NY Times columnist Joe Nocera reported about the law firm of Steven J. Baum, located near Buffalo and known as a “foreclosure mill.” Baum represents Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo in their attempts to foreclose on and evict homeowners. On Friday, the firm held its annual Halloween party; this year, they dressed in costumes that mocked the desperate targets of the firm’s foreclosure proceedings. Nocera received photos of the party from an ex-employee who said that they demonstrate “an appalling lack of compassion” on the part of the firm, which “does not try to help people get mortgage modifications; the pressure, always, is to foreclose.” The firm is under investigation by the NY Attorney General and recently paid $2 million to settle a U.S. Department of Justice investigation. Nocera comments:
Let me describe a few of the photos. In one, two Baum employees are dressed like homeless people. One is holding a bottle of liquor. The other has a sign around her neck that reads: “3rd party squatter. I lost my home and I was never served.” My source said that “I was never served” is meant to mock “the typical excuse” of the homeowner trying to evade a foreclosure proceeding.
Some of the photos: