Jump to content

41,000 dollar Bill from BK Lwyer


susanp
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was discharge from a Ch 7 case on December 3, 2011.My case was first filed in 2005 as a ch 7 converted to ch 13 and then back to ch 7.

I received a legal bill for 41,000 on December 8,2011.I cant pay this bill.

My question is..... AM I RESPOSIBLE to pay this ?

Edited by susanp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What???? I have never heard of such a thing. Normally a BR atty will not even take a case until you have paid them up front. It is usually for a certain amount. A normal BR is about $750. Maybe if you had judgements to remove or somethign they could charge you a little more. What sort of an attorney did you hire? You should have discussed the bill long before the BR was over. Since it was made during the BR I would get another atty to add it to the BR bills and have it washed out by BR!!! Something very fishy. How could you not know what you were going to be charged for BR and why would that atty not make you pay up front??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why didn't he or you discuss this bill before the case was over? He never brought up ther fact that you were going to have to pay more? The court was never aware of his charges? All I can think is to go back to court and put his bill in the BR since it was made during the BR time. Maybe you can get it discharged. Why wouldnt' he have made you pay upfront? I would also bring him up before the BAR on fraud charges. You can go back to court yourself to try and straighten this out. Tell the judge you aready paid the guy 10,000 and have no idea what this is about. And to add it to your BR debts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look into the rules of professional conduct, the American Bar Assn has them on line. They are basically the same for each state. There is a basic requirement that an attorney execute a fee agreement and set forth the fees and / or the manner in which you will be billed. I got an attorney a reprimand and continuing education for not doing this. You also have the option of filing a fee dispute with the state bar where you live. This sounds out of line.

Model Rules of Professional Conduct: Table of Contents | The Center for Professional Responsibility

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest usctrojanalum
Why wouldnt' he have made you pay upfront

The answer to this question is fairly obvious, as no reasonable consumer bankruptcy is expected to cost in the $40,000 range. You don't see BK's cost this much unless they are contested by creditors every step of the way and the entanglement of assets is severe and requires a lot of man hours.

At a reasonable rate of $250 per hour, this would be about 160 hours worth of work. Did your attorney put that much work into the case?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second that. Say What ???

I can see fees adding up when a ton of disputes arise during the proceedings. But I also thought the attorney was required to notify the trustee every time he/she bills for fees. Therefore, the client would know exactly what is accruing when it happens.

Are you saying the $41,000 bill came as a complete surprise? You thought nothing more was due?

My brother wanted to file chapter 13 years ago and an attorney told him to expect huge legal fees due to expecations that the IRS would vehemently object. I suppose if you had multiple issues in your bankruptcy, these fees could escalate but the client should know before discharge.

Sounds like a scam. And the attorney knows you can't file BK to get rid of them.

I would SERIOUSLY look into this. So, you're saying the total bill was $51,000? Was it a business?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He did an extrodianary amount of work on this case.It was contested every step of the wat by my ex husband ( we were still trying to settle our marital estate in another court)When I made payments into the 13 plan they were never distributed to the creditors or attorney.

I was never under the impression that I would be responsible for this bill.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Bill is legitimate.I am unable to locate the fee agreement that I signed with him.I am so STUPID to have thought that I would be exempt from paying the balance of 41,000.

Going through this BK has just about ruined my life. I was thrilled to have finally been discharged.

I really don't think I can take any more

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Bill is legitimate.I am unable to locate the fee agreement that I signed with him.I am so STUPID to have thought that I would be exempt from paying the balance of 41,000.

Going through this BK has just about ruined my life. I was thrilled to have finally been discharged.

I really don't think I can take any more

Susanp, don't say that. If you were able to go through the divorce and the bankruptcy and survive, then the biggest battles are over.

If the attorney fees are legitimate, then he kinda did you a favor. I suppose he could have flew the coop. Given he knew your situation, one has to wonder how he figured he would get paid. Have you considered calling him to inquire about some modification/workout? Just thinking out loud.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

who did you think would be paying the bill?? What does BR have to do with a marital separation? This gets odder and odder?

I don't know what to say except you should never allow the bills to rack up without knowing the costs of things. lawyers don't work for free. Who did you think was paying? Never wise to allow lawyers to settle your marital problems. all you do is give them all your money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, there is no way out of it. I don't understand why you thought it would be discharged. Most lawyers make you pay up front. Then their fee is paid before the BR is ever started. I have no idea why you think the lawyer would work for free and discharge his bill in BR???? That makes no sense to me but I guess you were so stressed out you weren't thinking straight.

I would call him and discuss the bill and see if he will lower it. Tell him you have no way to pay it. You are going to have to decide how to pay it. Do you have money to pay it? Why why why is all I can say??? I can't understand taking on a 41,000 debt to file BR. How much was the BR for?? what part did you husband owe?? Is he responsible for any of the debt? You can just not pay and he will take you to court and get a judgement that is on your record. Since you already have a BR it prob won't hurt much but do you have a job that can be garnished? or any $$ in a savings acct? Who fought this BR all the way??? Either you qualify or your don't. I don't get any of this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This sounds more like a divorce settlement to me. opposing attorneys wracking up a bill over spousal disagreements Was your lawyer a divorce lawyer or a BR lawyer? There shouldn't be anyone arguing all the way etc. It is pretty cut and dried. You let the court know how much your income and assets are and how much the debt is and they tell you if you can discharge them in a 13 or a 7. After the court decides there should be no arguing and all of this. This sounds more like a divorce fight. Is that what happened?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're filing BK, involved in a messy divorce, have paid 10K up front and a BK atty runs up 41K in legal fees, I'd argue assumption of risk in fighting the case. Who has 41K for legal fees that is filing BK.

Okay, it won't work, but with as much garbage affirmative defenses that are thrown around, It did make me think, WTF was the atty thinking. It's not like a criminal case where the atty is stuck defending an accused, pretty much no matter what, once they sign on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest usctrojanalum
It's not like a criminal case where the atty is stuck defending an accused, pretty much no matter what, once they sign on.

Actually, it is. If the case was as complicated as the OP is making it sound, there is no judge in this country that would grant a motion to be relieved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.