Does my attorney have to accept a payment plan?

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Does my attorney have to accept a payment plan?

My divorce has ended up costing me much more than I had expected (in excess of $12,000 for a divorce with few assets and no children). I currently owe my attorney $1,800 but do not have the money to pay him. Does he have to accept a payment plan for this outstanding balance? I asked him to work with me and he has refused. I want to pay him but cannot pay him the full amount right now. If I make an attempt to pay him each month, can he take me to court and garnish my wages?

Asked on May 5, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, no one you owe money to--bank, attorney, credit card company, etc.--is  under any obligation to accept a payment plan, unless and to the extent that they agreed to it. Otherwise, they have a right to insist on payment in full when due, and if the debtor does not or will not pay, the creditor can sue. If the creditor sues and wins, he or she can use remedies, such as garnishing wages, to be paid. That even includes if the debtor sends in monthly payments; the creditor can cahs the payments then sue for the rest. Only if there is an agreement to accept a payment plan or payment over time does the creditor need to accept it; and entering into such an agreement is purely voluntary.


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