DEAR HARRIETTE: I worked on a project that required my lawyer's services. The payoff was supposed to be significant, but in the end, I'm the one who spent money while the whole deal went south. I am bummed about the death of the project, but I am also out a few thousand dollars -- which I don't have -- because I have to pay for legal services. I'm not sure what to do. I simply do not have the money I owe him. I have been ducking him for the past couple of months, but I don't like that feeling. How can I handle this situation with my lawyer when I realistically do not have the money I owe him? -- Face the Music, Denver
DEAR FACE THE MUSIC: Start by reviewing your finances. Figure out what you can pay your attorney. While you may not have the full amount, chances are he will appreciate a good faith effort to pay his fees. Determine what you can pay on a monthly basis and then ask him if he will accept that payment plan. Apologize for not having the full amount up front. Remind him that you had every belief that the deal he was brokering for you was going to come to fruition. Since it did not, you are low on cash. Assure him that if you come into greater resources, you will up his monthly installment accordingly.