Woman Sues Wells Fargo For Telling Police She Was Contemplating Suicide

An elderly Oregon woman has filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo, alleging that a bank employee harassed her by telling the police she was threatening suicide — and running up a $1,055 hospital bill in the process.

The 85-year-old plaintiff says that she fell behind on her Wells Fargo credit card payments in 2010. She eventually worked out a payment plan with the bank and all the collection calls stopped, at least until Feb. 2011.

That’s when she says she received a call from a Wells Fargo staffer who, according to the complaint, talked to her about her outstanding debt, “in a contemptuous tone stating words to the effect that you know you owe the money and ‘you should just pay it.'”

The plaintiff says that as the WF staffer “continued to badger her,” she mentioned that “such harassment was bad policy, and ‘could have serious consequences’ including leading people to abandon their homes or even potentially committing suicide.”

She says she made it clear several times throughout the phone conversation that she was not talking about her own state of mind, but that others in a similar situation might be despondent to point of self-harm.

According to the complaint, the caller prodded the plaintiff about whether or not she was thinking about suicide. At one point, when she assured him that she wasn’t thinking about killing herself, he is alleged to have asked, “But … if you did, how would you do it — hurt yourself?”

On the actually relevant topic of paying off her debt, the plaintiff says she told the caller that “she intended to continue to pay defendant Wells once per month as agreed.” But this only “offended and angered” the caller.

Not long after the call was over, a trio of police officers were knocking on the plaintiff’s door, telling her that they had received a 911 call saying she had made multiple suicide threats over the phone.

From the complaint:

The police, relying on the information in the 911 call provided by defendant… forcibly took plaintiff to the local hospital emergency room, over her objections. When they arrive at the hospital police told the hospital personnel that plaintiff was suicidal.

After being checked out by hospital staff and deemed a non-danger to herself, the woman was released, but not without being handed a bill for $1,055 because she doesn’t have insurance.

She says that when she attempted to call Wells Fargo to complain, the person she spoke to told her the original caller was not there, but when she told this employee her story about the police and the hospital visit, she alleges, “the employee laughed loudly and plaintiff could hear her calling out something like ‘Hey Chuck … that woman you called the police on got taken to the hospital by the police.’ Plaintiff heard loud laughter in the collections center and the female employee proceeded to congratulate defendant… on how effective his call had been in a way that plaintiff was certain to hear.”

The lawsuit, filed against Wells Fargo and the employee, seeks $250,000 in damages for unlawful trade practices, unlawful debt collection practices, intentional infliction of emotional distress, privacy invasion, false light, and the cost of her medical bills.

Worst Debt Collector in the World? [CourthouseNews.com]

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  1. tbax929 says:

    Horrible. Just horrible. I hope the Wells Fargo rep who initially called police and the one who laughed at her were both terminated.

    • cspschofield says:

      Before I agree with you, I’d want to know if some overeager middle-management twit at Wells Fargo wrote a policy requiring such a call in the first place. I’ve run into corporate policies easily that boneheaded. If such a policy is in place, then the rep should be let off, and the VP who signed off on the policy should have the money to pay the woman’s hospital bills garnished from his salary.

      • IphtashuFitz says:

        Screw that. If the reps were laughing and congratulating each other so that the woman could hear it all then they deserved to get fired as quickly as possible, whether or not there was some sort of middle-management policy in place.

        • Lyn Torden says:

          Just fire the whole department. They should never be calling about accounts in current, paying as agreed, status. Sure, when she WAS behind, calling was appropriate. But they settled the matter with an agreement, and she was sticking to that agreement. So they should not have been calling, and at least every boss above the callers was responsible. They should all be fired. Then if WF wants to continue having a collections department (no doubt, there are real collections that need to be done), they can then hired some responsible people (such as those who are unemployed and want a way to pay their debts).

          • 401k says:

            Perhaps she had setup an arrangement for 12 months and when it ended she was still paying the reduced amount and had fallen behind again. You assume you know what the agreement was and that there were no missed or returned payments but that information is not provided.

            • pythonspam says:

              The lady had missed 3 payments, but since the agreements, had been making regular payments.
              The call was to harrass her to make up those 3 payments.

            • pythonspam says:

              The lady had missed 3 payments, but since the agreements, had been making regular payments.
              The call was to harrass her to make up those 3 payments.

        • regis-s says:

          I’d have a hard time believing there’s a policy forcing employees to laugh and act the way these ones did.

          Normally, I’m not one for hoping people get fired for doing something stupid. In this case though it does seem appropriate.

      • shibotu says:

        In this economy there isn’t much I wouldn’t do for a job but I’d draw the line at following any policy that required calling the police on a person because they used the word suicide in a sentence.

        In fact, I just used the word and I’m not suicidal.

        (And I don’t assume you support this action but I just don’t see any way to excuse that rep)

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Forget terminated. Jail time please.

    • Costner says:

      I love how everyone here seems to assume this all happened exactly as this woman explains. Yes, I’m sure with call centers consisting of potentially hundreds if not thousands of employees she just happened to call right back in to someone who sits next to the person she was talking to earlier.

      Let her have her day in court, but I’m not assuming it is Wells Fargo policy to call the police and tell them a customer is contemplating suicide unless there is some basis for it, and even then the police won’t automatically take someone to the hospital based upon the word of a phone rep from another state. There has to be a lot more to this story.

      • babbottnz says:

        I worked in a call centre that looked after several million clients (Vodafone Global), we had about 450+ agents (not incl specialists) and I knew them all by name. When you work in a call centre you pick up a lot of other peoples call backs. It was very common to get call backs from people I was sitting next to or sitting across from. They do rostering & breaks to try and keep the same people on so call backs go to the general team. Our queue system was also designed to remember people phone numbers / account numbers so any call backs in a certain timeframe would send the call to the original agent and failing that, a co worker in the same team so follow-ups are a lot easier.

        Not saying this is how they do it, but it’s not like it’s uncommon or even unlikely. I’d say it’s very likely depending on the numerous factors.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        yep, that’s a very likely scenario.
        i work in a call center. if my coworker who sits next to me calls someone and they call back later, the automated routing system tries their phone line first and then tries the next available person, which is likely to be me or the person on the other side of them.

    • smo0 says:

      Being someone who’s ex thought it would be cute to call the paramedics and claim I was attempting suicide and get me sent to one of the “clinics” here to do a 48 hour watch…. yeah

      I’d sue the unholy fuck out of them.

  2. Cat says:

    Okay, time to pull the tapes and see what really happened here. What, you say Wells Fargo can’t locate the tapes? What a surprise.

    • dolemite says:

      “We do record calls to assure quality, but unfortunately, this wasn’t one of those calls selected.”

      • AstroPig7 says:

        Which is likely nonsense. My employer records all of our calls, but it only pulls aside a few of them for review. The other calls are probably available.

    • Tunnen says:

      No you can’t do that, the tapes are for “Training and Quality Assurance” not “Evidence to be used against us” =P

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if banks purge their records at set intervals so they can’t be used against them in lawsuits.

      • justabunchofwords says:

        Yes. This is part of a sound Records Management practice. You only keep documents as long as is required by law or business value persists. After that, you’re just leaving yourself open to litigation risk.

    • Costner says:

      I doubt any organization of that size would record every call, and if they did I doubt they would keep them for more than 30 days.

      I doubt there is some massive conspiracy here.

      • who? says:

        Just probable violations of the FDCPA. But whatever. If it isn’t on tape, it didn’t happen.

        • Costner says:

          If it isn’t on tape, it didn’t happen.

          I wouldn’t go quite that far, but it does become rather difficult to prove. I’d say the burden is upon her in this case. People need to realize they can record calls on their end just too… they need to protect themselves.

          I wish we lived in a world where this type of thing isn’t necessary… but it is. This is why I prefer to communicate with customer service people via email – because there is a track record of what they say.

          As it sits this is a case of “she said / they said”. How can anyone really prove anything unless a call was in fact recorded? She said this call happened in Feb 2011…. I doubt they would still have it on file a year later even if they did originally record it.

          • Halfabee says:

            They would at least have a record of the 911 call from their call center.

          • katieintheburg says:

            Actually, in Oregon (where this woman lives) it would be illegal for her to record their conversation unless she informed the WF employee that she was doing so. I’m sure she had no idea that at the time she would need to record the calls, so unless she recorded all of her calls and informed EVERY caller they were being recorded it seems silly to think this would be a viable option. As stated below, if she did record all of her calls without informing the other party it would be illegal for her to use the recording.

            That being said, I feel terrible for this woman who is already having financial problems and then she had to pay these medical fees. I would like to believe that everything she said was worded as she said and that the WF employee was really just out to get this woman and be mean, but I do have my doubts.

            “One cannot use a device to record a conversation unless all parties of the conversation are informed. Or. Rev. Stat. ¬ß 165.540(1)(c). It is also illegal for a party to obtain, divulge, or use a conversation knowing it was obtained illegally by someone else. Or. Rev. Stat. ¬ß 165.540(1)(d),(e)”
            http://www.vegress.com/index.php/can-i-record-calls-in-my-state

      • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

        I actually wouldn’t be all that surprised to learn they record every call, especially in the collections area. My current employer certainly does record every call into our call centers, and keeps those recordings for at least 90 days. The catch is that the people calling in can’t get copies of those recordings without a subpoena.

        • Costner says:

          You may be correct and perhaps they do record every call, but she said this call happened in Feb 2011, so what are the chances it would still be available a year later?

          Here is what really kills me about these cases though… we hear all about them, but later when all the facts come out and it turns out to be about 95% less sensational than the original article… we never hear a thing.

  3. Cacao says:

    Good on her!

  4. dolemite says:

    Years ago, I was living with someone and we played online games. Well, apparently she was flirting with a weirdo in the game, and later told him she didn’t want to play along anymore. He called our local police to report a suicide attempt, and we had like 3 police cars, ambulance, fire trucks, etc. show up at our apartment. He lived in another state, so I’m not sure what was done about it.

  5. EnergyStarr says:

    if one has no intention of suicide, why mention it? without judging Wells Fargo’s involvement, that comment could add liability to the wells fargo wagon if she had indeed committed suicide. hence, wells fargo “took it seriously”.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      because it was relevant to the way the harassment makes people feel. my friend committed suicide in may 2011 in the middle of his foreclosure proceedings. it’s not the only thing that was getting to him, but it was sort of the last straw. he said in his note that he couldn’t face the changes that came with moving out of the house he’d been in for so long

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      If what was quoted above is really what she said, it sounded more like a lecture to me. The WF guy called, was an ass, and she told him not to harass her and what his actions could do to people, not necessarily her. I don’t understand why they took her to the hospital by force, though, unless she got upset and was crying when the police came, or tried to slam the door on them.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        in some states a person can be considered at risk of harm to themselves or others and confined for psychiatric evaluation. in florida it was called the baker act and a person could be detained and evaluated for up to either 2 or 3 days. my sister accidentally overdosed on ibuprofen after she had taken sleeping pills and when she got my parents to take her to the hospital the hospital staff “baker acted” her and put her in a psychiatric facility for 2 days because they thought she was trying to kill herself instead of trying to deal with really bad cramps. unfortunately it means they also missed treating the cyst on her ovary that was causing the pain because the facility they put her in wasn’t for medical treatment.
        my old roommate went through it a few times when strangers thought he was trying to hurt himself when he actually was busy having epileptic seizures and non responsive to anti convulsive medications.
        i feel it’s too easy to invoke those laws rather than finding out what the real issue is – like a bogus 911 call

  6. cubsd says:

    The Wells Fargo rep should be charged with making false report to 911.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Agreed – the person should be charged with civil and criminal charges, and get fired.

      Let’s see them pay that off.

  7. AllanG54 says:

    Not all calls are recorded. They “may” be recorded. But, if the second person this gal spoke to knew about this then obviously it happened. I worked for a major bank in collections for 8 years and occasionally we had people who got carried away on their calls because they failed to remember that “it’s only a job and don’t take it personally.” Most of them were canned if they got more than two complaints against them.

  8. Gardius says:

    $1055 for a basic (and likely brief) evaluation?! Seriously?!

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      That sounds about right. Around here, it’s pretty much impossible to get in and out of the ER for under $1,000.

      • Sparkstalker says:

        I feel lucky then – my stitches only came to $450.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Wow, that’s a bargain. When our own pediatrician gave my daughter stitches, it cost about $400 and another $80 to remove them.

          • pararescuejmper says:

            If your doc charged you to remove the stitches I would get a new doc. Every place I have worked for (and its been quite a few) charges stitches or any procedure as a global. Basically when they bill the insurance company for the stitches the charge to remove them is in the bill. So when families return to have them removed they are taken out, the doc looks them over and sends you on your way.

            Now granted I don’t have much experience with all the states but from what I can remember from school, global billing is common practice with most insurance companies.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              We’re happy with her and probably wont be changing any time soon. We also had exactly the same thing happen the other three times I’ve gotten stitches, with different doctors each time. If it’s a scam, then it’s a pretty common one in this state.

              Separate EOBs were cut for each visit. With a HDHP, it’s not like we have copays or anything. Whether it’s broken up on two bills or one, we’re paying for it either way.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          my roommate just got a $270 bill from the ER for letting the blood out of her smashed fingernail and splinting it for the fracture. plus $7 for the pain pill. and that’s after her insurance paid over $1k

    • Virga says:

      What country are you from?

    • aloria says:

      When I last went to the hospital, the ambulance ride alone cost $800.

    • SKChance says:

      She would have had a complete physical evaluation (including blood/urine screening) to rule out any physical issues that might be affecting her as well as a mental health evaluation. That’s seeing an MD or PA and a mental health professional, plus any nurses or ER techs who took blood or did other tests.

      What’s unbelievable is that the bill was *only* $1K!

  9. mattyb says:

    If she’s 85 doesn’t she qualify for Medicare?

    • who? says:

      In order to be eligible for Medicare, you (or your spouse) has to have worked long enough to qualify for Medicare. Eligibility is the same as for Social Security. Even if you do qualify, there are multiple parts to medicare. Part A, which is free if you’re qualified, covers hospitalization. Part B, which covers most of the rest, is not free. I suspect an emergency room visit where they didn’t admit her would be part B.

    • JiminyChristmas says:

      This is a common misconception. Medicare isn’t 100% free and doesn’t cover 100% of everything. The other commenter is right, an outpatient mental health visit would fall under Part B. Part B often has deductibles and offers only partial coverage, e.g.: 50% of the Medicare-approved cost. This is why many people buy so-called Medi-gap policies to cover Part B expenses not covered by Medicare.

      You also have to pay a premium for Part B, if you don’t pay it you’re uninsured for anything not covered by Part A. Since the article says she was ‘uninsured’ the most logical conclusion is she had not paid the Part B premiums.

  10. reybo says:

    When Wells Fargo took over my mega-bank, they instituted a policy of not allowing on-line access to our accounts unless we agreed not to join in any class action suit against Wells Fargo, and never sue them. We must instead agree to arbitrate any dispute before the bank’s arbitrator, someone whose living depend on being hired by … Wells Fargo.

    I closed my account. The next night around 8 pm I got a call from someone at the bank trying to get me to change my mind. I presume because a lot of us closed accounts and higher-ups were keeping score. I told her why I did it. She said if I were wrong about that, would I cancel the closure? I said I’ll answer that when you show me where I’m wrong.

    Evidently she checked the rules and to her surprise, learned I was right. I never heard back from her.

  11. gavni says:

    I wish I understood better why she gets a hospital bill for this. If the police had thrown eggs at her window, would they have had the grocer mail her a bill?

    More seriously: wouldn’t the hospital lose any lawsuit to collect? For a contract to be enforceable, there must be a meeting of the minds. Surely she didn’t intend to go to this hospital. Am I missing something? Does someone who knows these things care to educate me?

    • FatLynn says:

      “You can’t leave here until you see a psychiatrist. Do you want to see a psychiatrist?”

      “yes”

      “Good, now we can bill you.”

      • gavni says:

        Yeah, that.

        I wonder how long do you have to say “No, I do not want to see a psychiatrist, can I go now?” before something happens.

        • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

          Just long enough for a doctor to sign an order forcibly committing you to a secured unit for a 48 or 72 hour ‘psych hold’.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      That’s how it works with medical care. If you get seen, then you get billed. It doesn’t matter if you consented or not. In this case, I’m surprised that Medicare isn’t picking up the tab.

      There was a case not too long ago of a man who was in a motorcycle accident and declined treatment from the responding paramedics. They brought him to the hospital anyways and the man was stuck with 5 or 6 figure medical bills.

      • gavni says:

        Are you telling me this is an exception to contract law, or that hospitals send unenforceable bills all the time, or something else?

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I believe the term is “implied consent” when a patient is deemed unable to make the decision on his own. It’s kind of a Catch 22, where someone isn’t of sound mind and can’t consent to turning down care but is some how of sound enough mind to take on massive financial obligations related to it.

          The American health care system is screwed up and this is just a tiny fraction of it.

          This was the last Consumerist post on the subject.

          http://consumerist.com/2011/07/uninsured-california-man-says-he-is-stuck-with-40k-in-medical-bills-after-hospitalized-against-his-w.html

          • gavni says:

            I’m just not buying implied consent. I don’t fully understand the legal doctrine, but the applications of it I find are much more narrow than allowing someone to perform a service for fee. The closest application I can find is of voluntary responder first aid; a much less nuanced situation.

            In admiralty law, a similar situation arises with vessels in distress. There’s an entire body of law that has been created to deal with it: salvage law. To my knowledge, no such body of law exists for people, and so I just can’t believe that the hospitals bill is anything other than a fanciful creation of their accountants dreams…

            If I’m wrong, please point me at case law. Has a hospital ever collected on this kind of bill? How?

      • vivalakellye says:

        Similar event happened to me last summer. I accidentally stepped on a nail, was taken to the emergency room, and had the nail taken out (no pain after it was taken out, so I assumed I was fine.) I politely refused my second x-ray to three different doctors/nurses, but I was still essentially forced into having the second. Two X-rays + numbing shots + nail removal totaled $1,400.

  12. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    I dunno, if I already have an agreed upon repayment schedule and some knucklehead called me telling me I should just pay it, I’d probably just hang up than stay on the line and even entertain the little gremlins.

  13. SkokieGuy says:

    Anyone find it interesting that a hospital can charge you for services you did not request and actively tried to refuse?

    • Virga says:

      No. That’s how healthcare works in the US.

    • j2.718ff says:

      This makes for an interesting situation. If you’re incapable of refusing treatment – perhaps you’re unconscious, for example, you will still be treated. This holds true if you’re deemed mentally unfit. This seems perfectly reasonable.

      But here, the end result of treatment was the determination that she was mentally fit and not in need of treatment. Thus, it seems she wasn’t considered mentally fit to refuse treatment, until the treatment/examination declared her to be fit. That seems most unfair to bill someone for that.

    • Rachacha says:

      Anyone find it interesting that you can humanely put down a horse with a broken leg or a dog who is suffering from old age, but a person who has been diagnosed with inoperable and untreatable cancer who is mentally aware but in extreme pain and discomfort can not opt for their own assisted euthanasia?

      Sorry. /rant

      • Platypi {Redacted} says:

        They can in some places. In Oregon we have allowed it since 97.

        • Rachacha says:

          Good to know. If I ever am diagnosed with a terminal illness or get so old where my quality of life is reduced to drooling on a towel tucked into my shirt, I am moving to Oregon.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I know the feeling.

        I think it’s even worse than that. You can’t voluntarily be put down in a humane way but you or a family member can opt to have your feeding tube and IVs removed, so you’ll slowly die of dehydration.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      There was a Consumerist post about this not that long ago.

      http://consumerist.com/2011/07/uninsured-california-man-says-he-is-stuck-with-40k-in-medical-bills-after-hospitalized-against-his-w.html

      What I don’t understand is, if you don’t give consent for care, how in the world can you give consent for the financial obligations that arise as a result of it? When my wife was in the hospital, we filled out a giant packet of financial responsibility and acknowledgement forms, which probably took around an hour of reading. If someone is not of sound mind, then how in the world would they understand all of the forms and disclaimers?

      • SkokieGuy says:

        From a comment in that article’s thread:

        Found this online: “The court noted that a medical emergency justifies non-consensual treatment only when it is not possible or feasible to obtain informed consent from a person legally entitled to provide or withhold consent. Even in a life-threatening situation, a care provider cannot substitute his or her own judgment for that of a mentally competent adult patient or family member. Shine v. Vega, 709 N.E. 2d 58 (Mass., 1999).”

        I had an incident where a stranger came to my home after a domestic violence incident. She wanted to use the phone to call for a ride from a friend. She was pregnant in appeared injured and in pain. Long story short, police were called. An ambulance came as well. She refused to go to the hospital. Both the police and EMT told me they could not take her to a hospital against her will.

        • pinkbunnyslippers says:

          Note the “mentally competent” part of that statement. Do you think a woman who is believed to have threatened to take her own life (per what the first responders were called for in the first place) is mentally competent?

          I don’t fault EMS or police for responding the way they did. Nor do I fault the hospital for providing her an evaluation – if someone is brought to them, they’ve got the obligation to provide care. Do you think if you were brought to the hospital under the pretenses of having threatened suicide that, when telling them you were fine, they’d just say “Okie dokie, we’ll take your word for it – you’re free to go.”

          Sane people are the only ones who think they’re crazy. Crazy people think they’re just fine. ;)

      • dourdan says:

        i guess that is true. i assume as long as you have an id on your they can send you a bill?

        one weird situation; my husband was in ‘general’ hospital (where they take any and all people including homeless).
        My husband was put next to a guy who was in for drug overdose. He came in at about midnight then after getting strong enough (5 am ish) he tore off his IV and all monitering devices and WALKED OUT.
        Me and my husband just watched (after all, we now had a room to ourselves,) but i have always wondered if that guy would be charged.

    • sprybuzzard says:

      In this case the officers were led to believe she had made self-threatening statements. They are in almost all cases required to bring in that person whether they wish it or not, with or without consent. I’m a paramedic and about 50% of my suicidal threats patients don’t want to go to the hospital, but again, in almost all cases we are required to bring them in. All it takes is one misjudgment of a person’s intentions, they complete their threat, and the family has a lawsuit. I’m patient and able to talk almost all of my patients to come in voluntarily, though I certainly understand her frustration with lack of insurance, been there too.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Ah okay, you answered my wondering that I posted above. I didn’t know about the requirement to bring them in.

  14. keith4298 says:

    I’m not jumping on the blame the bank bandwagon just yet. Granted, from the description (hers) – it doesn’t sound like she was suicidal, but if he HAD committed suicide, how many of you would be blaming the bank for hearing her say “suicide” and not reporting a possible danger to herself?

    • sponica says:

      I wouldn’t….but I worked in the mental health field and I could ONLY report ideation IF a client states the desire to commit suicide AND has a plan

      • Virga says:

        Agreed. It reads as if the Wells Fargo agent was attempting an evaluation (“how would you do it?”). Unless Wells Fargo hires call takers to be licensed mental health evaluators, they have some answering to do.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      Wells Fargo collection staff are qualified to judge if a person is going to commit suicide? Short of her literally saying so, they cannot come to that conclusion.

      If Wells Fargo is smart, they will settle for paying off the loan for her (plus the taxes on it), and paying her legal and hospital costs, then offer her $250K to sign an NDA.

      • Costner says:

        I’m not sure what your definition of “smart” is, but it seems clear you have never operated a business.

        “Hey – let’s give everyone who sues us a quarter of a million bucks just to prevent a bit of bad press… surely that won’t set a precendent that will bite us in the ass later am I right!”

        Not to mention you are assuming her version of events is accurate. I’m not so convinced based upon the comments that make it seem like they are dealing with a call center that consists of a handful of people who all sit together. I’d bet the reality is they have call centers all across the US with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of employees… chances of getting the same person twice, or even someone in the same region are likely slim.

    • regis-s says:

      Except, she had worked out a deal that she was apparently living up to. If they hadn’t made the unwarranted call in the first place there would have been no talk of suicide .

      Plus there’s still no way to justify how the employees acted when she called and told them what happened.

  15. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Sue the indivual for the harassing phone call, libel, the hospital bill, and add pain and suffering.

    Then call the “caller” and demand she pay up.

  16. iluvhatemail says:

    get em!

  17. Lyn Torden says:

    I hope the jury decides to triple the award.

    • Costner says:

      Hope you’re never on a jury since you seem to automatically rule upon guilt before even hearing both sides of an issue.

      “Your honor we are here today to…..”

      Lyn: “GUILTY!”

  18. Shadowman615 says:
    • Luckie says:

      LOL I think that is… he seems like a real jewel. He even lists “douchebaggery” as one of his interests.

    • notanignoramus says:

      He’s now been served fair warning that his FB account has been linked to this article.

    • Costner says:

      That’s going too far. You have no idea if this is actually him and even if it was that gives you no right to dig up personal information about him.

      Classy.

  19. shibotu says:

    That is evil and there should be criminal charges.

    It reminds me of a Judge Joe Brown episode. Two women were arguing on the phone. Woman X called the police claiming Woman Z threatened suicide. The police showed up at Woman Z’s door several hours later while she was eating dinner with her daugher and she wound up with a similar hospital stay and bill.

    During the show, Woman X was sneering and claimed that she reported the event out of concern and that she reported the event because she couldn’t be bothered spending her own time talking to Woman Z. Woman Z even produced evidence that Woman X had done this to another person so it was clearly malicious but the Judge still sided with Woman X.

    The ignorance and stigma surrounding mental health issues is so extreme almost anyone can get away with this garbage.

  20. teamplur says:

    stay classy wells fargo

  21. madanthony says:

    Years ago I was in college and lived in an off-campus apartment next to an older lady who was a little odd. One Friday afternoon, we got a knock on our door from a police officer asking when we’d seen her, what we knew about her, ect. Odd. My roommate went out to grab some dinner, and when we came back our neighbor was there asking for help putting her sliding patio door back on it’s track after the police removed it.

    Evidently, she had some sort of dispute with the IRS and made some comment that she “might as well kill herself”. IRS called the PD, they knocked, and when she didn’t answer they broke through her patio door – into her empty apartment.

    So calling the police due to a suicide threat on the phone isn’t unusual. And honestly, I’m not sure how much we want to discourage it – I’d rather the police show up to a few extra houses than a few more people kill themselves because a creditor was afraid that calling the cops on a suicidal caller would get them sued. To me, the lesson is you probably shouldn’t joke or discuss suicide with your creditors.

  22. Jane_Gage says:

    “Wells Fargo: Stagecoach to Suicide”

  23. framitz says:

    Two sides to every story, but here I only see one side and it sounds suspect.
    I’m not taking sides, but the woman’s story doesn’t add up very well at all.

    Woman has no health insurance, she’s 85 years old, so how is that?

    I think the reporter, Mr. McCann has ‘enhanced’ the story for sensationalistic purposes.

  24. MedicallyNeedy says:

    EXCELLENT! GET EM!

  25. frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

    So what happens on Sundays next fall when I jump up in front of several people and exclaim: “If the Bears settle for a field goal again, I’ll kill myself.”?

  26. bosozoku says:

    It’s all fun and games until someone shoots themselves over an overdrawn account. It HAS happened and I have been there, and I have seen the mental anguish the CSR went through for years after it happened. You cannot take suicide threats lightly – it is a good policy to investigate any threats of harm to anyone.

  27. Mike says:

    I don’t see how the hospital can collect on the bill if she never requested services. Does anybody know?

  28. SilverBlade2k says:

    I hope she wins, and to add insult to injury, say to Wells Fargo: “Thanks for paying off my house too.”

  29. Clevelandchick says:

    Unfortunately older folks aren’t as willing to be rude and hang up making them prey to creeps like the WF rep. The conversation should have been over when the woman told the WF rep she had a deal and was making the payments per the deal.

    That WF had a rep calling a client about the bill after a plan was worked out is unconscionable. That alone makes WF accountable. That’s blatant harassment.

  30. Robert Nagel says:

    People have a tendency to gravitate to those occupations that reflect their inner self. Bullies become small town policemen, passive aggressive types become bureaucrats, pedophiles become day care workers and nasty SOB’s become debt collectors. So goes life.

  31. aleck says:

    I am sure if WF guy did not call the police and the woman did try to commit suicide, she would have sued them for not calling the police.

  32. Lisa W says:

    Hi, Lisa W. from Wells Fargo. We cannot discuss the specific details of the pending lawsuit. What we can tell you is that team members are instructed to report suicide or other violent type threats to the police department. At that point, the situation is between the customer and the police department.

    • tooluser says:

      Is that before or after you harass them into psychosis? Please post the text of your company policy here. It’s not something you’re ashamed of, is it?

      The lawsuit looks justified and ancient to me. Bad actor with lots of money is soon going to have a lot less money. No jury will find in favor of a jerk tele-extortioner.

      But of course you are not really from Wells Fargo.

  33. tooluser says:

    Bank of America – saints by comparison.