This is a little confusing.
Can you explain the matter a little clearer - who are you in this?
Was the dispute between the mother and son or against someone else?
How if you won were you forced to leave?
Father-in-law died, left my husband half of everything. My husband and mother took money from sale of house in Houston to purchase home in LJ. New home was puchased in my husband's name only, by agreement of his mother (witnesses testified to this in original court hearting). We married a year later, mother-in-law needed 24 hour care, was abusive, cursing, screaming, etc. We attempted to put he in an adult care facility, she sued us for title of home. Local judge (distant cousin of hers) ordered us to leave the home with two hours only to do so. So, we left most of our possessions. During court battle mother-in-law dies, cousin is named executor, cousin strips home of everything, even flooring. Even though we were permitted by judge to get out our possessions, couldn't get the most expensive heavy items, etc. Lots of pure silver, etc. Won house back in appellate hearing. I looked on line yesterday to check on probate case, we got nothing, and there was a notice that we are going to be served for a debt by the first attorney who took our case. Three weeks before going before the appellate court, the attorney called and said that if we didn't pay him he would not represent us. Family member gave us 5,000 to hire another attorney for appellate hearing. We hired another attorney to get our possessions, he did nothing and we can't get our 2,500 back from him. We have no money for an attorney, so do we go to court by ourselves and try our best to tell our story, and can they take our home for the debt?
Wow - that's alot that went on. You have my sympathy certainly. What a mess for you.
Yes, if you don't have the money for an attorney - you will have to represent yourselves at the hearing.
Yes, attempt to tell your story as best you can. I would make a chronological time line as to events so that you can relate your story in a systematic and chronological order to the court.
Yes, I would inform the court that you told the attorney all you had was $3k for attorney fees.
Did you sign a retainer agreement with the attorney? If so - was he to be paid an hourly rate?
Yes, we did sign an agreement. We feel he did not represent us by allowing us to be forced out of the home and thus causing us huge financial losses. The appellate court reverse and rendered. He should have filed a "stay."
The most he can do is give an award for the attorney - that's it.
Do you have alot of other debt?
I had one credit card for 1,000 that I used when we had to move and a gas card from my former employer which are not paid. i worked so hard as a single mother to pay off all my debt, i didn't owe anything, and now I'm ruined because of my husband's crazy family. my husband had no 401K or anything becasue he used all his paycheck to support three elderly people in his home: father, maternal grandmother, and mother. he paid everything for them, care takers, medicine, bills, everything. and this is what he gets for all of this for 10 years he took care of them all? His mother was a mental case and wicked it turns out she used him and took him for everything. Most demanding person I'd ever met. Wish I hadn't married him until she passed away. We've only been married 3 years and it has been nothing but hell with all of this.
about 255,00. house we won in the appeal was worth 188, we owe 52 on it, but now with all the damage, it's no where near the value it should be. i'm not sure how much the attorney will say we owe him, he'll sue for fees and court fees, etc. i believe he originally stated we owed him 26,000, 26,000 for his friend who supposedly did the first appeal, which was not done well and we never agreed to pay his attorney friend more than 5,000, we did not sign anything, and then without even consulting us, his attorney friend filed the appeal without even letting us see it and it was incorrect! the one time I spoke with the appeallate attorney friend, he said, well, it's like a car, you never know how much it's going to cost 'til you get into it. we did not agreed to another 26,000 from that attorney, so I don't know, i'm guess he will sue us for about 50,000.
What did the retainer agreement state - how much was he going to charge an hour OR was it a flat fee?
Yes, potentially he can force the sale of your home - because the award/judgment would be against both of you.
They, the credit card companies usually don't want to go through the time and expense of doing such. They don't want to pay an attorney and then realize that they are in second position behind a mortgage which almost entirely encompasses the fair market value of the house.
As to his hourly rate - $125.00 doesn't seem outrageous - the contrary, that's very reasonable. Did he send you bills? How on earth did the amount get up to $26000?
I would agree - I can't for the life of me figure out how he racked up those kind of billable hours. I would certainly dispute such while in court.
Yes, too, it seems he really screwed up in the matter.
Since it is all you have left I really would think about filing a bankrupcty and discharging this guy completey - especially while you have minimal income and no assets - that's perfect timing for such.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).