Approximately a year ago, I sold some of my mineral rights. After the sale was complete, I notified the current operator, XTO, via email about the sale of certain properties with copies of the notarized legal sale documents. In my email, I addressed my concerns about the sale of the properties and XTO over paying me on royalty interests that I sold. In their response, they indicated that the sale/transfer could take up to 90 business days and seemed indifferent and had no concerns about over payments.
As I suspected, they overpaid me for royalties, which I had already sold, despite my notification of sale as well as my concerns of over payment.
My last check from XTO was on 07/30/2020. Since it had been 3 months since I received royalty payments from XTO I gave them a call today and asked them why I had not received any royalty payments from them since the end of July. Since there are multiple properties involved, in which XTO is the operator, I was concerned that the properties that I did not sell were also not producing any royalty payments.
I talked to an XTO revenue department representative that told me my payments had been suspended until they recouped the over payment amount. Apparently, Operators/Producers are not required to notify interest owners of over payments and suspense of future payments. The properties of concern are both in Midland and Glasscock county Texas. I only sold my interests in Glasscock County.
Should I contact a mineral attorney to dispute the over payments based on the fact that I notified them immediately upon the sale of the properties yet they chose to ignore my concerns and written requests? Instead, they just over paid me on the sold properties and then suspended ALL revenue payments from all of my currently owned properties.
I have direct deposit so XTO deposits the checks directly into my bank account. Therefore, I cannot return the checks but would have to draft a new check for the overpayment. How is the owner supposed to know if the operator has overpaid them if the operator does not inform the owner that they have overpaid them?
I feel I did everything within my powers to notify and address the sale and my concerns for overpayment. I have copies of all the correspondence and documents regarding the sale and communication between the buyers myself, and XTO. I diligently notified all parties concerned and I have all of the correspondence between those parties.
I appreciate any suggestions from forum members and legal experts on what my option are in this case.