Dear Ann Landers, Two years ago, I hired an attorney to represent me in a legal matter. He told me it would cost $3,000. I gave him $1,000, and we agreed that I would make monthly payments of $100 until it was all paid off.
Imagine my surprise when, after my case was over, I received a bill for $6,795. When I called the attorney and asked about the statement, all he said was, "Well, that is what it costs." According to him, I still owe him $3,500.
I realize it was stupid of me not to have a signed contract specifying what the bill would be. However, this attorney, knowing our verbal agreement, never once contacted me to let me know the bill would be so exorbitant. Is there anything I can do, or must I pay the entire fee? I don't feel he deserves it, but I don't want to wreck my credit rating. What should I do? -- Legally Entangled
Dear Entangled, If this attorney agreed to charge you $3,000 and did not incur any extraordinary expenses during the proceedings, you may have a case. Contact the state bar association or the state disciplinary commission, and ask them to look into this matter for you. It will cost you nothing to report it. Good luck -- and next time, be sure to get agreements in writing, even when you are dealing with attorneys.
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!
Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!
Lawyers and used car salesmen; one and the same.
I agree with the above reader comment-they are the same type of crooks! lawyers did not study and learn their tactics for years to help people-they are here to make money for themselves!
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:
Dear Readers, , My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.