I was giving a deposition a few years ago when I sued my mortgage holder, SunTrust bank. I had gone through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and it had been discharged. There was a court order, so they weren’t allowed to do anything to collect the debt. All they were permitted to do was foreclose on the house.

Here is the problem- it turned out that they were NOT the mortgage holder. They had lied to the bankruptcy court. They tried all sorts of tactics- they forged a note. They lied to the court. None of that worked, and they were unable to foreclose on the house. So they resorted to sending collection agents to my house, and calling me repeatedly on the phone. I wound up suing them 5 times in 4 years and collecting more than $40,000 in damages. They still kept it up, with a collector calling me a deadbeat who doesn’t pay his bills, so I sued them again.

So that’s how we wound up in the deposition. I brought my attorney. One part of the deposition went like this:

Divemedic: I have a tape of your client’s collectors harassing me on the phone and calling me a deadbeat

SunTrust Lawyer: Did you ever think, even once, that if you paid your bills, the calls and visits would stop?

DM: Are you telling me that you and your client are knowingly violating the orders of the Federal Bankruptcy court to collect this debt in violation of Federal Law?

STL (to the court reporter): Stop recording this. This is off the record. (To my attorney): You need to remind your client that I am an officer of the court, and he needs to be civil, or we will ask for contempt charges.

My Lawyer: (to me) You heard her. You have to be civil.

DM: (to my lawyer) This is still off the record, right?

My Lawyer: Yes.

DM (To STL): Kiss my ass.

The SunTrust lawyer came unglued and ended the deposition at that point. On the way out, my lawyer told me that my comment was the funniest thing he ever heard at a deposition. We wound up settling the lawsuit for five figures, but I can’t comment on how much because of an NDA. That was almost ten years ago, and I still laugh about it.

Categories: Me


Joe Blow · September 12, 2023 at 4:36 am

Bahahhaa, thanks, I needed that.
Can’t imagine something like that happening to a nicer person.
Such hubris….

Lenny Ladner · September 12, 2023 at 4:37 am

I’m glad you kicked her ass.

ModernDayJeremiah · September 12, 2023 at 7:02 am

Hysterical! Glad I had set my coffee down before reading this!

SiG · September 12, 2023 at 8:43 am

Thanks for my first genuine laugh of the day. Excellent story!

Matthew · September 12, 2023 at 8:58 am

Yeah, that whole “I’m an officer of the court” shit was only meant to intimidate, and the tantrum was likely a product of that tactic having worked every other time. Sort of like the whining toddler in the toy aisle the first time Dad says no and hauls them kicking and screaming back out to the car.

    Matthew W · September 12, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    It’s like at the end of TMZ “I’m A Lawyer !!!”

Toastrider · September 12, 2023 at 9:18 am

“Are you telling me that you and your client are knowingly violating the orders of the Federal Bankruptcy court to collect this debt in violation of Federal Law?”

IANAL but that seems pretty civil to me. It’s not like you straight up told her she was a bank-bought whore who was aiding and abetting in an extortion attempt.

John · September 12, 2023 at 9:39 am

Yeah, I just cashed a check yesterday for the settlement in a case involving an ER physicians group in Tennessee. ER visit for foreign object in my eye on my way back from vacation in GA. Insurance paid them but the physicians group kept billing me even after I repeatedly emailed and mailed them proof of payment. Eventually went to collections and Wakefield called. I challenged the debt, sent them everything proving the payment and my earlier communications with the Physicians group. They called again and I went attorney hunting to protect my good credit score. I only got 4 figures from Wakefield collections (NDA) and I feel kinda bad for them. It would have been a lot more satisfying to get it from the physicians group that hounded me for 18 months.

Big Ruckus D · September 12, 2023 at 11:06 am

That’s freaking beautiful. I’m not sure which part I Iike better, the fact you took them for well more than $40,000 in court ordered settlements for their shit behavior, or the fact you busted down that attorney so perfectly. I’m going to have to remember that story, in case I ever find myself having to talk to an obstreperous attorney “off the record”.

I do want to ask, was this mortgage (and who actually legally held it) screwed up in the great housing collapse of about 15 years ago? There was a ton of shady shit done by the banks and by counties all across the country regarding improper recording of mortgage holders, and some people were skillful enough that they played the system for even more than you were able to get, because the foreclosing bank got caught with their pants down.

    Divemedic · September 12, 2023 at 11:19 am

    I wanted out of a depreciating asset. It was a good move. I tried working with the bank, but they wouldn’t budge. I declared bankruptcy in 2009 with every intention of giving the house back to the bank. After the BK, it turned out that the bank wasn’t even the mortgage holder. They had sold it as a mortgage backed security, and no one knew who was the legitimate holder.
    That’s when the dishonesty started. Forged and falsified documents, their lawyer was disbarred and fled the country. In the end, one of my lawyers gat caught in some shady dealings, and was disbarred. I signed the house over to them. After 5 years of fighting, they finally got the house, but I wound up with a lot of cash.

      Big Ruckus D · September 12, 2023 at 1:17 pm

      Nice. I kind of figured that to have been the case (sold off as part of a MBS tranche, in all the shady shit going on at the time) and then they were SOL trying to prove they had a claim to the title. Might’ve been interesting to see how far you could stretch it, in terms of not signing the house back over to them.

      Toastrider · September 12, 2023 at 2:19 pm

      There was a LOT of that going around in the wake of the housing bubble collapse. Banks were suddenly finding out they had no idea who ‘actually’ owned the mortgage.

      The smart ones sucked it up and ate the loss, or made a diligent attempt to untangle things. Sounds like Suntrust wasn’t smart.

EN2 SS · September 12, 2023 at 2:04 pm

I was once sued for damage to a guys Mustang, but beat him in two courts. The third judge finally asked me why I thought I kept beating them in court, I told him because I have a better lawyer. My lawyer and the judge almost rolled out of their chair laughing. The assholes lawyer and the asshole didn’t thing it was funny at all.

Bear Claw · September 12, 2023 at 3:16 pm

Depo’s can be scary but when you get one over the opposing atty it beats karma and schadenfrued combined. Have my own story on a U Va educated local female but it’s a damn site short of the quality of yours good one brother.

anonymous coward · September 12, 2023 at 4:34 pm

Good for you!

Unknownsailor · September 12, 2023 at 5:02 pm

After all the fraud that went down in the run up to the 2008 meltdown, and the aftermath, I say screw them over for every penny you can get. No settlements, no mercy, take them to a jury trial and go for seven digit damage awards.

Tree Mike · September 13, 2023 at 4:49 am

XLNT! It’s great to read a “good guy wins” story. Made my morning. Thanks.

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