Is there any way I can hold the attorney responsible for his negligence? 13 Answers as of February 05, 2015

Lawyer has not filed proper prompt paperwork and I’m being held responsible for the very mortgage I sought to remove. I feel he has been putting me off and not even working on my case. I have a hard time getting in touch with him. I’m two years into a four year chapter 13 bankruptcy. I have an apartment with him tomorrow and I really don’t trust his advice at this point, but I’m afraid I’m stuck in this situation. I placed calls and sent emails to him and if I did get to talk to him he would make it sound like everything was no big deal and that the trustee letters were nothing to worry about. He claimed he would take care of things, even though he received the same letter I did stating I was going to be held responsible for over double the monthly payment because he did not proceed correctly. He still told me to continue paying the original amount and said he would take care of it. His secretary called me a couple days ago and said that there had been a miscalculation in my payments and now I needed to start paying $1400.00 month instead of $650.00. I don’t know if getting another lawyer would do any good. Should I talk to the trustee?

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David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law | David R. Fondren
This is too ambiguous to make a reasonable response. You need to communicate with your present attorney in WRITING on EVERYTHING and save copies if you don't trust him. You also need to make a physical appointment with another bankruptcy attorney. Spend the time and money to review you case in detail so that another attorney can make a better analysis of your situation. It could very well be a proof of claim that caused the payment problem.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 2/5/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
I don't know the details of your case and whether your attorney would be held liable for negligence, but I can tell you that talking to the trustee will not likely make much difference.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/2/2015
Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
Making a Chapter 13 plan is not black and white. A good lawyer will make calls that may be in the grey area for the benefit of the client. The Trustee may not agree however and it may be necessary to agree to a higher payment. The trustees always want the payment as high as justifiable since that's how they get paid. The mere fact you have to pay more to the plan is not necessarily negligence.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/27/2015
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
I have heard your side of the story, but without hearing the other side of the story, it is next to impossible to say whether or not your complaints are valid. This is not the kind of question that can be answered on an online forum where the attorney is able to review your file or knows the reputation of your attorney. Sometimes there is no substitute for an in person consultation, even if you have to pay a few hundred bucks for the advice.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 1/27/2015
You are unclear as to what the doubling of the monthly payments refers to. Is it a double of the plan payments or a double of the mortgage payments? You should determine exactly what the doubling refers to. Your attorney should be able to tell you. You can call the Ch 13 office and ask them. They should be able to shed light on that especially if it is the plan payments. If all else fails you can go to another attorney.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 1/27/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    A lawyer is always responsible for his negligence (i.e. legal malpractice). Whether your losses add up to enough damages to make it worthwhile to sue the guy is a separate question. You certainly can call the Trustee and tell him or her your problem. You also should write out a letter or memo to your lawyer, setting out exactly what you think he did wrong, and insisting that he correct it in a very short timesay 10 days. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 1/27/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    I would advise you to consult another lawyer. I can't tell from the information you gave me whether the lawyer did anything wrong - other than failing to maintain communication with his/her client.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/27/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Ch 13, is a math problem. If the math is not right it has to be fixed. I'd see another lawyer. Try finding one at
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/27/2015
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    At a minimum I recommend that you pay to have another attorney review your case so that you can finally determine whether your attorney is acting properly or it is hindering your efforts. From there you can then decide if you need to change attorneys. An attorney may be held responsible if it is proven that they committed malpractice.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/27/2015
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    You need to speak to an attorney to discuss.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/27/2015
    The Law Offices of Ryan F. Beach, PLLC
    The Law Offices of Ryan F. Beach, PLLC | Ryan Beach
    If an attorney committed malpractice, he can be held responsible. However, before you start down that road, you should make sure you understand the situation completely. You should attend the scheduled meeting with your attorney to have him explain in detail what is going on and what can be done to fix the situation. Make sure to get your questions answered. If you still do not feel confident that your attorney is adequately representing your interests, consult with another attorney, or multiple attorneys. By consulting with other attorneys, you should be able to understand the extent of any mistakes made and how you can move forward successfully. You may obtain new counsel at any time during your Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You are *not* stuck with attorney who filed the case. I always advise my clients not to talk to the Trustee. The Trustee is not on your side and speaking with their office could cause even more issues with your case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/27/2015
    John W. Lee, PC
    John W. Lee, PC | Kim A. Lewis
    I would suggest that you take your file and schedule an appointment with another attorney who specializes in bankruptcy to get a second opinion. You may have to pay for that attorney to review your case but it will give you some peace of mind. If, in fact, your attorney has been negligent in his handling of your case you may be able to sue him for malpractice but your first step is to have another bankruptcy attorney review the matter.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/27/2015
    Law Office of Barry R. Levine | Barry R. Levine, Esq.
    You're not married to this guy. Consult with another attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/27/2015
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