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Posted By: annasnewlife lawyer's mistake; I pay? - 10/06/04 12:47 PM
The attorney who handled the sale of my ex husband's house called me a few weeks ago to tell me he had a check for me for $6,000 in back child support that my ex owed me. I asked him if it should be sent to our state Child Support Recovery agency so it would be recorded properly; but he said no, he could give it directly to me. He did, and I used it to pay past due bills and move into a new house.

Yesterday he called and asked me to bring the check back in! Of course, I told him I had deposited it. Then, he said I had to write him a check for that amount so he could send it to CSR. I told him I no longer had the money and he said I had to get a loan to cover it....that's not likely as the bank wouldn't give me a loan for a smaller amount. Besides, why should I pay interest on the money when I did nothing wrong?

I'd appreciate advice.
Posted By: Elan Re: lawyer's mistake; I pay? - 10/06/04 01:05 PM
This is one of those, "Shoulda, woulda, coulda" kinda things.

First -- your lawyer should be smacked upside the head.

Secondly -- not that you can do much about anything that already happened and is in the past. If you can document everything and put it down in writing, example:

September 2, at 3:15 p.m. Lawyer Boy indicated there was a cheque for me at his office. Asked Lawyer Boy to forward to CSR but was told was not necessary.

September 29, at 4:15 p.m. Lawyer Boy called and demanded money back......

Indicate what you did with the money, express your concern and also write down that you had utmost good faith in your lawyer to instruct you on what to do, as a result you are now being penalized for that.

Send this in letter format addressed to your lawyer along with a copy to CSR and to the authority that governs the lawyers in your area. Put the responsibility BACK on the lawyer and let him straighten out the mess that he's got you in.

Sorry about this. It sucks and lawyers are @$$holes.
Posted By: newly Re: lawyer's mistake; I pay? - 10/06/04 02:19 PM
Great, you got money! I like the idea of writing a letter of explanation to the lawyer and CS to document this. It should cover your responsibility.

Just a thought to add. Last night was Open House at the school. These days, most teachers pursue a master's degree to further their education and increase their salary. How is it that highly educated teachers get paid so little, and lawyers (with only one year additional graduate work) get paid so well and can be so stupid?
Posted By: Bumperii Re: lawyer's mistake; I pay? - 10/06/04 03:42 PM
Anna,

The attorney is trying to pull one over on you. He is trying to use you to cover up his mistake, and what he has demanded is merely the easiest way out for him.

The lawyer made a mistake that could result in the Child Support Recovery Agency bringing him up on charges before the state bar association. You are not responsible for that, he is.

The idea of sending the letter to Child Support Recovery Agency is excellent, it is exactly what you should do. Make sure the letter is objective stating only hard facts, no opinions.

What I would add to this is a suggestion that you send this letter along with photo copies of any correspodence recieved from the attorney by certified mail, return reciept requested, to both the attorney and the Child Support Recovery Agency. That will give you proof positive that you made the appropriate notifications.

If everything is as you say, do not consider a personal loan. You were the lawful recipient of those funds, and you acted in good faith.
Posted By: ex_princess Re: lawyer's mistake; I pay? - 10/07/04 05:43 AM
Lawyer's mistake is right. You didn't do anything wrong and don't let him snake you. Document the conversations and dates like the others said, and contact CSR yourself. The money should be applied to the balance of his CS debt, but you are still the recipient and there is NO WAY you should have to get a loan and pay interest on money that is due you!
Posted By: avondale25 Re: lawyer's mistake; I pay? - 10/06/04 06:30 PM
Don't consider or even mention a loan in any conversation with the lawyer or CSR. The lawyer is just trying to cover his back and you're the easiest way to do that.

The money eventually would have gone to you anyway, so document thoroughly as others have said, and call and write to the CSR people.

We had a similar scenario (our bank paid us too much at closing and we spent it). The worst that happened was that we were obligated to repay, on our own without any penalty or interest, about $10/month to another bank (third party, I suppose). To be honest, we eventually forgot to pay for a while, and then quit paying altogether, and that was a number of years ago. No one has come after us (yet!).
Posted By: annasnewlife Re: lawyer's mistake; I pay? - 10/07/04 12:53 PM
I talked to CSR and they said the ONLY way for my ex to get credit for paying the money was for it to go through their hands. So I went to the attorney's office (now he's not MY attorney, mind you, I"d NEVER hire this guy!) loaded for bear. He'd wimped out and wasn't even there. But, his secretary said he'd decided to get a loan himself and just asked that I'd pay it back when CSR direct deposits the money in my account. No interest due. So, I signed a promisary note that I'd pay them back when I get the money and left it at that. I think he knew he was in hot water.

Good thing I'm not a jerk myself, if I'd refused, it would have left my ex having to sue the attorney....who he didn't hire either. THe guy was hired by the people who bought his house. What a mess. But it all ended well.
Posted By: Lyxa Re: lawyer's mistake; I pay? - 10/08/04 02:15 PM
Hey, you got a house, that's great!

Congratulations!
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