No one likes their banker.
Honestly, when was the last time you thought, “Wow, I really like those guys who charge me all sorts of ridiculous fees for me giving them my money”? Or, when was the last time you said, “I dig those guys who gave me a car loan and then charged me all sorts of interest for years”?
The Bible says, “The debtor is slave to the lender,” and it’s right. We tend not to like our slaveholders, which is one reason we don’t like banks.
And yet, people choose to make their divorce lawyers their bankers every day.
How Your Attorney Becomes Your Banker
This is how it happens. You pay your attorney a retainer of a few thousand dollars. Your attorney doesn’t tell you how much your case will cost and then bills you by the hour. He quickly blows through your retainer.
But your attorney does more work on your case, which means your account is now in the negative and now you owe your attorney gobs more money.
Violà, your attorney is now you banker.
What Happens After the Switch from Lawyer to Banker?
Like most banks, your attorney’s going to charge you interest for the privilege of owing him money. It’s usually around 20% per year, sometimes compounding monthly. That’s like a credit card interest rate.
And, like any good debt collector, your attorney’s going to hound you for money every time you call.
If you don’t pay, he’ll also threaten you, just like banks do.
Essentially, when you make your lawyer your banker, your relationship changes from attorney–client to slaveholder–slave.
I’m sure you see the writing on the wall here: when your relationship changes from attorney–client to slaveholder–slave, you tend to get worse results in your case.
That only makes sense. You don’t like your lawyer–slaveholder, and your lawyer doesn’t particularly appreciate the fact you’re behind on your bill.
All this makes for a toxic, unworkable relationship, and those relationships don’t tend to work out well for divorce clients or their families in the end.
How not To Make Your Divorce Lawyer Your Banker
Keeping your divorce lawyer your lawyer, instead of your banker, if pretty simple: Never run a negative balance.
In other words, always keep your lawyer paid, and keep money in your retainer.
Your relationship with your attorney is so much better when you have money in your retainer, as opposed to a negative balance.
There’s less tension, there’s so much less stress, and telephone conversations are much more pleasant.
How Brown Law Keeps from Becoming Bankers
At Brown Law, we never become our clients’ bankers.
This is how we do it: we charge FLAT FEES.
Flat fees allow our clients to control costs because they know what something will cost upfront.
And because costs are paid in full before work on a particular thing begins, there’s no chance we can become a banker.
Our flat-fee system creates a much more collaborative environment with our clients because (1) we’re honest with them about fees and costs, and (2) our clients never have to fear talking to a banker.
Call Brown Law
If you find yourself facing a divorce, please call 801.685.9999 for a legal in-person consultation, or use our online scheduling tool.
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