Attorney Harassment - They are under ethical rules, right?

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Attorney Harassment - They are under ethical rules, right?

Unread postby kamoto » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:01 pm

Hi All, I returned to court recently and went to trial. Judgement came out at the beginning of the year. I won on 3 of 4 counts. The language on the count I lost on states the following

Absent an agreement otherwise, X shall make the payment by June 1st, 2018, after which point simple interest shall accrue at 10% per annum"

Seems pretty clear to me that I could pay 25% of the payment on June 1st 2018, then pay another 25% June 1st of 2019, with 10% interest tacked on. I had asked the judge for room in when I make the payment given my other financial obligation to my kid in college. The judges language in the judgement gives me the room I requested.

My exes attorney is demanding the payment be made in full on June 1st of 2018. Isn't this harassment, or something unethical in his approach to me given the precise language in the agreement. What if he continue to demand the payment of me all at once? Can I take him to court for breach of his legal responsibility or some other legal term which indicates he is abusing his attorney power? If you have a counter view of the judgement, I'd be willing to hear it, but the comma placement means the language is completely unambiguous.

Thoughts?
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Re: Attorney Harassment - They are under ethical rules, righ

Unread postby dad2grls » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:08 pm

My thought is that you can pay it after the due date with 10% interest and you can simply ignore the other attorney.

You don't make it clear why you consider them requesting payment in full to be harassment, nor do you say how they are contacting you but if the method and frequency is so great that it causes disruption to your daily schedule you might have a case.

If it's just a letter then tear it up and go about your business.
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Re: Attorney Harassment - They are under ethical rules, righ

Unread postby gamingdad » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:23 pm

And just to be clear, you don't have a lawyer correct?
READ YOUR PAPERWORK BEFORE SIGNING! IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, ASK!
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Re: Attorney Harassment - They are under ethical rules, righ

Unread postby kamoto » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:32 pm

Thanks for confirmation.

They asked for full payment by the due date. I would think as an attorney you wouldn't want to antagonize the person you are seeking 100% payment from when the language supports paying when possible and accruing interest. I would think your first communication is defensive rather than coming from strength. It was a simple e-mail request. But as you say, if it continues on a daily basis and borders on harassment causing me undue stress, I'll respond appropriately.
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Re: Attorney Harassment - They are under ethical rules, righ

Unread postby dad2grls » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:37 pm

kamoto wrote:Thanks for confirmation.

They asked for full payment by the due date. It was a simple e-mail request.


That's not harassment. It's a simple email request for payment in full, nothing more.

kamoto wrote:But as you say, if it continues on a daily basis and borders on harassment causing me undue stress, I'll respond appropriately.


Somehow I don't think it's going to get to that point. Attorneys have better things to do with their billing hours than make repeated requests for the same thing every 24 hours.

When you make the payment, if it's less than the full amount you could write something to the effect of "as per Stipulation, enclosed is partial payment of $xxx". That way they know you didn't make some sort of mistake and paid the wrong amount or whatever.

Do you really want to be paying 10% interest? Nowadays that's rather high. Maybe you could float a personal or business loan or take it against equity in a home or against a retirement account if you have those assets available. Pay her off at a lower interest rate and be done with it.
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Re: Attorney Harassment - They are under ethical rules, righ

Unread postby kamoto » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:49 pm

Thanks, always good advice.

I'm a fairly competent investor. To me, I could invest my money and pay her off with capital gains. That reduces the sting of having to pay someone money they didn't earn. I was surprised the judge used 10%. 2016 was the year of Amazon for me. In 2017 I moved into Caterpillar. CAT still has room to hit 180 which is what JP Morgan raised them to recently. Hopefully my fellow divorced dads have been all in on this bull market run.
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Re: Attorney Harassment - They are under ethical rules, righ

Unread postby madalex » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:50 pm

Assuming you quoted the language correctly, it is a poorly written clause. It doesn't directly provide for partial payment, although one can infer (as you have) that partial payment is permitted so long as interest is paid on the unpaid balance.

That being said, one e-mail asking for payment in full is not harassment. If this continues, you should review the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for what activity is and is not permitted by a debt collector in attempting to collect a debt.
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Re: Attorney Harassment - They are under ethical rules, righ

Unread postby ib536 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:32 pm

Send them a check for the 1st partial payment and mark it "Payment in Full", then see if they'll cash it!

If they do, great!

http://forum.mensdivorce.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=80101#p920085
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Re: Attorney Harassment - They are under ethical rules, righ

Unread postby dad2grls » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:56 pm

ib536 wrote:Send them a check for the 1st partial payment and mark it "Payment in Full", then see if they'll cash it!

If they do, great!

http://forum.mensdivorce.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=80101#p920085



Did you even read the case law that your link references?

The plaintiff- the one who cashed the check that was written paid in full even though it was not paid in full - WON.

The defendant- who tried to pull a fast one by writing paid in full on a check that was actually for partial payment- LOST.

Good way to start a war, make a partial payment and label it paid in full. You think his phone won't be ringing?
Last edited by dad2grls on Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Attorney Harassment - They are under ethical rules, righ

Unread postby TJinCA » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:03 pm

Your topic is ethics, right?

So by your logic if you never pay anything it's OK, it just means that your estate will eventually owe her the payment plus years and years of accrued interest at 10%. Do you think the judge who made the order would agree that met the intent of his order? Would you think that's an ethical plan of action for you?

It sounds to me like the intent of the order was for you to make full payment in June 2018 and the 10% interest (I get the sense that 10% interest is a fairly standard figure used by family law judges) is intended as a penalty to encourage you to pay on that date. If the judge had wanted to give you the kind of "room" you desire, it seems like he would have been explicit about amounts and due dates. So it's not surprising that your ex and her lawyer are expecting you to comply with the simple understanding of the ruling.

I don't guess the lawyer will harass you very much, but I expect that if you delay full payment much past June 2018 he'll get a hearing set and you'll wind up discussing this issue again with the judge. Judge will likely "clarify" at that point and I doubt if you'll like the clarification very much.

If it were me I'd either figure out how to pay up by June or I'd try to work out an alternative payment schedule by mutual agreement with my ex.
Last edited by TJinCA on Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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