Friday, September 21, 2012

Order Denying Fees Based On Flat Fee Agreement With Foreclosure Attorney Affirmed

In Raza v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, the Second District determined that the borrower had properly preserved a claim for attorneys fees by pleading entitlement in his answer and filing a motion for fees within thirty days of the involuntary dismissal. However, the borrower did not sufficiently establish the fees incurred. ​
Deutsche Bank argues that Mr. Raza failed to prove a reasonable fee under Florida Patient's Compensation Fund v. Rowe, 472 So. 2d 1145 (Fla. 1985). Principally, it argues that the record contains no information regarding the number of hours spent by Mr. Raza's counsel and the amount of work performed. Mr. Raza responds that the flat fee satisfies any evidentiary burden. We cannot agree.
Emphasis supplied.​ The court later stated that "We do not hold that the absence of time records is fatal to an effort to recover fees under a flat fee arrangement." The flat fee may be sufficient when "combined with expert testimony...if it accounts for all matters addressed in Florida Patient's Compensation Fund." In this case, the fee expert's affidavit "was facially inadequate" Finally, "Even if Mr. Raza did present sufficient evidence, the amount of fees remains in the trial court's discretion"


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