Contingency Lawyer Referral Request -- Unpaid & Abandoned Rent

1 Reply

I need help finding attorneys who will handle my case on a contingency basis.

I have a rental property that was abandoned by my tenant. The lease started June 1, 2017 and ends May 31, 2018. She paid the deposit and the first month's rent, but has not paid her July, August and September rent.

I filed two Failure to Pay Rent cases with MD Prince George's County district court , one in July and another in August. The one for July was scheduled for a hearing and I got a default judgement in August, then I filed a Petition for Warrant of Restitution and a few weeks after got an email from the sheriff that the schedule for eviction would be on October 5th.

The tenant abandoned the property September 29, just six days before she could be evicted. Before she moved out, she sent me partial payments (via money order) totaling $2,700 in her attempt to stall the eviction. 

After sending a letter of intent to forfeit deposit, her unpaid dues (rent, late fees, court filing fees, unpaid utilities, etc.) total a little over $9,000. This will be the amount I'm suing her for (in addition to incoming attorney fees). I'll file a Writ of Garnishment as soon as I get a judgement.

I've contacted attorneys referred by Prince George's County Bar Association (lawyer referral service) but they're all charging by the hour, their rates range from $200 to $300. I've also talked to more than a dozen attorneys within the county (did a Google search and found their phone numbers from lawyer search websites) and the fixed price quotes range from $1,200 to $2,000.

After not getting paid for three months I've gotten into a really tight budget situation so I'm not looking to pay high attorney fees upfront. Can anyone point me to a good contingency law firm or an attorney who works on contingency that can handle landlord-tenant cases? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

@Kareem Aaron

Sorry to break the bad news, but the chances of you finding a contingency attorney for this kind of work is basically none. Also try to review what your realistic chances are for actually recovering the money. It's one thing to get the judgment --- it's an entirely different matter to collect on that judgment. In PA, for example, it will be difficult to collect on these judgments in a cost-effective manner. 

Disclaimer: While I’m an attorney licensed to practice in PA, I’m not your attorney. What I wrote above does not create an attorney/client relationship between us. I wrote the above for informational purposes. Do not rely on it as legal advice. Always consult with your attorney before you rely on the above information.

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