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Suspense balance account question

Posted on: 25th Nov, 2006 09:23 am
Long story short:

In May of \'05 we had some financial difficulties. Mortgage company was going to foreclose. We were able to come up with the $$ to avoid this. The total amount we had to pay included past due taxes, past due balances, late fees and mortgage company attorney fees (we received a breakdown of each due for the above). Their atty. fees were thousands of dollars (which seemed extreme to me since this was settled shortly after the notice stating they were going to foreclose - never went to court).

When we received our August \'05 statement, it showed everything up to date, but, there was a $3K balance is the Suspense Balance. I called the mortgage company to find out exactly what this is. They stated it is money held until all the attorney bills come in. It is now 15 months later and the money is still sitting in there. So, I am thinking, maybe I was overcharged for the attorney fees. Can I request a breakdown of the attorney fees to see what was actually charged and what I paid. How long should the mortgage company wait until the lawyers bill them?

Thanks
Hi gym,

The basic components in fees are the amount of time spent on a particular problem. In this legal profession, it totally depends upon the matter complexity, documents to be drafted, number of letters and phone calls, length of court appearance and law office expenses.

If the bill has come in over the estimate, you can always ask why this happening. Sometimes, attorney offer "caps" which guaranteeing in writing the maximum cost of the particular service. That helps us to budget and gives us an estimate idea of cost.

Some lawyers wait until bills get large before sending an invoice. And may be this thing is happening in your case also. And I suggest you to request for monthly invoices and review them. The big factor is excessive fees and that is due to too many wrong people are working in your file. It may be happened you may mistakenly billed for the work done for any other client. So, it's better to ask for the monthly invoices and reviewing them clearly.

In addition to all these, I just add one point as a tip. That in future, if you need to hire an attorney, draw up an agreement called "engagement letter" with him detailing the billing method. If more than one attorney work on file then makes sure it specifies the hourly rate of each attorney.

Hope reviewing your invoices may help you to solve the problem. And in case if you have any more doubts, let me know.

Thanks
Posted on: 26th Nov, 2006 08:39 pm
i think whats the helping user advised you its correct.

But for me the period of 15 month is too much. So i suggest you just go through the monthly invoices and if you see any dispute, just file a complaing against him at FTC.
Posted on: 26th Nov, 2006 08:46 pm
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