That Time Donald Trump Sued Himself

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump has been involved in literally thousands of lawsuits, many of which were filed against Trump because he stiffs the people who work for him, but in at least one case, Trump was stiffed by Trump.

The Republican presidential nominee attached his name to a mortgage company in 2006 which folded along with the rest of the mortgage industry, and then Trump sued his own company over unpaid rent at his own building.

By February 2007, Trump Mortgage stopped paying rent to its landlord, 40 Wall Street LLC—which Trump owned, through the Trump Organization. What happened next? One Trump company took the other to court. In July 2007, 40 Wall Street LLC petitioned New York County Civil Court for $57,367.95 (the unpaid rent plus $450 in legal fees) and asked for permission to evict Trump Mortgage from its 25th-floor space. After Trump's Trump Mortgage LLC failed to respond to the petition, Judge Debra Samuels ruled in favor of the Trump-owned 40 Wall Street LLC, and the struggling mortgage company, which went out of business in 2007, was booted out of Trump's own building.

Without more detail its hard to say why Trump would sue his own company for a measly $57,000. We could speculate, but in any case that does not seem like something a real billionaire would do.

After Trump Mortgage failed, Trump licensed his name to Trump Financial which, not surprisingly, also failed.

Everything Trump touches turns to shit.

  • Actually Trump would sue over that little. Graydon Carter (inventor of “short fingered vulgarian”) founder of Spy Magazine pulled a prank where he sent out small checks (like a dollar and change) to rich a-holes to see who would cash them. To those who cashed them, he would send out smaller checks to see who would cash those. He kept doing this, decreasing the amount until the final check sent out was for 13 cents and only two “rich” guys cashed them. You guessed it, Trump and some arms dealer. Now this was back in the day before the Intertoobs so it took effort, like a physical trip to the bank, standing in line, etc to cash. That’s the kind of guy Herr Drumpf is. A petty, insecure, not very bright, greedy ahole.

  • Toolymegapoopoo

    “Everything Trump touches turns to shit.”

    Wrong. He’s touched the Republican party which would have nominated Ted Cruz if Trump had not run. In other words, he put on a shit covered crown and slithered into a shit-filled hot tub.

    • JMAshby

      I didn’t need that mental image.

  • muselet

    Every dime 40 Wall Street LLC could winkle out of Trump Mortgage was a dime that wouldn’t be going to other creditors. That’s the whole point: to keep others away from Donald Trump’s precious money.

    It sounds silly—a Trump-owned company suing another Trump-owned company for (relative) peanuts—but it’s consistent with both the man’s personality and his behavior in business.


    • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

      Absolutely correct!

      It’s actually fairly common practice to have a business sue another part of itself.

      (speculation ahoy!) The only part that raises an eyebrow is that the Mortgage LLC failed to respond to the suit. That suggests that they were (MAY HAVE BEEN!) in cahoots to give preferential treatment, pre-bankruptcy, to the 40 Wall LLC which could have implications (if proven). But if they can be shown to have been fighting off other creditors while allowing a quick default judgment for 40 Wall LLC… well, you’d have to consult a specialist, but I think there could be something actionable.

      In an intra-company lawsuit, you would typically avoid the conflict of interest by hiring two separate law firms and having them duke it out. Now, admittedly, Mortgage LLC was short on funds, so it’s possible they just gave up and weren’t defending anything, but it doesn’t pass the sniff test.

      By the way, it’s also common for married people to sue each other either for insurance or to unlock assets which would be otherwise inaccessible. Silly? Sure, but that’s America for you.