Should You Avoid Paying Your Attorney a Monthly Fee During Foreclosure?

Posted By on August 11, 2010

There’s a widespread practice among foreclosure defense attorneys that concerns me—and if you’re facing foreclosure on your home, it should concern you, too. 

A number of these attorneys get a flat fee of around $2,500 up front (as the foreclosure process begins) and then also require the homeowner to pay them an additional $500 fee per month. That additional monthly fee is required for as long as the homeowners remain in their homes during a foreclosure process that could take two or more years.

Now if you’re in foreclosure you no longer have to send a monthly mortgage payment to your bank or financial institution. And since most mortgages cost thousands of dollars a month rather than just $500, you can see why homeowners would view this additional monthly payment to the attorneys as a good deal. Grateful homeowners mistakenly believe that this additional monthly fee “buys” them the privilege of staying in their homes during the foreclosure proceedings.

But in my opinion, charging homeowners this monthly fee is inappropriate. While a foreclosure defense attorney is justified in billing for several hours’ work on a case at the outset, often the attorney does no work while the case lingers in the court system. So it’s difficult for me to grasp how a foreclosure defense attorney deserves to be paid $8,500 in the first year and another $6,000 each subsequent year. 

At Hallandale Law, our goal is to help you through the foreclosure process with quality service at reasonable fees. Since we’re currently handling several of these cases, we can give you an accurate assessment of the costs. We only require an up-front fee as a retainer, which typically averages around $2,750. Those funds are placed in a trust account, and as the case proceeds we bill all our time against that account for our actual services.

 Our clients receive superior attention, communication and updates from our office about the status of their foreclosure proceedings yet never need to pay us an additional monthly fee. We recognize that people experiencing a mortgage foreclosure are going through a painfully difficult time and are not in a position to be wasting thousands of dollars/year on attorneys’ fees from which they receive no real value. And we certainly don’t believe that property foreclosure proceedings should cost a homeowner 3-4 times the average legal rate. 

So if you’re facing foreclosure, ask the important questions and be sure to fully understand the fee structure before you select your defense attorney.

If you are interested in more information about this topic, either post your comment to this blog or contact me  by phone at 954-58-8655 or via email and I will be happy to answer your questions. I also offer a free initial consultation.

Larry Tolchinsky
Florida Foreclosure Attorney

Comments

One Response to “Should You Avoid Paying Your Attorney a Monthly Fee During Foreclosure?”

  1. I am a foreclosure defense attorney in Connecticut and New York. I have been charging a flat monthly fee for several years. There is no upfront fee. Clients can cancel it any time. One of the reasons I went to this system is that there are points in the Connecticut and New York foreclosure process where considerable work must be done. Billing by the hour, after the work was done, inevitably lead to bills larger than the client anticipated (regardless of advance warning) or could pay. That was tough for both of us. We still track the time and the average hourly rate turns out to be less than what our hourly rate for foreclosure defense would be. We don’t mind that clients end up paying less because we are helping more people and have a predictable cash flow.

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