My sister is in a real bind right now. She accepted a settlement for an auto accident and her attorney told her she had to sign the check over to him to so that he could pay the medical bills and deduct his fee. He told her he would then issue her a check once the money had cleared his bank and that would be a maximum of 10 days. That was three weeks ago and she has not heard from him. She called and asked if her check was available for pick up or if it had been mailed out. His assistant told her that they have not yet prepared a check for her because they had not spoken to one of the doctor's offices yet and they do not know when they will be able to give her the check. However, the attorney already has of all of the bills and verified that before she agreed to the settlement. He also told her the exact amount she would be getting. Because she expected to receive that payment she went ahead an made an offer on a house. However if she does not go through with the deal she will lose thousands of dollars. (part of the agreement) She already used all of the money she has available for the house purchase, but still needs to pay for the inspection and the closing costs. She asked that the attorney call her back but he has not. How long can the attorney keep her money? If it matters we are in New Jersey and this was a settlement for an auto accident.