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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    28

    Default Can You Discharge an Attorney's Lien on the Proceeds of a Divorce

    Can an attorney's "lien on the proceeds" of a divorce be discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy if all other qualifications of Chapter 7 are met?

    The "proceeds" are the ex-husband's 401K that was awarded to my friend and the verbage of the Agreement for Legal Services included "retirement accounts".

    Background: My friend signed up with an attorney and let him put a "lien on the proceeds" of her divorce settlement because she had no money to pay for his services and was being pushed out of a foreclosed home with her disabled old son.

    She thought the attorney's services would cost about $5,000 (because that was the minimum fee written on the agreement) but the attorney ran up an $11,000 bill in less than 2 months (therefore putting a financial noose around her neck) and continued to run bill up to $28,000.

    There was no trial in this case. My friend who is of slightly diminished capacity (2nd grade reading, never worked, etc.) definately did not understand the agreement and even if she had understood thoroughly that $5,000 was only the minimum fee - the attorney's "run the bill up fast and keep on going" tactic seems very abusive.

    Again - Can an attorney's "lien on the proceeds" of a divorce be discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy if all other qualifications of Chapter 7 are met?

    Thanks!
    speedlabel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    29

    Default Re: Can You Discharge an Attorney's Lien on the Proceeds of a Divorce

    I would first ask for a complete accounting from the attorney of his time and expenses that he incurred.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    98,846

    Default Re: Can You Discharge an Attorney's Lien on the Proceeds of a Divorce

    Without knowing any information about her assets or other debts, the divorce judgment, or the nature of the lien, I can't begin to guess. I would suggest that she consult a bankruptcy lawyer about her situation and get a formal opinion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
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    5,252

    Default Re: Can You Discharge an Attorney's Lien on the Proceeds of a Divorce

    I agree. She needs the help of a bankruptcy attorney - someone she can run the entire situation by.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Can You Discharge an Attorney's Lien on the Proceeds of a Divorce

    Can a 401K really be "attached" to by any lien?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Can You Discharge an Attorney's Lien on the Proceeds of a Divorce

    Curious - What good will asking for an accounting do? He itemizes everything on his monthly Interim bill but mixes in 3 or 4 different things he supposedly did for each line item billed for. In other words it's all mixed in to gether to increase the difficulty of arguing fore example - "hey I only talked with you for 4 minutes and 37 seconds on the phone" becasue that 4:37 is mixed in with 3 other things and they all add up to 3.5 hours!

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