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Calling all lawyerly types....
Old 05-25-2006, 04:08 PM   #1
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Calling all lawyerly types....

I just got off the phone with someone who was asking me about a legal situation that I couldn't help her with.* Thought I'd see what opinions or ideas anyone here may have.

Her father, now deceased, was an attorney and was unable to collect a legal fee from a client.* He put a lien on the client's home for 100k.* This apparently was several years ago.* Now the client wants to sell the home and wrote my friend's mother (widow of the attorney) stating she (the client) was filing a lawsuit to remove the lien because the legal counsel she received was incompetent.* Isn't that convenient?

My friend's mother is elderly, not in good health and barely hanging on financially.* She is scared and doesn't know what to do.* How can she get legal help without spending her last pennies?

I don't know how the process works but it sounds like the client (who is suing to remove the lien) has a very questionable complaint.* Does my friend's mother need to hire a lawyer to defend herself or is there another way out?

Sorry for a little rambling.* Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Calling all lawyerly types....
Old 05-25-2006, 04:33 PM   #2
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Re: Calling all lawyerly types....

For not much money, and maybe none at all, depending on the lawyer, she should be able to find someone to talk over her options. Did the letter come from a lawyer or from the former client herself? If not, she might be blowing smoke. A lawsuit would take time and I assume she wants to sell her house now.

The statute of limitations may have run on any overcharge claim.
Any overcharge claim may have been waived by voluntarily agreeing to the lien (if the lien was voluntarily agreed to).
If the lien is from a judgment, then she likely can't contest it now.

A lawyer would review the facts and could tell your mother's friend what her options are, from saying "pay me the whole thing plus interest, you don't have a leg to stand on" to offering to take something less.
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Re: Calling all lawyerly types....
Old 05-25-2006, 04:45 PM   #3
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Re: Calling all lawyerly types....

Thanks very much for the reply, Martha. I will get my friend and her mother to contact an attorney to get advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Did the letter come from a lawyer or from the former client herself? If not, she might be blowing smoke.
Great question! Unless there's something else I don't know, the client's gripe sounds a bit specious.

Thanks again for your help!
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Re: Calling all lawyerly types....
Old 05-26-2006, 11:03 AM   #4
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Re: Calling all lawyerly types....

Sounds like the judgment lien showed up on the title search when the house was in escrow. It is time to pay the piper! Don't think the lawsuit will fly since so much time has elapsed since the judgment was filed. Think the old lady is grasping at straws now to state her lawyer was incompetent.
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Re: Calling all lawyerly types....
Old 05-26-2006, 11:51 AM   #5
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Re: Calling all lawyerly types....

A valid lien on file at the register of deeds (or courthouse) must be discharged before clear title can pass, so if the owner hopes to sell the propery anytime soon they must pay it. Any type of legal action protesting the lien (whether justified or not) could take years, so it is probably a bluff to get your friend's mom to settle for less money.
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Re: Calling all lawyerly types....
Old 05-26-2006, 07:09 PM   #6
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Re: Calling all lawyerly types....

Thanks shiny, ginger and martha (or is that aint bee?) for your input. Good points all.
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