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Threats by lawyers of legal action for unpaid bills

I owe my former solicitors about $11K. I have been paying them off in dribs and drabs - but just do not have that amount of cash upfront to pay them now. After I recently paid another amount to them (my tax refund), they have insisted I pay the balance immediately or they will commence proceedings against me.

I DO want to pay them, and I have suggested ways to do so - but they have rejected them. They know I have no money to pay them immediately. They have all my financial details in the Financial statements to the Court from earlier this year. Yet they insist they are going to commence proceedings. My questions are: how likely is this? Is it just a threat? And in the event that they do - what could the outcome be? If I have no money or assets, I can't magic them up!!

Also, they are witholding my file, and I have children's matters underway. Is there anything I can do to get it from them?
Chris,
Was there any agreements between you?
In all fairness, why would you seek the services of the legals when you knew that you could not afford them?
Legal Aid?

I think I signed a costs agreement monaro. I didn't  go into it expecting to not be able to afford it. My ex initiated a second application re the children once property was underway. I could not have forseen that, and known that those costs might be unaffordable when I went into the original agreement.

I was rejected for legal aid.

If anyone could answer the questions posed I would be very grateful.

Paying solicitor's

Contact the law society in your state and ask their advice.

If you signed a costs agreement, you should have a copy of it. If you do not have a copy, you need to ask the solicitor for another copy.

You should review your bill carefully and check for any discrepencies.

Rather than paying in dribs and drabs, you may be able to suggest a payment schedule. They do not have to accept this and could likely take you to court. However, a genuine offer to pay would stand you in better stead than appearing to be a non-payer.

I believe it is fairly standard practice to withhold files. One could argue that this information is their intellectual property and you have not paid for it.

I cannot give you any financial advise, but I would review my finances and find a way to get some form of loan to pay them what is owed.
Depending on your cost agreement, they may be entitled to charge interest.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Legal Aid did allocate in 2004 $10,000 for the average cost of a Legal Aid case that went to final trial, I know this is a joke but that is what they told me was the max. It may have changed by a few grand, to me it sounds like you have a bunch of overpriced solicitors unless you have had a lot of legal work done, like 5 days in Court or 3 days and about 500 pages of paper to go through including affidavits and letters to write for you.

In Vic I think you can still demand a "Bill of Costs" that is an itemised list of how your bill is made up free of charge and if they try and charge take it to the Law Society. If you can prove they have billed you time and the cost per document then you can take them to Court for overbilling but if the overbilling is less than 25% of the cost of the bill, you may have costs awarded against you that are more than the overbilling. Yes the overbilling plus the cost of your sueing them.

For $11,000, unless you have been in court for at least 3 full days of hearings (that does not mean you have been before the Judge for 3 full days, but in the Court Building from about 10 am to after 2:30pm). Then it is most probable it is cheaper to pay it off at $50 per month if you have the money or not, that way you set up a status quo or appearance you are doing your best to pay that any Court can see making their claim have no just cause, you cannot get blood out of what looks like a stone only a trickle of water when it rains.

That is, set up an auto pay or make a point of paying it yourself, $50 per month. So your question "how likely is this?" not very if you do this.

Get a Debit Visa Card and pay them with that, that way it costs them the bank fees not you. DON"T USE CREDIT CARDS, Debit Cards work off the money you have in your bank not the banks money therefore your fees for use are less and they work like a credit card, the payer pays the cost of the transaction. I use 1 for me and 1 for business with a signature not pin number for about $5 per month each, you can get cheaper but watch the extras the Bank charges for, like the yearly cost of having a Credit Card.

Can I suggest you join the SRL-R group, the people there can talk to you in private and if you have more Court coming up then they can help you, if you ask nicely, how to write affidavits and the like.

Just because "They have all my financial details in the Financial statements to the Court from earlier this year." Does not mean they care, they know you have the potential to pay and they want it NOW at any cost to you. They know the Law and they know what they can get away with if how they are dealing with is DUMB ENOUGH to listen to them, you are $$$$ in the bank to them as soon as they can get it out of you. You try and get money out of a Lawyer, they are more POOR than the POOREST person you know who lives on the street just like judges. If you know the Law you are cash poor and asset rich in the name of a Trust owned by a Trust owned by at least 2 Companies or is it the other way around.

In regards to your file "I have children's matters underway." The Court documents you can get a full copy of from the Court, that is, both the application and response documents and any affidavits and financial docs filed in the Court to date. You should already have a copy of most of it anyway and if you don't I would be asking why not. How can you write affidavits, answer questions and the like without a copy at home to read, reread and read again. You may have to file a new address of service (for you) with the Court (that would dismiss your lawyer)for you to get a full copy of the file which would probably be cheaper than the Lawyers cost to you anyway.
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