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Exuberant fees from lawyer to collect debt


hakuwillis
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I fell behind my condo monthly fees about five years ago after a loss of roommate and cancellation of credit card.

As of two years ago, I owed approximately $5,000.00. The condo association hired a well known attorney group in NJ around 4 years ago. They sent many correspondences via US mail and of course countless phone calls. Most of these I did ignore as I did not have the cash to pay and was out of a job at the time.

Well as my circumstances were changing for the better, I read a letter from this attorney group, stating I owed the $5,000.00 plus and additional $15,000.00 in fees and interest.

Is this legal? Can they charge 3x the debit amount for fees and interest? After reading "the bill" I went back to my ignore stage and haven't spoken or read anything they have sent me since.

There is a lot more to this, with events occurring within those 5 years, but I am trying to keep it simple.

Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you

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I fell behind my condo monthly fees about five years ago after a loss of roommate and cancellation of credit card.

As of two years ago, I owed approximately $5,000.00. The condo association hired a well known attorney group in NJ around 4 years ago. They sent many correspondences via US mail and of course countless phone calls. Most of these I did ignore as I did not have the cash to pay and was out of a job at the time.

Well as my circumstances were changing for the better, I read a letter from this attorney group, stating I owed the $5,000.00 plus and additional $15,000.00 in fees and interest.

Is this legal? Can they charge 3x the debit amount for fees and interest? After reading "the bill" I went back to my ignore stage and haven't spoken or read anything they have sent me since.

There is a lot more to this, with events occurring within those 5 years, but I am trying to keep it simple.

Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you

They can if there is a statute that allows them to or if you entered into a lawful contract with them that allows them to and there isn't otherwise a statute that says they can't. I know, that's not a definitive answer to your question, but I simply do not have enough information to tell you more than that.

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Is this legal? Can they charge 3x the debit amount for fees and interest?

This is simple contract law coupled with the laws in your area. If you agreed to it in the contract and the figure they are demanding, no statute says they can't get that much, then they can.

I hate to say it, but 5K, four years ago, with interest and I would assume other fees for not paying and with an attorney involved, 15K sounds about right.

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Thanks for the exuberant answers and thanks to spell checker.

Still don't understand how they can get away with it. 3x an incurring balance in fees. $5000 becomes $20,000.

Another word for your vocabulary - UNCONSCIONABLE. Quadrupling a debt in 4 years may be pretty close to it. Judges tend to not like Unconscionable contracts. Just because they wrote it into a contract and even though you agreed to it, if it "shocks the conscience and offends the sense of fairness" Courts have often refused to enforce such provisions.

Edited by Flyingifr
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Another word for your vocabulary - UNCONSCIONABLE. Quadrupling a debt in 4 years may be pretty close to it. Judges tend to not like Unconscionable contracts. Just because they wrote it into a contract and even though you agreed to it, if it "shocks the conscience and offends the sense of fairness" Courts have often refused to enforce such provisions.

I'd agree if it was all just fees, but they have atty fees which I'm sure is a huge bulk of the increase.

However, there is a shot at unconscionable but I think a long shot for this one.

What is also true is just because something is written in a contract does not make it legal.

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Guest usctrojanalum

it really does sound high. i'd ask them for a break down of how they calculated the 15k and see what they come back with.

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