Author Topic: Flat fee Refund  (Read 2837 times)

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conrusco

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Flat fee Refund
« on: June 23, 2015 03:38:38 PM »
I have been in the arbitration forum for the last 6 years and recently I was able to settle with my final creditor, satan himself citi.

I settled one day before the final confirmation award hearing on my arb appeal. Citi will go all the way no matter the cost.

Six months prior to this I paid a local attorney 1750. to file bankruptcy for me if things went downhill. I informed him that I would only file if necessary and that nothing needed to be done until I requested the bankruptcy be filed.

The attorney place the money in his escrow account, I saw the endorsement on the back of my checks. I received no receipts or any other paper work. Everything was done by email.

I recently informed him that I no longer would need to file a bankruptcy and to please refund my money. I received an email stating that since it was a flat fee no refund was due, but as a courtesy he would refund 1000.00 and keep 750.00 for internal expenses of handling the case. I received no accounting of the internal expenses. I have not as yet received the 1000.00 .

Is this worth pursuing or am I lucky he offered me any money refund at all?

Bruno the JDB Killer

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2015 03:45:41 PM »
Without a fee agreement, you're lucky to get anything.
I am not an attorney. Any information I post is strictly my opinion and should be treated as such.

conrusco

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2015 03:55:41 PM »
Or is it the other way around. Without a fee agreement the attorney has fraudulently retained funds for no work performed. Would a bar complaint be effective?

fisthardcheese

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2015 04:10:49 PM »
It might be worth asking the lawyer to produce the signed fee agreement showing that what you paid was a non refundable flat fee. 

Perhaps also attach the emails where he agreed to hold the funds in escrow as a deposit.
11 Arb Settlements (9 AAA, 2 JAMS)
3 JDB Suits Dismissed With Prejudice (2 pro-se, 1 consumer atty)
3 TCPA Settlements (2 pro-se, 1 consumer atty)
2 FCRA Settlements (consumer atty)
1 FDCPA Settlement (w consumer atty)
1 Small Claims Win (pro-se; Landlord/state consumer law violations)
1 State UDAP Settlement (ITS)
1 Federal PTC Settlement (before hearing; pro-se)

heartlipids

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2015 04:23:37 PM »
In addition to the signed agreement, ask him to produce all documents that were drawn up, all correspondence, and a printout of their billable hours for you.

deepkimchee

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2015 05:05:50 PM »
"Without a fee agreement, your lucky to get anything."

+1

I have never, ever, ever got a refund from an attorney that was fair.  Even attorney's I have had personal relationships with.
I refuse to let a piece of paper intimidate me

My statements are educated/non-educated guesses, not legal advice

kevinmanheim

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2015 06:06:19 PM »
I would look at it this way -- The attorney was there for you if you needed him. That included giving advice as needed, and possibly fielding calls from creditors.

While it is difficult to put a price on that work, I don't think $750 is unreasonable.

I would accept the $1,000 and move on.

You beat Citi. That isn't easy to do. If you hadn't, your attorney would have worked much harder to untangle the Citi issue in BK court.

Flyingifr

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2015 07:54:51 PM »
The only problem with suing the attorney for this wouldbe:

Where would you find a Judge who doesn't do or hasn't done exactly the same thing?
BTW-the Flyingifr Method does work. (quoted from Hannah on Infinite Credit, September 19, 2006)

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Bruno the JDB Killer

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2015 08:10:59 PM »
It is basic contract law. You made an oral agreement with this dude, and you did not protect yourself by getting it in writing. Take the money and run.
I am not an attorney. Any information I post is strictly my opinion and should be treated as such.

CleaningUp

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2015 08:24:44 PM »
Funds paid into an attorneys escrow accounts usually go to the attorney's widows and orphans fund...

...Usually before they become widows and orphans.

Take the grand and move on.


conrusco

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2015 08:58:50 PM »
I am waiting to see if he sends the 1000. he agreed to refund. Then its a free roll to try and get the 750.00 back.

Their never was a fee agreement or any agreement. This is not the attorney that negotiated the settlement with citi, I had to engage another attorney to do that. This attorney would not even attempt to negotiate. To him the solution to everything was bankruptcy.

I agree it will be a long shot but that is why we are all here, to make attorneys fear pro se litigants.

deepkimchee

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2015 09:54:42 PM »
Some states mandate an itemized invoice of services rendered by attorneys. The recourse in a situation like this is vey difficult. You might want to threaten to use social media such as Yelp to tell the public your story. Just make sure what you post is the truth and nothing but the truth.
I refuse to let a piece of paper intimidate me

My statements are educated/non-educated guesses, not legal advice

excelsior

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2015 10:27:07 PM »
the settlement with citi
Are you at liberty to share details on this?  It sounds as if you might have won?

conrusco

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2015 12:22:50 AM »
"the settlement with citi"

citi was the last one standing. I settled for about 57% to avoid bankruptcy or a judgement. So I won in the sense that I saved 14k and have no judgement. I would have filed BK if citi was not the only creditor left. So I beat 22 and settled with 1 over a 6 year journey, everything is out of SOL and should clear my credit reports next year. Discover was the only major creditor that I did not have, dealt with everybody else either in court or arb or with a C&D.

Belle2004

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Re: Flat fee Refund
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2015 12:43:50 AM »
Great work! I am sure you are very relieved to have this all over!