Hi, I have been in a long custody battle (Over two years). I spent over a hundred thousand dollars on my first attorney's, they ended up withdrawing before trial and told me I couldn't afford to go to trial or continue necessary discovery as he was suing me for child support. They also were not willing to wait for a new payment until the next season of my show to be picked up. I had to hire another lawyer, a whole new retainer, and ironically ended up In Pro Per during trial. Trial is now over although there are many ongoing issues that I am representing myself constantly for. Part of what they handled, in submitting FL-150's and otherwise, was financial. They were always aware of my financial situation. My family paid them little (in perspective to the bill, but LARGE to them) payments to plead to keep them working for me. I have now received a Demand for Arbitration from the first attorney's "counsel" that I had signed an agreement regarding a clause to arbitration in their initial contract (Retainer contract). I am pregnant with my second child, owe over a hundred thousand dollars to the government as I paid my attorney's pre-taxes and was living under the fear of having my child taken away from me (father asking for Full custody 4 days after birth). I am horribly in debt, have been fighting a foreclosure for approximately 9 months, and am on disability insurance due to pregnancy. I am due in two weeks. Prior to that, I was also unable to work as I am an actor and it's one of the only careers that you cannot work while pregnant. I also have to pay the father child support! They are billing interest, and claiming a bill of over $157,000.00. I cannot even afford the arbitration! I do not see the point in signing up for/binding arbitration costs that I cannot truly even afford, to have them simply see that I absolutely cannot pay them $157,000 K. I also do not believe that anyone can get paid before the IRS, and Child support. Please Help. What can I do? How can they enforce payment, legally, in what manner, when the money is simply not there? or if a judgment is made against me? What are the repercussions. My only income is disability insurance and some minimal residual entertainment payments. Thank you
State/Country relating to question: California
Googling everything imaginable. Researching all statutes regarding arbitration. Reading the rules of the Arbitration service that they've requested.
Hi, I’m a moderator for this topic and I wonder whether you’re still waiting for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will do my best to find a professional to assist you right away. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
yes, i still verymuch want an answer please
Sometimes, finding the right Expert can take a little longer than expected and we thank you greatly for your understanding. We’ll be in touch again shortly.
Hi, I am still very much wanting help with this question. I usually do leave a tip for my answers. Thank you
Thank you for your patience, your business is very important to us, we are waiting on a professional with the right expertise to come online. Feel free to let us know if you would like us to continue searching for a professional or if you would like us to close your question. Thank you for your understanding!
Hi, thanks for your inquiry! I have been practicing family law for 17+ years and have specific experience with issues like yours. I have been a stage 4 (highest) professional lawyer with the Company for nearly 4 years, and enjoy giving top knotch answers to all of my customers. I am happy to share with you my decades of experience as I donate my time here. Please remember to only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied with my diligence and effort in accordance with your chosen transaction. Until then, please stop and REPLY to me via the CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the question concern you may still have. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.That being said...With regard to your post: I am so sorry for what you have been going through and I do hope you can put it in a less troublesome and stressful perspective, - the money aspect anyway. I note your questions to be: Please Help. What can I do? If I were in your shoes and I didn't think I'd be making enough to pay the debt if living frugally for the next few years, I'd be looking towards bankruptcy. Period. It may teach the lawyers to quiet down and work with former clients who they have made a ton off of. Bad credit (missed payments) without judgments will stay with you for 7+ years, judgements, almost indefinititely if they are renewed, and bankruptcy for just a couple of more years than a few missed payments. I urge you to consult with a BK attorney. It is inexpensive $1-2000 typically. And is a fresh start.How can they enforce payment, legally, in what manner, when the money is simply not there? They can not typically enforce the debt UNTIL they get a judgment, or you otherwise permit them willingly, so right now all they can do is damage your credit by reporting the bad debt. Many debts that receive judgments are not satisfiable until much later - that is why a judgment remains available for 10 years plus, sometimes 20, so the owed party can satisfy it later, when the person LATER has an accommodating financial picture. BK can fix that for you possibly. I am not a BK lawyer, but a BK action has saved the sanity (and financial future) for many of my clients.or if a judgment is made against me? If judgment is made against you, yes, they get in line. When you go back to work in a few weeks, be it as an actor or some other job, they can garnish, but I would expect the IRS to come first, should it choose to. They may be able to garnish your royalty checks. If you buy a new house, they can lien it possibly, and if they lien or levy any other assets, they can do so. YOu will also have to keep any money you do have OUT OF bank accounts, since they can be frozen and levies to satisfy any outstanding judgments. What are the repercussions. See above. IF they get a judgment, you have this hanging over your head. Unlike some debt judgments, like college loans, however, you may be able get his discharged via bankruptcy if you do not believe you can otherwise satisfy it. By "otherwise satisfy it" I mean make an agreement with the plaintiffs to pay it in some other way, i.e. to settle it. (I.e. if I get a job on XX show, I promise to pay you 50% of my salary until XX is paid.) Personally, I'd look at BK and if there is no great reason not to, I'd be jumping at it. My only income is disability insurance and some minimal residual entertainment payments. What is your definitation of "minimal residual entertainment payments." I am fairly sure they are not salivating over your current financial situation unless your royalties are not so minimal in the long term, cumulative. They likely also believe there is some chance you may work again as an actor or even some type of job, even in non-acting, that they can benefit from. Getting a judgment is often NOT for immediately resolution or satisfaction - it is so the creditor preserves the ability to collect for years to come. And it means a very long, long term burden for the debtor hanging over her head.GIve it some thought. I am sorry you are dealing with this. And I hope the father of your second baby is not going to give you the hard, stressful and financially draining time that the first one did. Life is too short.Hang in there and let me know if you need follow up.-------I hope this clarifies and I wish you the best. Please remember to only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied with my diligence and effort, and will click a button to the RIGHT. IF you feel the need to click either of the two stars on the left, please stop and REPLY to me via the CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the issue you have. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.If you do CONTINUE CONVERSATION, If I do not respond right away, please know that I am diligently working here on your question and I will be back as soon as possible, after engaging in any necessary and prudent confirming research to ensure that no recent legal changes have occurred that would effect your answer.Please also know that your expressed satisfaction with my answer is my top priority, and my time here today with you supports my volunteer work for the Disabled in the U.S. Only a positive rating on the right side of the choices is acceptable to me, AND unless you so rate me, I am given no credit for time and effort - so please rate accurately with that fact in mind. I have been a stage 4 (highest) professional here for 4 years, and enjoy giving top knotch answers. While I can not provide crystal ball answers and am not a psychic, I am happy to share with you my 17+ years of experience as I donate my time here.You can ask for me directly in the future by starting your post with "To Alexia Esq."Repeat reminder: Due to rules of our states, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information in order that you may have a starting point for helping yourself and and better pursuing the details you need.
19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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).