What can I do if I am unhappy with my bankruptcy lawyer? 12 Answers as of June 02, 2011

I hired a bankruptcy lawyer several months ago to file chp 7. The lawyer has been paid in full except for 100 for a class that was supposed to be taught by a lady for an hr. we explained we did not have time for the class that day or the 100 to pay.. She told us we could just look over the book that she teaches out of and make payments on the 100 It took 5 mins to read this book and she came in asked if we had questions and then we left. She spent maybe 10 mins with us. I do not feel I should have to pay for services for that class when they were not performed. Another upset is that me and my husband had a court date for loans that were took out. We called the lawyer and told them the date and they said they would take care of it that we would not have to be there. A month later with still no phone call from them I noticed a garnishment on my check...no one could tell me where the garnishment was coming from. Finally I got to talk to someone in the office at my job and she told me it was from the loan comp. we had the court date with. So I call lawyer back and they told me they had a mix up with the dates. And 2 months later still no call back from them. I am so aggravated with this. I called the company's that I owe money to that the lawyer said they would contact and tell them we were filing bankruptcy and they tell me that no one has contacted them about it except me. What do I need to do ...since I am already being garnished I would love to fire my lawyer and back out of bankruptcy..it still has not been filed in court...they tell me they are waiting for my paper work such as titles and etc? But I do not want to give this stuff to them because they have done nothing they said they would do. Is it possible to get my money back and fire them so I can hire a lawyer that will do the job? Please I need your help asap. Thank you so much and God bless you!

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Benson Law Firm
Benson Law Firm | David Benson
You always have the right to fire your lawyer. You also have the right to demand at least a portion of your money back.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/2/2011
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
You may be able to get some of your money back depending on how much you paid, but it's likely that if the petition has already been drafted, there's a considerable amount of work already done for which you would be billed. Also, read your contract for specifics. As far as the pre-filing credit counseling class, $100 seems very high for that course, but irrespective of whether your pay them or not or someone else, taking that class and getting the certificate of completion is a pre-requisite to filing the bankruptcy case. At this point, you may want to hire another lawyer, but it sounds like you're very close already and pretty well invested, so you may just want to get the remaining documents together, pay for that class, and get your case filed so you can stop that garnishment from the next paycheck.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 6/2/2011
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
You can fire your lawyer at any time and hire a new one. Whether you can get back some or all of what you paid depends on a number of factors, including the terms of the contract you signed with the lawyer, and state bar rules in your state. Unless your present attorney agrees to give back funds immediately (which is doubtful), you will have to obviously come up with a whole new set of fees for your new attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/1/2011
Ashman Law Office
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
Bankruptcy law requires that you take two classes. One must be completed before you file. One is after filing. You are allowed to do it online, in person, or by phone. You must do one approved in your district. None I have seen charge that much. The ones we recommend cost $25 or less. But once you sign up for one, you owe for it. Note that if you have failed to give your lawyer needed documents, which include paychecks, tax returns, bank statements, bills, deeds, titles and other things, he cannot file, so the failure to file, based on your post, clearly is your fault by your own admission.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/1/2011
California's Largest Family of Attorneys
California's Largest Family of Attorneys | Doan Law Firm
Yes, you can leave your attorney and get a new one.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/1/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    File a complaint about the lawyer with the state bar. That will get the lawyer's attention. Send the lawyer a certified letter demanding your money back. You can also file a complaint with the office of the Unites States Trustee in your area about that class. You can find their address for your area on the Web.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    When you hire an attorney to represent you the attorney should provide the agreed legal service. If you are not satisfied you can fire him or her. If you are requesting a refund and are not satisfied with the response you should contact the county bar association to complain or contact the State Bar and file a complaint. You have other rights such as filing a small claims lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    You need to contact your state bar. That's the organization set up by your state supreme court to hold lawyers accountable for their work. Your probably still need to file bankruptcy, so you should round up a better lawyer. Look for someone who is a long time member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/1/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    I'd prefer not to respond to the substance of your concerns in a public forum. However, if your lawyer is not responding to your calls, you do have some options. You could talk with someone at your county bar association and see if they can contact the attorney for you. If that doesn't work, you may wish to either contact another bankruptcy attorney for his or her review of your situation, or you can contact the disciplinary board of the state bar.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/1/2011
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
    You are always free to fire your lawyer.He has undoubtedly done some work on the file and will keep some of the retainer you paid him to compensate the time spent. My fee for a typical consumer Ch 7 is $1,494, which includes the court's $299 filing fee, plus another $60 if you don't have a consumer counseling certificate. Please feel free to call me at the office.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/1/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You would need to refer to your retainer agreement to see if you are entitled to any refund. Usually a good attorney will provide at least a partial refund if the Petition has not been filed. If you need assistance to get your money back, you might wish to contact the local bar association in your area. If you are in my area and are looking for a new chapter 7 attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2011
    Sweeney Law Offices, P.L.L.C.
    Sweeney Law Offices, P.L.L.C. | Jesse Sweeney
    I'm not sure what State you are in, so my advice is limited to Michigan, and our ethics laws here mandate that an attorney must give back any fees that are 'unearned'. To that end, you can (a) terminate your current attorney (b) find a new lawyer and (c) ask the new lawyer to request that the prior firm return any unearned fees. Upon filing a new case, that should stop any garnishments, however, most attorneys will not file a new case for you until they are paid in full. The reason for this is because their attorney fees that may be due and owing are discharged along with every other creditor amount.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/1/2011
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