Agent Issues Court denies ASTA motion to halt pay recall By Michael Milligan / September 16, 2003 Share 1 -- WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida denied a motion by ASTA that would have prevented the estate of Renaissance Cruises from recalling back commissions from travel agents. ASTA had sought to stay such collection efforts pending resolution of the Society's lawsuit against the cruise line's estate over the matter.While expressing disappointment at the ruling, ASTA president Richard Copland said in a statement that the Society nevertheless remains "confident that the Renaissance commissions are not subject to recall and that this principle will be vindicated in ongoing litigation against the trustee."The court didn't provide an explanation for denying the Society's motion but left the door open for later refiling."The fact that he gave permission to refile signifies that, at most, he thought this was not the right stage in the case to address it," said Paul Ruden, ASTA staff senior vice president of legal and industry affairs.Much depends on whether the court allows the Society's lawsuit against the Renaissance estate to move forward as a class action. The court is expected to rule on that after a hearing slated for Sept. 16."If [the judge] dismisses the class action, the issue of a stay is moot," Ruden said.In the meantime, Ruden advised agents who receive recall notices from Renaissance to seek legal aid and respond to the notices."They have to defend themselves or they will experience default judgments against them, and they will wind up being liable for money they do not owe," he said.ASTA filed the lawsuit on behalf of seven of its members July 25, with the intention of having it certified as a class action encompassing all ASTA agents in the U.S.The lawsuit challenges the Renaissance estate's recall of agency commissions on cruises that didn't sail after the cruise line ceased operations on Sept. 25, 2001.To contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to email@example.com.