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Question
Posted by: Sharon | 2011-09-26

Attorney''s fees

Good day

I had a credit card with one of our leading banking institutions and unfortunately, my account was handed over to attorneys for collection. The amount owing was R4100. Now the amount is currently at R5200, the attorneys are saying that the amount is increasing because of interest and their charges. When I enquired what their charges are, they said that it is for sms’ s, emails and tracing fees. But I receive their emails bi-monthly to remind me to make payment, but have never received sms’ s. Why do they need to trace me as they have all my particulars? Nevertheless, I asked them numerous times to send me a detailed statement of account (again this morning), but nothing is forthcoming. Is it possible for me to lay a complaint with the law society? Or who would be the correct person to speak to, as I get the impression that these attorneys are not being transparent.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

I would report the matter to the Law Society if I was you to investigate the conduct of the attorneys and to establish whether the fees charged are reasonable.

Answered by Bertus Preller

Bertus Preller is a Divorce Attorney in Cape Town and has more than 20 years experience in most sectors of the law and 13 years as a practicing attorney. He specializes in Family law and Divorce Law at Abrahams and Gross Attorneys Inc. in Cape Town. Bertus is also the Family Law expert on Health24.com and on the expert panel of Law24.com and is frequently quoted on Family Law issues in newspapers such as the Sunday Times and Business Times and magazines such as Noseweek, You and Huisgenoot. His clients include artists, celebrities, sports people and high networth individuals. His areas of expertise are Divorce Law, Family Law, Divorce Mediation, Parenting Plans, Parental Responsibilities and Rights, Custody (care and contact) of children, same sex marriages, unmarried fathers rights, domestic violence matters, international divorce law, digital rights, media law and criminal law.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: C.Hill | 2011-10-21

I was blacklisted some 8 years ago for a R2000 odd cell phone debt due to unforeseen circumstances. All of a sudden I am being totally harassed by a firm called MBD attorneys to pay OR ELSE. I feel I have paid my debt to society by being blacklisted for 5 years and suspect the company like I have heard happens " sold"  the debt. Is it legal to be harassed like this ? They are making my life a living hell. So much so that if I did want to settle it - it definately would not be with MBD whom I have since discovered have a shocking track record as far as collections go inasmuch as your payments just get lost in their system and the debt never ends and no one can answer your questions. I have gone as far as seeing an attorney who says if I have not signed anything lately they can''t touch me and the debt because of its age is " prescribed" 
Please help

Reply to C.Hill
Posted by: family law expert | 2011-09-30

I would report the matter to the Law Society if I was you to investigate the conduct of the attorneys and to establish whether the fees charged are reasonable.

Answered by Bertus Preller

Bertus Preller is a Divorce Attorney in Cape Town and has more than 20 years experience in most sectors of the law and 13 years as a practicing attorney. He specializes in Family law and Divorce Law at Abrahams and Gross Attorneys Inc. in Cape Town. Bertus is also the Family Law expert on Health24.com and on the expert panel of Law24.com and is frequently quoted on Family Law issues in newspapers such as the Sunday Times and Business Times and magazines such as Noseweek, You and Huisgenoot. His clients include artists, celebrities, sports people and high networth individuals. His areas of expertise are Divorce Law, Family Law, Divorce Mediation, Parenting Plans, Parental Responsibilities and Rights, Custody (care and contact) of children, same sex marriages, unmarried fathers rights, domestic violence matters, international divorce law, digital rights, media law and criminal law.

Reply to family law expert
Posted by: Anon | 2011-09-27

It is a total waste of time to report lawyer to the law society, the law society protect their own.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Sharon | 2011-09-26

Thank you very much for the advice.

Reply to Sharon
Posted by: G-Dad | 2011-09-26

Yes you can ask the law society to tax the attorneys fees, legally you have signed contract with the bank stating that you will pay any legal fees, but only a court can enforce that, this mean that you have to pay the bank what you owe them and the interest, but you can dispute the attorneys fees, the cost of a court case might not justify a dispute, but you can contact the consumer protection for assistance as the bank is a service provider and any extra fees should be reasonable, the consumer protector will be in a position to determine that, but I would also use the law society to tax the attorney account.

Reply to G-Dad

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