Can attorney fees be deducted from the settlement escrow?
When going through a divorce, there are a number of financial entanglements that must by investigated before a fair and equitable judgment can be made. One is involving escrows. Many wonder if attorney fees can be deducted from the settlement escrow.
For those who are unfamiliar with escrow accounts, they are used to help resolve financial disputes during the divorce and to make money distribution easier. Attorneys generally set up escrow accounts, and they can be used to pay lawyer fees. However, there are some restrictions involving escrows and attorney fees.
The first thing a person must do is go over their fee agreement with a fine-toothed comb. You need to fully understand what you signed when you retain an attorney. The paperwork should show whether or not the attorney will receive payment by way of the escrow account once the case is over. While some lawyers choose this method of payment, others prefer a pay-as-you-go method. If an escrow account is not mentioned in the paperwork then the attorney is forbidden to touch the money.
Even if the attorney sets up the escrow account, they don’t have authorization to access the account unless they receive permission. You can initially grant permission via a written fee arrangement. You may also decide that instead of paying out of pocket for a long legal case, to simply authorize the lawyer to withdraw the money later. On very rare occasions, the court could grant the lawyer access to the account.
Clients should never take anything for granted. You should always make sure to protect your account. Sadly, there are tales of unscrupulous lawyers behaving unethically and accessing your account without permission. You will likely recoup money, but the process will be long and drawn out. No one wants to be in a situation where they have to file a complaint against their attorney, but it does happen. If you feel that your lawyer has behaved unethically, you can file a complaint with the state bar. they will do a full investigation of the facts. If the lawyer is found to have illegally accessed your escrow account, they will be subject to disbarment and even jail time.
Our attorneys at the New York Law Group will ensure highly-ethical and professional treatment at all times. Our lawyers are here to help you, not take advantage. We have over 50 years of experience and our reputation precedes itself. We have represented thousands of clients all over the state of New York. We have never been sanctioned by the New York Bar Association, and history speaks for itself. We have numerous happy clients who will attest to our professionalism and above-board defense.
Escrow accounts are serious business. This is money that belongs to the client and cannot under any circumstance be touched unless express permission is given. If you are going through a divorce and have questions regarding escrow, call the caring attorneys at our law firm for a free consultation at 888-608-3420 today. We’re here to help.