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Can an attorney charge interest on a unpaid legal bill?

Brea, CA |

I have a legal bill for 16,000.00 originally that has climbed to 32,000.00 because of interest charged. I was making payments that only was covering the interest. It never touched the principle.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

I agree with my colleague's analysis, but one has to wonder what interest the attorney is charging to triple the amount of fees by virtue of accruing interest. You may wish to consult the bar. I am not sure, but I do not think compounded interest is permitted. Again, without knowing the facts of your written retainer agreement, further analysis is impossible.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


Yes, an attorney can charge interest. You should refer to your fee agreement to see if the attorney included an amount there, otherwise CA statutory interest will apply.

My answer is for only informational purposes and is not legal advice. I am licensed to practice law in Oregon and I recommend contacting a local attorney for the best help with your legal questions.


Yes, but the fact that the attorney is going to charge interest must be clearly set forth in the attorney's retainer agreement with the client.

The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.

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