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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 118218
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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How is too?

Customer Question

How long is too long?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
What is the task they are supposed to perform for you, since that is what determines what is reasonable (of course if he has been sick, it is also likely reasonable for a delay as well)?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I bought a truck from the owner of a car dealership. This owner told me that I "had to buy a warranty" otherwise Wells Fargo Dealer Services would not finance me. Well, my significant other needed a truck, so we bought the warranty. The owner said that this was probably a good idea anyway because the truck model I was purchasing has a known issue of blowing head gaskets. The truck is a 2003 Ford F350 Super Duty and had only 90,000 miles. The owner assured me that he knew the previous owner of the truck and that it had been well taken care of, so with that in mind I/we felt confident in purchasing the truck with the warranty. Two months later the truck broke down and was taken into a mechanic shop with blown head gasket and the warranty company refused to cover the repairs to the truck stating that it was a Grey Market Vehicle. The owner of the car dealership called the warranty company and I received a call from the mechanic who stated that the warranty company told him that although they would not honor the warranty that they would pay $4000 for the work done "for the greater good." The mechanic then told me that the warranty company planned on canceling my warranty and issuing a refund. I received a letter in the mail from the warranty company stating just as much and a few days later a copy of a check from the dealership owner for the amount of the warranty. However, the check (dated 10/31/15) was made out to Wells Fargo Dealer Services and only included my name and the last 6 digits of the VIN (8 digits are needed in order to identify the vehicle) and to make matters worse that amount has yet to be reflected on my loan account.The lawyer I hired was provided with the sales agreement, the warranty, the copy of the check refund, and a statement from me, my significant other, and the mechanic who dealt with the warranty company during the time span of September 1 through October 15, 2015. This lawyer indicated that he would try to unwind the deal seeing how the owner of the dealership had violated at least three (that he could see) consumer rights laws. He has not communicated, shown progress, or acted in any manner since the paperwork was handed to him on 11/2/15 (not 11/6 as I thought previously).
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
The Rules of Professional Conduct, which cover this type of thing, do not have a specific time limit, it simply says the attorney should act within a reasonable time. What is reasonable is going to be based on how busy his practice is and the nature of your issue that he is dealing with. Based on what you stated above 30-45 days would be a reasonable time for him to have at least sent out letters to the dealer and Wells Fargo and Warranty company to try to get the proper amount credited to you. The attorney is supposed to also communicate with you reasonably when they have information on your case.
If the attorney is doing neither, as you are approaching 45 days, you need to send the attorney a letter informing him that it has been more than 30 days since you asked him for assistance and as of this time he has not provided any information on action he has taken. In the letter you need to ask him to inform you on his actions and if he has taken none and is not able to do so to return any money you paid him immediately so you can go elsewhere.
At that point, if the attorney does not respond, you need to file a complaint to the state bar against him and you need to consider getting a new attorney involved to handle the matter and get your matter moving and seek a refund of any fees from the first attorney through the bar association fee dispute mediation if the attorney does not voluntarily refund your money.
He should have had letters sent to everyone within at least 45 days though as that does not take long to get done, even though replies from each party may take more time than that and it is out of his control.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

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