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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 33746
Experience:  Practicing for over 20 years and handled many cases and trials for consumers.
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I was sued over 8 years ago by my divorce attorney

Customer Question

I was sued over 8 years ago by my divorce attorney for unpaid fees that were contested at time of billing.(he kept raising his rates) A lien was placed on my credit report and has since been removed. That lawyer has retired about 3 years ago. A new lawyer at that firm has come after me for the balance plus about $4000 in interest. I haven't received any notification regarding him going after my bank account. Today he wipe out my checking and savings leaving me with nothing to pay my bills. What can I do to protect myself from this crazed lawyer and what are my rights? I simply cannot afford this! I couldn't then and I cant now!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Under NC State Bar, the fees that were imposed on me at the time of my divorce were severely un reasonable. He not only was charging me $350hr for his rates but additional $200 for his paralegal per hr. He had raised his rates to this at the end of the divorce.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
by the end of the divorce I mean . he raised his rates twice from the original contract.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I paid him $7500 retainer. His original fees were $200 + $100 for paralegal hr. The last bill I received was $7502.40 which was ridiculous since he did absolutely nothing. 8 years later this new attorney sent me a bill for 7502 +4349interest +289 court cost + $316 his commission for doing this to me
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Unfortunately, if there was a judgment granted years ago the only thing you can do now is to file bankruptcy to erase the debt. If the money was garnished from your bank account then it should be held by the bank for a period of time before being released and if you file bankruptcy in the meantime you may be able to prevent it from being released. The judgment is too old to handle going through the regular processes in the state court so a bankruptcy is the only option.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was never notified that there was a court order in place or even the fact that I had a court hearing. He had a sheriff go to the bank to serve the papers and now everything is gone. I have spoken to the bank and the funds are not on hold, they are gone! I have never met this lawyer or had any dealings with him. He just shows up after 8 years and does this. I know there is an ethics committee in NC and I plan to file a complaint against him. I that the money is gone and no hopes of getting it back. I believe what he did and how he did it was totally underhanded and unethical.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Were you notified you were being sued? If so, did you file an answer? The funds may be in the sheriff's hands. They are supposed to be put on hold somewhere until you are served with the garnishment and have a chance to respond.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was not notified that any of this was going to happen. I ran a credit check and noticed that the lien that was put on me 8 years ago was off my credit. then this happens
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
If you were never served with citation in the lawsuit then you have a way to challenge it at the initial level. You would want to file a Motion to Vacate Judgment but you probably want to hire a lawyer to do it since it is going to require some legal research and a brief on the topic. Everyone is entitled to due process and a part of that is the right to be notified of any case that is filed against them. The lack of this notice is grounds for the granting of a Motion to Vacate. However, the lawyer will have to go through the original file and see how the plaintiff managed to get a judgment without serving you. Many times this is done by the process server just lying and claiming they served you when they did not. Other times it may be due to "substituted service" where the plaintiff claims they couldn't locate you and they asked for, and received, permission from the court to serve you by posting it in the newspaper or some other method. However, a Motion to Vacate is the place to start and the lawyer can also ask that any monies be held by the court until this issue is addressed.