- Report: #1070564
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Heimerl & Lammers
Heimerl & Lammers901 N 3rd St Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Heimerl & Lammers Benjamin J. HeimerlKatie LammersMaxim ZawojskiNorth Loop Bait and switched me, overcharged for services, lied to me Minneapolis Minnesota
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I was originally quoted a price of $1,750.00 for a non-contested divorce (which is what I ended up having). I signed up with them in good faith based upon their quoted price (price was the only reason that I used them - I had a quote from another firm for $1,900.00 for the same service).
A couple of months into the case, I received a bill from them for several thousand dollars. And in my opinion a rude and unprofessional email from the partner Ben Heimerl I sent an email to the partner explaining how I had been quoted $1,750.00 for the divorce (also asking how it was possible that I even knew the price for it) and I received this response:
You did not sign up on a flat fee. Furthermore, your case is not uncontested, no matter how much you protest that it is. I can see that we are getting nowhere here and you have no intention of paying your bill. Unfortunately, you leave us no choice but to withdraw.
Benjamin J. Heimerl"
Now, who in their right mind would sign up for an option that ended up costing over $10,000.00 when a $1,750.00 flat-fee was available?!? In my opinion, this firm baited and switched on me, having me sign papers that were completely different from what I had been quoted.
I sent an email to the other partner Katie Lammers explaining my displeasure with in my opinion being scammed by their firm and baited and switched and I received this response:
Per our conversation today, here is a copy of your retainer agreement. Please note that this agreement clearly lays out how you will be billed and how the fee agreement works. I have also included a signed copy of our retainer policy.
To recap, I understand that you feel that Kelsey told you that the divorce would be handled as a flat fee of $1,750. She recalls the meeting differently. While you and Kelsey did discuss the possibility of a flat-fee uncontested divorce, you ultimately chose the $3,000 hourly option and that is the retainer agreement that you signed.
It's unfortunate that you seem to have a different understanding of the agreement than what I have in writing. Kelsey and I will take a look at the invoices this afternoon. I will have an answer for you today about your options for proceeding. You, of course, retain the right to terminate representation at any time. I hope we can work something out, but I have to honor the signed agreement which states that yours was an hourly case.
Please direct any questions regarding your matter to me.
In other words - they are claiming that I happily signed a FAR more expensive hourly option when a far cheaper flat rate option was talked about and presented to me. In my opinion, this is simple bait and switch - I will also be filing a claim with the Minnesota Bar association and also the Attorney General of Minnesota for their activities.
Since I was desperate and in the middle of a divorce (and since I again made in my opinion the mistake of trusting Heimerl and Lammers) I maxed out my credit card to pay the amount current.
At the end of the case, I received ANOTHER bill from them for ANOTHER balance over $5,900.00!!! (Now remember Katie's written word in her response that I had chosen the "$3,000.00 Hourly Option" - and that this was an uncontested divorce).
Needless to say, now being totally broke I could not afford this additional amount that they in my opinion were trying to milk from me. Seeing no other choice, I have to file a bankruptcy.
I received a call from an attorney at Heimerl and Lammers named Maxim Zawojski. He was attempting to collect the debt for the amount owed. I informed him that I was declaring Bankruptcy (a chapter 7 to be specific). He said ok and that the collection efforts would stop (as is required by Federal Bankruptcy Law).
Today (July 27th) I was just served papers filed by Heimerl and Lammers and signed by Maxim Zawojski to appear in court next month. They are suing me in small claims court for the $5,719.50 of additional fees from the "$3,000.00 hourly option". I am still doing the Bankruptcy and needless to say they won't be receiving the money - because I don't have it. I am also looking into legal violations I feel that they have committed by filing suit while they had been informed of the Bankruptcy.
SO, IN SUMMARY...
In my opinion one would never EVER use Heimerl and Lammers. The lack of ethics shown in my opinion in the bait and switch they did to me as well as - in my opinion - the unprofessional treatment, in my opinion EXCESSIVE billing (I actually have a record of where I was billed for 6 emails that happened over a period of 35 minutes... I was billed at 10 minutes EACH for the emails - who would have guessed that Heimerl and Lammers had a time machine and could shove 60 minutes into only 35!!!!! That is the only way that could happen, right?) and in my opinion the harassment after being forced by their actions into a bankruptcy and financial ruin are something that no one should EVER have to suffer. Hopefully the Bar association and the Attorney General can help me with this.
So to sum my opinion of my experience with the firm up in one word: AVOID!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/27/2013 11:47 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Heimerl-Lammers/Minneapolis-Minnesota-55401/Heimerl-Lammers-Benjamin-J-HeimerlKatie-LammersMaxim-ZawojskiNorth-Loop-Bait-and-switc-1070564. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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