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Texashelp

Member
I owe a lawyer over 200,000.
I will explain the best I can.
My husband passed away in 2015 and was fighting the irs over an issue they said he owed, but he didn’t.
Well I ran out of money fighting them and had to agree to sell property and give them most of the money. Property is still on the market.
Here’s my problem, the lawyer my husband had was from out of state. He said every time he came here it cost him over 100,000. He tried to get dismissed but judge wouldn’t let him.
Is there someway I can petition the court about the extravagant fees? Or any other way?
Any advice is appreciated.
 


quincy

Senior Member
No problem.
Not yet. Just starting to push for payment or payment plan, which I don’t have.
Is the debt from 2015 (or before)?

There is a four year statute of limitations on the collection of debts in Texas. When was the last payment made to the attorney? Have you been paying the attorney on a regular basis? Is the debt in your husband's name only?
 

Texashelp

Member
The debt is a year old. So haven’t paid anything since then. When my husband passed the estate took over and I’m executor.
 

quincy

Senior Member
If I am understanding correctly, the attorney was hired prior to your husband's death in 2015, to handle an issue of money owed to the IRS, and you were making payments to the attorney up until a year ago. You can no longer afford to pay the attorney and the only asset left in the estate to sell, to satisfy the debt, is your house (which is for sale but hasn't sold) and most of the proceeds from the house sale will go to the IRS.

I have a feeling your legal issue is not one that can be addressed easily on a forum. Generally when an estate has no money or other assets left to use to satisfy the debts of the deceased, the debts go unpaid.

Please wait for others to post.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
I owe a lawyer over 200,000.
I will explain the best I can.
My husband passed away in 2015 and was fighting the irs over an issue they said he owed, but he didn’t.
You say the dispute with the IRS was about taxes that he owed. That suggests that this was about income tax owed on a joint return you filed with him. What kind of tax was this and how much did the IRS say was owed?

Well I ran out of money fighting them and had to agree to sell property and give them most of the money. Property is still on the market.

This property is property of your late husband's estate, right?

Here’s my problem, the lawyer my husband had was from out of state.
Was this a tax lawyer your husband hired to deal with the IRS matter? Why did he hire a lawyer from outside the state? And how is it that the bill got to $100,000? While litigation with the IRS can sometimes cost that much, that's an unusual circumstance for most individuals. Do you know what the lawyer's fee agreement was, e.g. was it an hourly fee agreement and if so, what was the hourly rate?

Is there someway I can petition the court about the extravagant fees? Or any other way?
In what court was this being litigated (i.e. U.S. Tax Court, U.S. District Court, U.S. Court of Claims, or some other court)?
 

Texashelp

Member
You say the dispute with the IRS was about taxes that he owed. That suggests that this was about income tax owed on a joint return you filed with him. What kind of tax was this and how much did the IRS say was owed?

It was over unpaid taxes on wages at a place of employment. They said he was responsible.

This property is property of your late husband's estate, right?


Correct.

Was this a tax lawyer your husband hired to deal with the IRS matter? Why did he hire a lawyer from outside the state? And how is it that the bill got to $100,000? While litigation with the IRS can sometimes cost that much, that's an unusual circumstance for most individuals. Do you know what the lawyer's fee agreement was, e.g. was it an hourly fee agreement and if so, what was the hourly rate?

Yes, tax lawyer. He hired him because he knew him. He traveled 2 times to Texas and negotiated with the Irs. The only explanation I can give.
I do not know the hourly rate. But it is hourly.

In what court was this being litigated (i.e. U.S. Tax Court, U.S. District Court, U.S. Court of Claims, or some other court)?

Us District Court
 

quincy

Senior Member
Was your husband a small business owner?

I am puzzled by the $200,000 in attorney fees but cannot say from what you have posted if they are unreasonably high. Much more would need to be known.

It is too bad you live in a community property state. You and your property are not as nicely insulated from the debts of your spouse as you would be in other states.

Are you able at all to work out with the attorney a payment arrangement that can fit your new budget?
 

Texashelp

Member
Was your husband a small business owner?

Nope. Healthcare administrator.

I am puzzled by the $200,000 in attorney fees but cannot say from what you have posted if they are unreasonably high. Much more would need to be known.
It is too bad you live in a community property state. You and your property are not as nicely insulated from the debts of your spouse as you would be in other states.

Are you able at all to work out with the attorney a payment arrangement that can fit your new budget?

Cannot work out any payment plan or any payment at this time. After Irs takes their cut, not enough to pay the full attorney fee. If the property doesn’t sell in the Irs timeline, they will foreclose and no extra money for the attorney.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Was your husband a small business owner?

Nope. Healthcare administrator.

I am puzzled by the $200,000 in attorney fees but cannot say from what you have posted if they are unreasonably high. Much more would need to be known.
It is too bad you live in a community property state. You and your property are not as nicely insulated from the debts of your spouse as you would be in other states.

Are you able at all to work out with the attorney a payment arrangement that can fit your new budget?

Cannot work out any payment plan or any payment at this time. After Irs takes their cut, not enough to pay the full attorney fee. If the property doesn’t sell in the Irs timeline, they will foreclose and no extra money for the attorney.
If you can't pay, you can't pay. Even if the attorney files suit and gets a judgment against you, he stands to have as much difficultly collecting from you then as he is having now.
 

Texashelp

Member
If you can't pay, you can't pay. Even if the attorney files suit and gets a judgment against you, he stands to have as much difficultly collecting from you then as he is having now.


One last question

Is the home I live in protected from the Irs? As a widow?
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
It would be helpful if you stop responding within the quotes. It makes it difficult to find your responses.
 

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