Can I get my money back if I already made some payments for the fee and decided not to file? 18 Answers as of February 20, 2014

I was going to file Chapter 11 about 9 months ago. I gave a $100.00 deposit and have paid $900.00 more towards the $1600.00 fee. I have changed my mind about filing. My question is can I get my money back? Thank you.

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Stuart P Gelberg
Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
The atty is entitled to be paid for the work performed to date. Much of the work in a bankruptcy is front loaded so I guess much of the fee paid has been earned. Ask for a statement.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/19/2014
Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
That will depend on the terms of your contract with your attorney. In my contract, all progress payments are non-refundable.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/19/2014
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
I would have to, a) review the fee agreement, and b) learn what has been done thus far, to properly answer this question.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 2/20/2014
Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
This will depend on what you agreed on with the attorney you paid. Most likely the fee agreement that you signed has language in it that addresses this issue.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/19/2014
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Yes, minus the work done.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/19/2014
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    Depends on the retainer agreement between you and your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Hoang & Tran PLLC | Adam Tran
    Who did you pay the filing fee? From the dollar amount, I assume it's with the attorney. If that is the case, you can always withdraw your case. The attorney however may charge you a nominal fee.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    That depends upon the retainer agreement, but probably yes.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    That is a question you should direct to your attorney since your fee agreement with him/her will be the controlling factor. From a common-sense standpoint, you should be able to recover at least some, if not all, of the fee you paid since the attorney didn't file a petition and thus has not fully performed. However, without knowing the contractual relationship between you and your lawyer, it is impossible to say with any certainty. However, there is nothing in the bankruptcy code that would address this issue.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/19/2014
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    I suspect you mean a chapter 13, not a chapter 11. You should review the retainer agreement you entered into with your lawyer to determine what, if anything, will be refunded to you. It will depend upon the terms of the agreement and the amount of time and resources that have been devoted to your matter.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/19/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    There is no way anyone would take $100 as a down payment on a Chapter 11 case because the fees to say hello for Chapter 11 begin at $10,000 & you claim the total fee is only $1,600. So assuming you paid a down payment on either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you may ask for an accounting of how the fee was earned. I think a refund is unlikely because the attorney would have been providing services such as obtaining your credit report, reviewing your document, and keeping creditors off of your back.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/19/2014
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    Most likely not if your lawyer has started working on your case.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Scott Goldstein | Scott Goldstein
    That would depend on the lawyer's billing practices and the amount of work done.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 2/19/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    YOU SHOULD READ YOUR RETAINER AGREEMENT WITH YOUR ATTORNEY AND IT SHOULD GIVE YOU SOME IDEA OF THEIR RETURN POLICY.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    Did you sign a retention letter? What does it say about refunds? I recommend reviewing that and asking the attorney for an accounting of the time and costs spent on your matter and a refund of the balance.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/19/2014
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin | Eric W. I. Anglin
    I think you need to look at the fee agreement that you signed. I suggest that you ask for a refund in writing and keep a copy of your letter. If the attorney hasn't performed any work on your case, he/she should have no reason to keep the money that you paid in advance.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Law Office of Barry R. Levine | Barry R. Levine, Esq.
    Ask whomever it was you paid the retainer to that's the way to go.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 2/19/2014
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    Depends on your fee agreement and how much preparation went into preparing the case. When you buy legal services you buy services not a product or outcome. The fact that you decided not to proceed does not undo the time spent on advising you or preparing.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/19/2014
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