Your lawyer spent time with you for a consultation, contacted the Plaintiff/lender on your behalf, got the case dismissed, you got out from under the property, and there is no deficiency judgment on the horizon... sounds like you got more than your money's worth.
I am licensed in Florida and NYS. When you say that you worked out the short sale yourself, was the property up for sale when it went into foreclosure? Did your attorney ask you for bank statements, a hardhsip letter, full financial details, tax returns, etc? In other words, to what extent did you work with the lender on the short sale documents? Who sent in the contract of sale and all the updated documents?
I ask you this because clients often think that since the bank negotiator called them and spoke with them a few times months after the modification or short sale was initiated, they think they did it alone or their lawyers or brokers did very little. There's usually a lot more than what clients see. And the banks have been very successful at convincing their borrowers that their brokers or lawyers did nothing and that they should have come directly to the bank and the bank would have helped them directly. And to this I ask, if that were true, then why did they proceed with foreclosure? Why didn't the bank help?
So if your lawyer said it was a flat fee and his presence was able to hold the mortgage company at bay until the property was short saled, then he did do the job. And don't forget, since it was a flat fee, if he would have been required to put in many hours, that would have been his loss, as the two of you made that deal.