Can you hire a CPA and a bankruptcy lawyer at the same time? 14 Answers as of July 25, 2011

If someone hires a CPA to do work while they are simultaneously consulting a bankruptcy lawyer (i.e. they knew they'd never pay for the work), is that fraud? And if so, what is my recourse? They instructed me to continue working less than 2 weeks before I received a letter stating they had filed for bankruptcy, and they have an outstanding balance of $5,000 with me.

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Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
You can object to the dischargeability of the debt on the basis of fraud if you can prove they knew they were going to file when they hired you.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/25/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You can file an action under section 523 of the bankruptcy code to have that debt declared non-dischargeable. You can also at the same time ask that they not get a discharge at all under section 727. See a lawyer to help with this.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/25/2011
Dearbonn Law Offices
Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
The amount owed you will be discharged in the bankruptcy. Your options are slim at this time.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/24/2011
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
Services performed fewer than 90 days are presumed to be fraudulent and nondischargeable. You must file an adversary proceeding (lawsuit) in the bankruptcy court case to get a determination of its nondischargeability.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/24/2011
Law Offices of Daniel Moulton
Law Offices of Daniel Moulton | Daniel Moulton
If you are doing everything legal and exploring sall of your options, there is nothing wrong with using a bankruptcy attorney and CPA. In fact, it may be a wise thing to do.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 7/24/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    It could be fraud but more information would be required to determine if you have reasonable grounds to file a complaint objecting to the dischargeability of the debt owed you for your services. You have a very limited amount of time (generally 60 days after the meeting of creditors) to file such a complaint. You will need to hire a lawyer to represent and it is likely that a $5,000 debt may be too small to warrant the legal fees and litigation costs you will pay without any assurance that you will win and be able to collect anything anyway. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney immediately. Most consumer bankruptcy attorney would not represent a creditor and most creditor bankruptcy attorneys represent large creditors or collection agenvies so you might find it hard to get a lawyer interested in your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If the time has not expired to file, you can file an adversary proceeding to keep the debt from being discharged on the basis of fraud (incurring a debt without intent to pay is a a form of fraud). You would likely need a bankruptcy attorney to properly prepare the complaint.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    It might or might not be. You'd want to meet with a bankruptcy specialist to evaluate pursuing this in bankruptcy court. Bear in mind the retainer would be a few thousand dollars, so it may not be profitable even if it is pursuable.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    You may have cause to seek an "adversary" action to have the debt determined non-dischargable by the court under these circumstances. You should consult local counsel. .
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
    yes
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    First, forgive me for saying that $5,000 is a big fee for 2 weeks of work. It does sound like they knew they'd be filing when they retained you, though. A debt incurred w/in 70-90 days of filing, if for luxury goods and services, is nondischargeable. I'd suggest contacting their lawyer to see if you can work it out. If not, retain counsel for yourself to file a claim of nondischargeability.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    If you believe that you can show that the debtor hired you with no intent to pay, you can file an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court and seek to have the debt deemed non-dischargable due to fraud. Essentially, this is a lawsuit within the bankruptcy and if you succeed, you will be issue a judgment which is not affected by the bankruptcy. Then you can move forward to try to determine how to collect your judgment.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/23/2011
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