Hat tip to Florida lawyer Matt Weidner for obtaining the court transcript of Lynn Szymoniak case:
And I’ll tell you another reason why I
18 need it, Your Honor. We asked for a pay-off figure
19 under the service agreement. And under the federal
20 law, they’re supposed to give us the attorney’s
21 fees and the costs. February they did. The
22 attorney’s fees were something less than two
23 thousand, and the costs were something less than
24 two thousand as well.
25 Now that Ms. Szymoniak has the funds and would like to pay it off, as of this point, we made
2 another request for a more current date, May 31st,
3 I believe. And the response we got back from the
4 servicer’s attorney is, Well, that’s going to be
5 resolved by negotiation or by the Court.
THE COURT: What is going to be resolved by
9 MR. CULLEN: The attorney’s fees and the
11 MR. BERMAN: They’re not liquidated.
12 MR. CULLEN: So all of a sudden, we can’t even
13 do the next step which we want to do, which is pay
14 the money to get this case resolved, because
15 they’re withholding because of attorney’s fees and
17 So it is relevant to this controversy,
18 Your Honor, and I would ask the Court to allow us
19 to have that information. Thank you.
20 MR. BERMAN: Your Honor, if I may. The
21 discovery that is sought is irrelevant. It seeks
22 privileged and protective information and serves no
23 legitimate purpose. Those issues regarding
24 settlement are not germane to this proceeding right
THE COURT: Okay. Let me ask you this.
18 MR. BERMAN: Sure.
19 THE COURT: Let’s get to the bottom line.
20 Does your client want it paid off or not? That’s
21 the bottom line. Does Deutsche Bank want all their
22 money to pay it off?
23 MR. BERMAN: Subject to negotiation, Your
25 THE COURT: What do you mean, subject to negotiations? I don’t understand that.
2 MR. BERMAN: Well, Your Honor –
3 THE COURT: You tell me — are you in the
4 position to be able to tell Lynn Szymoniak how much
5 the pay-off figure is and everybody goes home?
6 MR. BERMAN: Not right now, Your Honor, no.
7 THE COURT: Why not?
8 MR. BERMAN: Because there are fees that they
9 incur, may be incurred in the future, and there are
10 fees that –
11 THE COURT: How long is it going to take you
12 to find out what they’re willing to accept, to pay
13 it all off? How long is it going to take? A phone
15 MR. BERMAN: No. Longer than that, Your
16 Honor. I’d be happy to go through it. There are
17 certain things –
18 THE COURT: What do you mean, you have to go
19 through it? You got to call up somebody and say,
20 “Look, I want to pay off my mortgage. How much is
21 the pay-off figure?” You mean to tell me it takes
22 forever to do that?
23 MR. BERMAN: Your Honor, he’s not just asking
24 for the totalities.
25 THE COURT: Yes, he is. He wants to know the total thing. What are you willing to accept now?
2 MR. BERMAN: Well, Your Honor, if that’s all
3 that he’s asking –
4 THE COURT: That’s what he’s asking.
5 MR. BERMAN: No, Your Honor, the discovery –
6 THE COURT: Hey, look. That’s what he’s
7 asking for; all right. How long is it going to
8 take you to make a phone call to find out what,
9 Deutsche Bank, do you want?
10 MR. BERMAN: Well, if it’s just a figure, Your
11 Honor –
12 THE COURT: That’s what he’s asking.
13 MR. BERMAN: Your Honor, in the discovery,
14 he’s asking for retainer agreements; he’s asking
15 for billing –
16 THE COURT: I know, I can read it. I’ve heard
17 it, okay?
18 MR. BERMAN: But –
19 THE COURT: Uh-uh.
20 MR. BERMAN: I’m sorry.
21 THE COURT: I’m going to deny the Motion, but
22 I’m going to order that you contact him within five
23 days as to a total figure as to attorney’s fees,
24 costs, and everything else so the poor man can say,
25 “Look, I’m going to write you a check and get out
of the case.”
2 MR. BERMAN: Okay.
3 THE COURT: That’s what he’s asking for. And
4 if it’s much more than two thousand — much more
5 than two thousand, because we already know he’s at
6 two thousand.
7 MR. BERMAN: Your Honor, it’ll be more than
8 two thousand.
9 THE COURT: I said much more. We know the
10 bottom line is two thousand. So I am going to deny
11 that, but I’m also going to order, “Plaintiff shall
12 advise Defendant total pay-off figure, including
13 all fees and costs.”
14 That’s what you’re looking for.
15 MR. CULLEN: Yes.
16 THE COURT: I know. That’s what he wants. He
17 could care less what your timesheet was; he could
18 care less what your retainer agreement was.
19 And you’re absolutely right. At this
20 stage of the game those are privileged
21 communications. He just wants a total figure,
22 including all fees and costs, within seven days.