A tipster (send in your tips here) sent me the following client agreement for Wites & Kapetan for debt relief services. See below.
I can always use your help. If you have a tip or information you want to share, you can get it to me confidentially if you click here.
1. Parties: This Agreement is entered between The Law Offices of Wites & Kapetan, P.A.
(“WKPA”) and X (individually and collectively, “Client”).
2. Representation Provided: WKPA will represent Client to: (A) negotiate the Client’s debts which are listed on Exhibit A to this Agreement and (B) defend and provide legal counsel to Client in any lawsuits filed against Client by any and all Creditors that own and/or have the right to file suit to collect the debts listed on Exhibit A (“Client’s Debts”), subject to the limitations listed below.
3. Client Obligations and Authorizations:
A. Client will deposit funds in The Trust Account of WKPA for the purpose of (a) creating a Debt Settlement Payment Fund from which Client may direct WKPA to pay money to settle Client’s debts and (b) paying attorney’s fees to WKPA.
B. Client authorizes WKPA to accept on Client’s behalf any offers to settle any or all of Client’s Debts if such amount is 40% or less of the amount of the individual debt owed by Client and as listed on Exhibit A and requires WKPA to obtain Client’s approval before accepting any settlement in excess of 40% of the amount of any individual debt owed by Client and as listed on Exhibit A
4. Payments: Client agrees to deposit in The Trust Account of WKPA the following amounts
(CHECK THE BOX FOR EACH OPTION THAT APPLIES TO YOU):
B. $XXX.XX on the X day of each month, commencing on 11/XX/2010, and concluding on XX/XX/XXXX, for a total of 34 payments.
C. $_____ on the __ and X day of each month, commencing on XX/XX/XXXX, and concluding
on XX/XX/XXXX, for a total of 34 payments.
Client may, but is not required, to make any or all of the payment listed above in advance of their due dates.
D. In the event that this Agreement is cancelled or terminated by WKPA or Client for any reason prior to the date the last payment is due pursuant to this paragraph 4, Client’s obligation to make further payments shall cease as of the date of cancellation or termination.
5 Division of Payments;
Client’s Debt Settlement Payment Fund and Attorney’s Fees:
A. 100% of the first 2 payments, and 50% of payments 3 – 21 , made pursuant to Paragraph 4 above are for the payment by Client to WKPA for attorney’s fees, which shall be deemed earned upon receipt. Client authorizes WKPA to transfer such funds upon receipt to WKPA’s operating account for the payment of WKPA’s attorney’s fees under this Agreement. The balance of the payments 3 – 21, and 100% of all subsequent payments, shall fund Client’s Debt Settlement Payment Fund.
B. Client understands and acknowledges that the Division of Payments described above will result in a total payment by client of (i) $21,200.00 for the Client’s Debt Settlement Payment Fund and (ii) $10,600.00 for WKPA’s attorney’s fees, for a total of $31,800.00.
6 Additional Payments, Refunds and Cancellation:
A. Additional Payments: Client understands and acknowledges that WKPA may be unable to settle all of Client’s debts for an amount that is equal to or less then the total amount of Client’s Debt Settlement Payment Fund. In such event, Client may be required to deposit additional funds in Client’s Debt Settlement Payment Fund to settle Client’s Debts.
If Client deposits additional funds in Client’s Debt Settlement Payment Fund to settle Client’s Debts, whether because such Fund does not hold enough money to pay the respective Debt or because the respective creditor will not accept a settlement that is equal to or less then 40% of the Debt, Client will not be required to pay WKPA any additional attorney’s fees.
B. Refunds: If WKPA is able to obtain for Client agreements that result in the settlement of all
of Client’s Debts for an amount that is less then the total amount of Client’s Debt Settlement Payment Fund, WKPA will return to Client the balance of any monies in Client’s Debt Settlement Payment Fund. However, this will not reduce, or result in a refund of, any attorney’s fees paid by or due from Client.
Similarly, if WKPA obtains for Client agreements that result in the settlement all of Client’s Debts prior Client’s payments of all attorney’s fees due under this Agreement, Client (1) shall remain obligated to all attorney’s fees due to WKPA and (2) authorizes WKPA to add to any installment payments that Client pays to WKPA for purposes of paying Client’s Debts such amounts necessary to also pay in full all attorney’s fees due under this Agreement.
C. Cancellation: Client may at any time (a) instruct WKPA to not settle any and/or
all Client Debts and (b) cancel this Agreement. If Client cancels this Agreement, WKPA will promptly return to Client all of the monies held in WKPA’s Trust Account for Client’s Debt Settlement Payment Fund.
Further, if cancels this Agreement at any time within 5 days of Client’s first payment under this Agreement, WKPA will return 100% of the attorney’s fees paid by Client to WKPA. The balance of all attorney’s fees paid to WKPA are non-refundable.
7 Scope of Representation:
A. WKPA’s representation of Client includes, and is limited to, the matters set forth below:
1. Negotiation and Settlement of Debts: Negotiating the pre-litigation resolution of Client’s Debts listed on Exhibit A. Only the unsecured debts listed on Exhibit A are included in this Agreement.
2. Litigation: If WKPA is unable to settle a debt of Client for 40% of the amount of the debt, and if such creditor or other entity representing the creditor files a lawsuit against Client, WKPA will defend Client in such litigation and, where appropriate, file counterclaims against the creditor on behalf of Client.
B. WKPA will use its best efforts to negotiate a pre-litigation resolution of Client Debts. However, some creditors may refuse to negotiate a discount on the amount of Client Debt, or may refuse to negotiate a discount that is acceptable to Client.
C. WKPA does not guarantee that any or all creditors will agree to a settlement that is acceptable to Client.
D. WKPA cannot stop your creditors from reporting you to consumer reporting and credit agencies as a result of as late, delinquent, charged-off or past due balances. This may, and likely will, have an adverse effect on your credit report and credit score.
E. Your creditors may continue collection efforts on delinquent accounts. Such collection efforts can include phone calls and letters to you, charging off the account, sending accounts to collection agencies or attorneys, lawsuits and even garnishments of your wages if a judgment has been obtained. If you are contacted by letter, email, fax, phone or any other written communication by an attorney and/or law firm that represents a creditor, please contact WKPA immediately.
F. Your account balance may continue to grow as your creditor adds accrued interest, late fees, over-limit fees and penalties. If negotiations are unsuccessful, you could be called upon to pay the entire balance.
G. When your creditor settles a debt, a savings of $600 or more off what you owed may be reported by your creditor to the IRS as Discharge of Indebtedness income. Under IRS rules, you may be able to exclude this Discharge of Indebtedness income by using IRS Form 982. However, we are not tax attorneys or accountants. Please consult with your tax consultant about such issues.
H. As detailed above, the scope of representation provided by WKPA is limited to those services expressly described in this Agreement. In the event Client chooses to file bankruptcy, or desires any other legal services, WKPA may provide such services under a separate agreement or may choose to offer Client a referral to another law firm or appropriate service provider.
I. WKPA will not use the money deposited in the WKPA Trust Account, in which Client’s Debt
Settlement Payment Fund shall be held, to pay any bills or other obligations of Client.
Such funds shall be used only and exclusively to settle Client’s Debts, to the extent listed on Exhibit A of this Agreement, and only then with the express permission of Client as provided in this Agreement.
J. WKPA does not guarantee results, the percentage of your debt that can be settled, that you will not be sued or that a judgment will not be entered against you. WKPA’s ability to effectively represent you is contingent upon you making all of the payments required by this Agreement so that your Debt Settlement Payment Fund is fully funded. If you do not make all of the payments, it is possible that we will be unable to negotiate a settlement of all of your debts.
K. WKPA’s representation of you is an alternative to filing for bankruptcy. It is possible that you may now, or in the future, qualify for bankruptcy, and bankruptcy may offer benefits for you. This Agreement does not include WKPA representation of you in any bankruptcy proceeding.
L. B. Alex N. Kapetan, Jr. is your legal counsel.
Additional lawyers, paralegals and other WKPA staff members may perform services on your behalf.
8 Governing Law and Venue: This Agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Florida.
All disputes arising out of or related to this Agreement shall be resolved through arbitration, as provided below, exclusively in Broward County Florida.
9 Entire Agreement. This Agreement, along with all attachments, constitutes the entire fully integrated agreement between the parties, and it supersedes any and all prior written or oral agreements between WKPA and Client. If any provision of this Agreement is held to be unenforceable, the remainder of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.
10 Arbitration of Dispute: IN THE EVENT OF ANY CONTROVERSY, CLAIM OR DISPUTE BETWEEN THE PARTIES ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THIS AGREEMENT OR THE BREACH, TERMINATION, ENFORCEMENT, INTERPRETATION OR VALIDITY THEREOF, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE TERMINATION OR THE SCOPE OR APPLICABILITY OF THIS AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE, SHALL BE DETERMINED BY ARBITRATION IN BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA BY A PANEL OF THREE ARBITRATORS AND ADMINISTERED BY THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION (“AAA”). THE PARTIES SHALL SHARE THE COST OF ARBITRATION EQUALLY. EACH PARTY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN ATTORNEY’S FEES UNLESS AWARDED AS THE PREVAILING PARTY UNDER APPLICABLE LAW.
PRIOR TO INITIATING ANY ARBITRATION, CLIENT AND WKPA AGREE TO ATTEND
MEDIATION, WHICH SHALL LAST FOR A MINIMUM OF 2 HOURS. THE MEDIATOR SHALL BE AGREED TO BY THE PARTIES, AND MUST BE A CERTIFIED MEDIATOR.
11 Waiver of Jury Trial. CLIENT AND WKPA UNDERSTAND THAT BY VOLUNTARILY AGREEING TO BINDING ARBITRATION AS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 10 ABOVE, BOTH GIVE UP THEIR RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY OF ANY CLAIM EACH MAY HAVE AGAINST THE OTHER.
12 Modifications or Amendments: No amendment, change or modification of this Agreement shall be valid unless in writing and agreed to by all the Parties.
13 READ BEFORE SIGNING. YOUR SIGNATURE ON THIS AGREEMENT, AND YOUR
INITIALS ON THIS AGREEMENT, MEAN THAT YOU HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND ALL OF THIS AGREEMENT, AND THAT YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE AGREEMENT. IF ANY REPRESENTATIVE OF WKPA HAS TOLD YOU ANYTHING INCONSISTENT WITH THIS AGREEMENT, DO NOT SIGN THIS AGREEMENT. INSTEAD, ASK TO SPEAK WITH ALEX N. KAPETAN, JR.
Do You Have a Question You'd Like Steve to Answer? Click Here.
I AFFIRM THAT I HAVE READ, UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT.
CLIENT: Print Name:
Client Signature Date
LAW OFFICES OF WITES & KAPETAN, P.A.
Alex N. Kapetan, Jr Date
Alex N.Kapetan Date