My mother hired an attorney to review/assist in a closing for a home on a cash purchase. There was a verbal agreement of $300 legal fee agreed upon but no agreement/form or invoice was signed. After 3 months of extending our purchase contract and the deal at a standstill due to both our attorney and sellers attorney not agreeing on a zoning issue. We decided to cancel the loan and wanted our earnest money returned. We did get our money back from the sellerís attorney, but our lawyer then stated his fee was increased to $750. We never agreed to pay that amount, as he did not inform us of the fee increase, until after we received our earnest money back. Are we liable for paying this fee that we did not agree upon nor did we sign anything stating that was the fee we would have to pay? Thank you
2 Answers from Attorneys
Sounds like your lawyer worked his butt off for you in a busted deal. I think that his/her fee is reasonable. Stop whining and pay the fee.
Reveiw and assist for $300 is a fair figure for a transaction that has no or minimal complications. The attorney should have communicated better with your mother once the deal became complicated. However, she did benefit from the work that he provided and under the law he is entitled to compensation as otherwise your mother would be receiving a benefit that she did not pay for.