Bessemer, AL asked in Bankruptcy and Estate Planning for Alabama

Q: I had a bankruptcy lawyer to tell me to stop paying all my bills, put my houses in a trust and then tell me 4 months to

Come get half my money back. He’s ruined my life. I sold my house and he didn’t file my trust papers with the courts. I had to pay the closing attorney to finish it. Is this malpractice?

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4 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: This forum is for questions of a genera nature. Your question is highly fact-specific and at the same time your narrative is missing many important facts.

You will need a personal consultation first with an experienced bankruptcy attorney for a second opinion, and if he thinks your attorney committed malpractice then you will need to hire a legal malpractice attorney to help you pursue your claim.

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY

A: Consult an attorney who handles legal malpractice actions so he can evaluate all the facts of your situation.

Kevin M Ryan
Kevin M Ryan
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Loxley, AL
  • Licensed in Alabama

A: The bankruptcy code requires a disclosure in the Statement of Financial Affairs of any assets transferred to a Trust within 10 years of the filing date for the case. I am not sure why the lawyer advised you to do this, because they can still be considered an asset of the bankruptcy estate. Also, if the laywer advised you to do this and file a Ch 7 bankruptcy case, this could be considered advice that was well below a reasonable standard of care. It would require an expert opinion in order to determine if actionable legal malpractice was committed. Time is of the essence because there is a statute of limitations in most cases of

Kevin M Ryan
Kevin M Ryan
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Loxley, AL
  • Licensed in Alabama

A: The bankruptcy code requires a disclosure in the Statement of Financial Affairs of any assets transferred to a Trust within 10 years of the filing date for the case. I am not sure why the lawyer advised you to do this, because they can still be considered an asset of the bankruptcy estate ( a preferential or fraudulent transfer). Also, if the lawyer advised you to do this and file a Ch 7 bankruptcy case, this could be considered advice that was well below a reasonable standard of care, because that action would in most cases be irreversible after a ch 7 case was filed ( only the Bankruptcy Court has discretion to allow a dismissal of a Ch 7 case or conversion to another chapter). It would require an expert opinion in order to determine if actionable legal malpractice was committed by the attorney's action(s). Time is of the essence because there is a statute of limitations in most cases of 1 year to file the malpractice claim.

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