Skip to main content

Filed a Chap. 13 with help from my attorney, he did most of the papers and I went to LA, to file them.

Pomona, CA |

As this was an emergency Chap. 13, I was missing some schedules. I let the attorney and he again, helped but this time the schedules said Chap. 7. I did not catch this. Now I find out that the BK has been dismissed. Attorney did nothing for the movart that the mortgage company filed against me. Now attorney wants my husband to file a REAL BK 13, as I am blocked for 6 months, because of attorney, he had me file twice! Now he wants to help. I paid him $5000.00 and the only thing I feel is that I was taken for the money, nothing, now he wants me to talk with his boss. Can I request my $5000.00 back, I think attorney just wants more money, and house is still scheduled for sale.

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

You can always request a refund, but it sounds like the person you hired to do this work was not hired to represent you, and there is a big difference between helping and representing. It also sounds as if the attorney was not licensed to practice in the district where your bankruptcy was filed and/or had little or no bankruptcy experience. The reason I believe this is because even an inexperienced licensed attorney knows how to file bankruptcy cases online and without the need to travel to the courthouse. Check with the state bar association to determine more about this person's status, or look for more information about this person using the Avvo "Find a Lawyer" search feature. Hope this perspective helps!

Mark as helpful

9 lawyers agree

Posted

You need to see a qualified BK attorney in your area. You can use the find a lawyer function here on Avvo to locate one. Alternatively, the State Bar certifies consumer bankruptcy attorneys and you may be able to locate one using the State Bar website. Your new attorney may be able to obtain a refund for you or advise you if you have a cause of action for malpractice against your prior attorney. Unfortunately, you will probably have to pay for the services of the new attorney, prior to receipt of any refund. Good luck.

I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference

Mark as helpful

8 lawyers agree

Posted

I agree with my colleagues. Additionally, you should try to request your money back; especially if it was his fault that your case got dismissed. Your situation sounds very different from the norm of how most bankruptcy attorneys operate. Most bankruptcy attorneys wont take $5000 up front. More importantly, they will file your case themselves, or electronically, and definitely wont give you a packet to file yourself. Also, in most cases, a bankruptcy attorney is not allowed to charge more than $4000 ($4500 if you are self employed). These numbers are from the trustee's website.

Mark as helpful

5 lawyers agree

3 comments

Michael Raymond Daymude

Michael Raymond Daymude

Posted

Fees have increased for self-employed, although only $4000 may be collected prior to confirmation. See current Rights and Responsibilities Agreement here: http://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/forms/rights-and-responsibilities-agreement-between-chapter-13-debtors-and-their-attorneys

Rex Tran

Rex Tran

Posted

Thank you. Correction $5000, if the debtor is engaged in a business.

Michael Raymond Daymude

Michael Raymond Daymude

Posted

Still, I smell a skunk.

Posted

I am sorry to hear that this happened to you. Unfortunately in the past few years many attorneys have flocked to the practice of bankruptcy and have been learning on the job. Seek out an attorney who handles consumer bankruptcy cases exclusively and who has a good reputation in Chapter 13. You can have the bar to refiling lifted by filing a motion with the court. A good attorney will be able to assess your facts and see if you will be a good candidate for having the restriction for filing lifted. Do not mess around with attorneys who dabble in bankruptcy, especially Chapter 13 - it is a recipe for disaster.

The answers provided herein are meant to be generic in nature and not to respond directly to a particular question. For further information, please contact me directly at 626-332-8600. We have offices throughout Southern California and offer a free consultation.

Mark as helpful

4 lawyers agree

Posted

I volunteer at Public Counsel and we often hear horror stories about non attorneys filing for homeowners with results like this. I am doubtful that this person is a licensed attorney. I agree wholeheartedly with my colleagues. You want to make sure this person is licensed to practice in CA and then you might consider reporting the attorney to the US Trustee's office. When we get these horror stories at Public Counsel, (people being overcharged by non-attorney bankruptcy petition preparers, attorneys who eggregiously drop the ball, etc.) we send them to the Trustee's office to make a complaint. Only the person harmed can do this - make the complaint. I am horrified by the number of people taking advantage of homeowners in this mortgage crisis. I hope you can turn this around, and best of luck to you. Most able, competent attorneys who focus primarily on bankruptcy will offer you a free consult. Again, best of luck. Stay proactive and aggressive.

Mark as helpful

Real estate topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics