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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 87469
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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We were contacted by an attorney by email, representing a vender.

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We were contacted by an attorney by email, representing a vender. The attorney informed us that the client was willing to settle for $8,178.35. That we should wire $6000 to day and post date a check for $2178.35 for June 6, 2013.To avoid any future litigation in this matter.

I called the venders AR dept directly and was given a balance of $6540.28, which she accepted payment by credit card for the account balance and sent me a copy of our company account statement which the paid cc receipt.

I forwarded both to the attorney in question.

His, response is that we owe the balance of $1638.17.

Is that true, or an attempt to see if we will pay?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

At the time that you made payment to the vendor directly, did they provide you with a letter that stated that your balance was now zero, or, simply a receipt?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No, just a copy of the actual account statement showing the balance due.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. And how much was the actual balance that was due without any attorney fees, etc?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This is a copy of the email. It does not state any attorney fees:


 


This office represents American Crane & Tractor Parts. Our client has a claim against Mast Brothers, Inc. in the amount of $8,178.35. Our client is willing to settle this matter in exchange for a wire for $6,000.00 for May 7, 2013 (wire instructions below). Also a post dated check in the amount of $2,178.35 date June 6, 2013. Upon the check clearing our bank American Crane & Tractor Parts agrees to release Mast Brothers, Inc. from any future litigation in this matter. We appreciate your cooperation. Please fax or email a copy of the wire confirmation tomorrow after it is complete. Thank you.


 


Also, the account was changed from Mast Equipment Repair, Inc. to mast brothers, Inc. without paper work and an outstanding balance.


Not, exactly, legal. I don't believe.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, Christie.

It is imperative that we separate what is:

1) The amount outstanding; and
2) What are attorney fees.

Ergo, how much do you believe you owed the party before they hired the attorneys?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

$6540.28 the amount paid.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, friend.

I am going to write out your answer for this now that I have all the facts; apologies in advance for the momentary wait...
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your patience.

This gets a little tricky so follow me here.

This is what happened:

1) You owed an amount;
2) The party asked for it to be paid and it was not;
3) The party contracted an attorney to collect on their behalf;
4) The attorney contacted you requesting the full amount plus attorney fees;
5) You contacted the original party; and
6) Paid off the original amount, but not the attorney fees.
7) The attorneys are still requesting the attorney fees.

Do you have to pay them?

They originally requested attorney fees not because attorney fees "automatically" tag unto a debt, but, because attorney fees may be requested in Court if they sue and win. So they already have a little leverage, and they state "either pay what you owe PLUS attorney fees, or, we will sue and get the attorney fees that are even more."

So then you are supposed to get scared and pay off what is owed plus attorney fees that they come up with, just to avoid them filing suit.

At least, that is what is supposed to happen. Here, you bypassed the attorneys, went straight to the creditor, and paid off the amount owed MINUS attorney fees.

So the debt has been satisfied. Now, do the attorney fees still have to be paid?

Not in Texas. Rather, Texas has no law that allows a party to pay just for legal fees incurred in private negotiations which is what happened. Had they actually filed suit and won, then you may have had to pay their fees... but not now.

So someone in your situation may wish to send back a letter, something akin to (sample):

To Whom It May Concern:

This correspondence is in regards XXXXX XXXXX debt of $______ owed to your client. The debt has been paid off.

Your request for legal fees is rejected. We have paid the client directly. We do not owe you any legal fees because we never contracted with you, nor is there a court judgment to pay you legal fees. If you wish to attempt to sue just for legal fees you can attempt to do so but this matter should immediately be thrown out, and, we shall file a complaint with the Texas Bar if this is attempted, or, further demands for attorney fees are made.

This matter is now considered closed.

Sincerely,

Signature

Name


Essentially, what is being done here is that one is stating: "Hey we paid your client. Now we are sorry that you did not get paid, but that is not our issue. You cannot sue us just for collection fees. Good bye."

Hopefully, this will be the end of this matter. I hope this helps and clarifies.

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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 87469
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 15 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your generosity.

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