Lawyer made many mistakes


J

Joe

I'm carrying about $18k in debt,mostly credit card. The two cards are
with federal credit unions. Had good, solid long term record of
repayment and spotless credit with both FCU's for 10 years (and with
all my creditors). However, business went south in 2001, maxed out on
cards, couldn't repay, etc. Kept hoping to be able to repay.

This involves one of the CU's which has pursued me. They summoned me
for the debt amount plus fees and expenses in the amount of $6800. I
was intent on paying despite the hardship it would have entailed, but
the CU attorney would not negotiate someting reasonable for me. He was
bullying. I contacted a lawyer I'd used before for a different, minor
matter. The lawyer told me he would "make it go away" by stipulating
in a cross complaint that they had run my credit report after they had
declared the account charged off. This he claimed was illegal for them
to do. He said he had done this numerous times and that credit cards
companies had backed off because apparently they are not allowed to
run a credit check without your permission. I really didn't want
headaches and complicated procedures. I just wanted to negotiate
something reasonable. He said that's what the end result would be.

It turned out differently. The CU attorney charged him (in other
words, me) with frivolous complaint, saying they had every right to
check my credit report. They say they racked up an aditional $12k in
attornies fees. Now they are demanding $18k from me. It has not yet
gone to court. We had a mediation and that was absolutely futile. In
addition, my attorney told me that if he "stipulated to judgment" then
I would only be liable for the original principle, $5600. He said they
would have to take that offer. Something called Section 998 in the
California code. As you can guess, all this is beyond me. In any case,
he admits it did not "go as planned." They did not take take the offer
and apparently they don't have to.

I never liked the shenanigans he was trying to pull in the first
place, but I didn't really understand them and don't now either. All I
know is I'm being sued for $18k by the CU for the amount owed plus all
these attorney fees.

Now, my lawyer's agreement with me was he would charge me $1200 and
that when all was settled he would have gotten my debt down
substantially (or made it go away) and ou agreement was that at the
very worst I would not owe more than the original $6800 claim against
me -- in other words, at the very worst, I would have paid out $5600
to the CU and the $1200 to my lawyer. Now he says he's done a lot of
work and doesn't want to pursue this anymore unless I pay up. Which is
why he's pushing me to file for bankruptcy.

The attorney now recommends I file for bankruptcy. As it happens, I do
not currently have any assets. I don't like the idea of filing for
bankruptcy. I am really not sure how to proceed.
 
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R

richardsfault

There should be strict laws against bullying via attorney's fees. It
only adds to the negative impression much of the public holds against
the law profession.

Here in Texas, HOA's have been notorious in this manner, and public
outcry has lead to reforms.

The average "working Joe" does not understand why an attorney's time
is worth several hundred dollars per hour.

Besides, if someone is struggling to pay a bill, beating a dying horse
does no good.
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Some people claim that there's a woman to blame, but I think it's all...

Richard's fault!

Visit the Sounds of the cul-de-sac at www.richardsfault.com
 

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