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Lawyer failed to return funds

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1 Lawyer failed to return funds on Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:00 pm

echelon


Arresto Menor
I was purchasing a property via a bank loan. Since there are issues with the titles for the target property and issues are of complex nature, I got myself a lawyer to handle the documentation and necessary processing. Besides, I am an OFW and always out of the country - and I thought that it makes better sense to get services of a lawyer. She seemed to be very well versed in real estate transactions including negotiations with sellers in haggling the price. Before I flew out of the country, I entrusted my equity to my lawyer - hoping to be in a good position to negotiate the price further when the seller sees cold cash. According to my lawyer, this strategy has always worked in her dealings in real estate. My release and her receipt of the funds is documented. Unfortunately, the transaction did not materialize. Instead of returning my money, she used it as downpayment for the property that her sister is acquiring. Apparently, she told us that her sister's seller to whom she issued a check, encashed the check in advance (or rediscounted) and withdrawn my moeny as part of that. It is taking us 6 weeks already in chasing her for the money. That money is all we've got as family savings. She has been switching off her cellphone whenever the promised time approaches. We are getting worried that she could easily throw away her SIM card. We don't know where she lives. We don't have any other contact numbers aside from that cellphone number. She is holding office near our city hall, though. We are planning to place a complaint at IBP office against her. We think this is the best option we have at the moment. Hope you could give some of your valuable advice to us regarding this matter. What is the best step to take? Regards.

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2 Re: Lawyer failed to return funds on Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:44 am

attyLLL


moderator
i recommend that you send a demand letter to her first, but you can indeed file a complaint at the IBP


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3 Re: Lawyer failed to return funds on Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:25 am

echelon


Arresto Menor
Thanks for the response, Atty. Have sent her a letter demanding for the return of money within 5 days. If, after 5 days, nothing is done, can I bring this matter already to IBP? Could you please brief me on the IBP process regarding complaints such as this in terms of the steps and average duration that it usually takes? Thanks in advance po.

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4 Re: Lawyer failed to return funds on Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:52 pm

attyLLL


moderator
the rules are at the ibp website.


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5 Re: Lawyer failed to return funds on Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:13 pm

echelon


Arresto Menor
Hi, attyLLL.

We went to the IBP chapter to file sana a complaint against our lawyer but we were told that we have to look for another lawyer to file the complaint directly to IBP Main.

Apparently, our lawyer was once an officer in the said IBP chapter and had almost everyone as a ninong/ninang of her children and so noone can offer any help to us.

We were also informed that there are a lot of complaints already against the very same lawyer for similar case (i.e. estafa/fraud/bp22) and that we can verify these from SC.

We feel helpless na - what would you recommend as next step? All we want is to get back our money from her the soonest. Yun lang kasi ang savings ng family namin and yun lang ang kakapitan namin if ever may dumating na emergency sa family.

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6 Re: Lawyer failed to return funds on Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:19 pm

echelon


Arresto Menor
By the way pala, after the demand letter lapsed, she gave us a promissory note confirming payment on or before July 29, 2011. But she did not make any payments at all. So, basically, we don't have anything at our hands to hold on to. Should we again ask for another promissory note?

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7 Re: Lawyer failed to return funds on Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:53 pm

attyLLL


moderator
yes, the rules indicate that the complaint has to be filed at the IBP in Pasig City. you will indeed have a hard time getting a lawyer. that promissory note was an attempt to convert her obligation to a loan.


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8 Re: Lawyer failed to return funds on Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:20 am

echelon


Arresto Menor
given the situation, what would you recommend? it is very sad to hear/read some confirmation/justification for being so helpless at this time. Would approaching a private lawyer from the same province make any difference in this case? Or it won't since the rest of the IBP members in this chapter are linked to her? Appreciate your best recommendation pls...

what is the implication of her attempt to convert her obligation to a loan? We are planning to file a case of estafa against her sana.

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9 Re: Lawyer failed to return funds on Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:44 pm

attyLLL


moderator
you can file your complaint via registered mail. you'll have to sign it yourself. that's what other lawyers do when they accept cases against their co-lawyers.

if you agreed to convert her obligation to return the money into a promissory note, then it became a loan and a case of estafa might no longer prosper. but i believe an admin case at ibp will


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Warning and Disclaimer: I am not your lawyer; and you are not my client. With the limitations of an  Internet forum, a thorough review of your concern is not possible. View my comments at YOUR OWN RISK. It is best to actually retain a lawyer for your individual concerns.
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10 Re: Lawyer failed to return funds on Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:20 pm

echelon


Arresto Menor
Thank you so much for the valuable insights.

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