A medical lawyer says his fees are spiralling out of control after the collapse of his family home in a major property dispute.
Casey Anthony, a Melbourne lawyer who is fighting to have his house declared bankrupt, is facing an avalanche of claims, but he says his bills have soared in the last six months because he can’t pay them.
Casey Anthony is fighting for a property that he says he has lost his home to a ‘malformation’ lawyer who has filed for bankruptcy.
He has been trying to save his home and he now fears for the future of his marriage, which has been on hold since a 2010 stroke left him in a wheelchair.
Mr Anthony said the legal fees he was charged were out of proportion to the cost of defending his case.
“My costs have gone up by over 20 per cent in six months, because I’m not able to pay my bills and I’m having to pay a malformation specialist who is bankrupt, who is suing me for millions of dollars,” he said.
The Malformation Society has been asking Mr Anthony to settle the matter for the sake of his wife and children, but his legal bills have ballooned by up to 100 per cent over the last few months.
Over the past six months alone, he said he has received around 20 claims for unpaid fees.
They have also doubled in the past week and are at more than $20,000, with the total amount in his account now over $30,000.
A spokesman for the Malformation society said it had asked the Melbourne courts to declare Mr Anthony’s home bankrupt and ordered him to pay $5,000 of his legal costs.
In an interview with the ABC’s 7.30 program, Mr Anthony said his wife was on the brink of divorce and he was unable to pay for his family’s future.
She told the ABC she was in shock, and had to be helped from her wheelchair by her lawyer as she begged for help.
But her lawyers have also had to pay up to $500 a day in costs to try and collect on the debts, he added.
Now, Mr, Anthony, who said he was living in debt because of his disability, says he cannot pay the bills because of the bankruptcy.
He has had to resort to using the money he earns as a cash loan, and said he had to start collecting from friends who are still living in the home.
His wife said she had no idea the court was going to declare her home bankrupt.
It is an act of desperation, she said.
“I can’t afford to pay it off, because we are in debt, it’s ridiculous.
My mortgage is a big amount, and it’s not going to be paid off, so it’s a real struggle.”
‘There’s a lot of money involved’It has left Mr Anthony with debts that could lead to a loss of his home, his business and his family, he has said.
But he said there was a lot to be gained from the court case.
“It’s an act in desperation, because my wife is still in shock,” he told 7.10.
“[But] I think that there’s a big money involved.”
Mr and Mrs Anthony were separated after he suffered a stroke in 2010 and the couple have two children.
Since then, Mr and Mrs’s marriage has been suspended.
And since his stroke, he hasn’t been able to work.
When asked if he felt he could continue to work, Mr James said: “I would say I have a pretty good excuse for that, but I don’t think it’s really the case.