- May 29, 2005 at 10:12 pm #51112
I am half way through my purchase having agreed to buy a property off plan. The contract stage has been dealt with. The property is due to complete later this year.
The lady who handled the contract stage for me seemed okay, but she left the firm to set up on her own. I do however have her details. However before I contacted her I read the news of her former firm who I assume still have my papers and in particular its president who it is alleged had confused how he should handle client’s money and property transactions. Fortunately not mine!
So, please would you advise whether I should now stay clear of the firm presuming it is still practising and the lady who handled the property purchase so far if she is practising? It would seem a good idea, but then what would be the position regarding the fees in such circumstances? I clearly do not want to have to pay twice as the cost is enormous compared to what is paid in the uk for a similar service.
- June 2, 2005 at 8:21 pm #58328
It sounds like you were dealing with DVA – is that right?
If so I would steer well clear. I would appoint another lawyer to deal with the rest of the purchase. If they still hold your documents then I advise you try and get them back ASAP (I hope you made copies of everything). This might be problematic as to the best of my knowledge all their files have been impounded and their bank accounts frozen. This includes escrow accounts, if they even bothered to set up such a thing to handle client money (doubtful). I know of at least 2 people who transferred money to DVA just days before the police swooped. Needless to say they now have neither access to their own money nor properties to show for it.
I would also have a new lawyer check over everything that was done in the past, as I am aware of a number of people who dealt with DVA only then to find that the legal advice they had been given was meaningless.
Hiring a new lawyer might mean starting from scratch on the fee front, on the other hand a new lawyer might only charge for the legal work left to be done. But as I said, I would have them go back over whatever it is the DVA were supposed to have done for you.
But it’s up to you.
- June 2, 2005 at 11:36 pm #58337
Fortunately they were not holding any funds and yes I have copies of everything that was sent to me. Contracts have been signed so it is the lead up to completion etc that needs to be dealt with. I will ask for the papers to be transferred direct to my new lawyer. Otherwise the file will have to be reconstructed hopefully with the help of the developer’s lawyer.
Can you please recommend a lawyer that will not stand for any nonesense but will also not bankrupt me? I would like him/her to bear in mind I have already paid 50% of the lawyers fees on signing contracts.
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