do. I have the money, but this is like all of my liquidity right now and wondering if I should keep ghosting or cave in.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2022 - 8:46pm

I'd have to imagine the legal fees associated with pursuing something like this would be higher than the amount they'd recoup. To me, the key areas of consideration are will you return to banking and will it affect your credit? If the answer to both of those is no, I'd say just let it ride out and see what happens. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 11, 2022 - 1:11pm

Lol just don't pay it's not the IRS or something. No bank is going to go through the trouble of getting your measly $10k back 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 11, 2022 - 7:34pm

Yeah I think so too -- these guys prob bought my debt for pennies on the dollar and are threatening legal action which is still ultimately at the discretion of the bank, not them... your advice is to still ignore?

Most Helpful
Jan 11, 2022 - 7:46pm

Tax-wise, if you received a $10K gross signing bonus that became $5.6K after taxes, you would pay the employer the $10K back and then receive an amended W-2 that you would use to get your $4.4K back from the IRS. Where this becomes a pain is that your now former employer has zero incentive to expedite this, so you might be out the $4.4K a minute.

I have no advice on the actual issue, but am curious what others think. The bank could very well come after you to ensure that other employees know that the bank will not waive its claw back provisions. The bank could also sell the debt, and then you'd be dealing with a debt buyer who would report continued non-payment to the credit agencies. I have no idea how likely any of that is.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 11, 2022 - 9:39pm

Ahh I see -- yeah, I doubt the bank would expedite that whatsoever.

This is a tough call, but I guess I'll continue to wait it out until the note becomes genuinely threatening / urgent...

Jan 11, 2022 - 9:36pm

Are you sure the email address is legitimate and not some type of phishing scam?


  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 11, 2022 - 9:44pm

Yeah I'm sure. I was in contact with my former employer HR team for a while and they notified they'd be transitioning this off their plate.

Jan 14, 2022 - 3:44pm

You gotta share what bank lol... this is wild

Wild? It's a simple fucking contract they have every right to send him to collections

I've had clawbacks on regular bonuses and signing bonuses and had new employer made aware to cover it so I can pay before I leave

if you get a warning letter they're definitely close to putting you into collections 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 12, 2022 - 3:44pm

>ignores $10k ask

>>bu- bu- but you HAVE TO PAY IT BACK!1!

>*sigma male theme songs plays*

>no i dont

>>bu- bu- but muh contract!

>dont care

>>we will sell ur debt!

>dont care

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2022 - 10:43am

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