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I paid $2500 to an attorney to file chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy but changed my mind. What portion of refund am I eligible?

Middleville, MI |

Is it legal to keep money for services not rendered/ I requested a detailed statement & was told during a conference call one would be mailed. That was in June, to date he has NOT returned my phone calls OR any $$. Is it ethical to do business that way. I have a receipt for the $2500 (I paid cash) but it does not detail the transaction. I need the money & don't appreciate the avoidance. What recourse do I have?

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Attorney answers 3


It depends upon your retainer agreement; I hope you have one. If there is a problem of collection, you could resort to a small claims court, if this type of debt is eligible for treatment in such a court.


I would suspect that the attorney made you sign some kind of agreement. Often times with flat fee services there may be a clause in the agreement that if you should change your mind and want a refund of your money the attorney then does an hourly accounting. If you do get in touch with him I would suggest that you ask for an itemized list of expenses. Should they seem exorbitant or he continues to avoid you, you may consider contacting your local state bar.

Jason L. James
Attorney at Law
Select Legal, PC
35 East Gay Street, Suite 406
P> 614.223.1235
F> 614.223.1236

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I mostly agree with the answers of my colleagues previously posted. Having said that, you are certainly entitled to the courtesy of a complete response and a detailed explanation of your account.

Review the terms of the retainer agreement you signed with your bankruptcy attorney. Even in a flat-fee engagement you should be entitled to a refund for services not performed. Send a certified mail request to the attorney seeking an accounting of what services were actually performed from the beginning of your case. You may wish to send a copy of the letter to the Office of the United States Trustee. You will likely receive a quick reply. Good luck to you.

This response is offered fr general guidance. It is not to be read as specific legal advice in your situation. You may wish to confer with a local attorney. No attorney-client relationship is created by the exchange of emails alone.