Top Foreclosure Firm’s Homelessness-Themed Halloween Party

homelesssqSometimes Halloween costume choice can offer an interesting window into people’s mindsets. Via the New York Times:

The law firm of Steven J. Baum, which is located near Buffalo, is what is commonly referred to as a “foreclosure mill” firm, meaning it represents banks and mortgage servicers as they attempt to foreclose on homeowners and evict them from their homes. Steven J. Baum is, in fact, the largest such firm in New York; it represents virtually all the giant mortgage lenders, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

A former employee recently sent me snapshots of last year’s party. In an e-mail, she said that she wanted me to see them because they showed an appalling lack of compassion toward the homeowners — invariably poor and down on their luck — that the Baum firm had brought foreclosure proceedings against. When we spoke later, she added that the snapshots are an accurate representation of the firm’s mind-set.

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.

A second picture shows a coffin with a picture of a woman whose eyes have been cut out. A sign on the coffin reads: “Rest in Peace. Crazy Susie.” The reference is to Susan Chana Lask, a lawyer who had filed a class-action suit against Steven J. Baum — and had posted a YouTube video denouncing the firm’s foreclosure practices. “She was a thorn in their side,” said my source.

A third photograph shows a corner of Baum’s office decorated to look like a row of foreclosed homes. Another shows a sign that reads, “Baum Estates” — needless to say, it’s also full of foreclosed houses. Most of the other pictures show either mock homeless camps or mock foreclosure signs — or both.

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  • GoodDoktorBad

    Wow, It’s a den of inequity beyond redemption.

    “What Can Men Do Against Such Reckless Hate?”

    The graves of these folk are already being dug…. and at their own request. Enjoy the flowers….

  • Anonymous

    Wow, It’s a den of inequity beyond redemption.

    “What Can Men Do Against Such Reckless Hate?”

    The graves of these folk are already being dug…. and at their own request. Enjoy the flowers….

  • Andrew

    Abusers devalue their victims out of necessity.

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      And for kicks.

    • Anarchy Pony

      Derrick Jensen talks about it quite extensively in A Language Older than Words.

    • Mrwhowatyes

      So, if you don’t pay your bills and the people you owe money to take action, they are now abusers?

      • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

        This is the firm that was made famous for effectively forging signatures and submitting them to the courts.

        Whether that’s abuse or not is up for each of us to judge, I guess.

        • Mrwhowatyes

          This is a fact?

          • Jin The Ninja

            http://www.appellate-brief.com/images/stories/PDF/10-6-11USAttyPR.pdf

            Fact enough that they were fined 2 million dollars for that and other abusive practices by the appellate court.

            nice try troll.

          • Mrwhowatyes

            “The Agreement does not constitute a finding by any court or agency that Baum has
            engaged in any unlawful practice or wrongdoing.”

          • Jin The Ninja

            “In the Agreement, Baum acknowledges,
            however, that it occasionally made inadvertent errors in its legal filings in state and federal court,which it attributes to human error in light of the high volume of mortgage defaults andforeclosures throughout the State of New York in the wake of the national subprime mortgage crisis.”

            See, context matters!

            Pay your fine, make your case go away. Seems legal to me.

          • Calypso_1

            This statement constitutes the finding by this committee that this shill has not engaged in anything resembling actions worthy of further allowance of his continued presence in our Glorious People’s Society and in accordance with the venerable tradition set forth in Henry VI(part 2) Act IV, Scene II – we offer you a cigarette -sorry its an fsc.  Damned lawyers. 
            [the preceding statement is a work of satire in no way intending to implicate individuals living or undead]

          • Elmyr23

            what is it like to be a tool?

          • Calypso_1

            I really hope you’re on Baum’s payroll.  How were the bonuses this quarter?

      • Anarchy Pony

        Because it is always exactly that simple. There are never ever circumstances more complicated than people just not paying their bills.

        • Andrew

          Interesting that his supposed defense of the firm is another devaluation, a misrepresentation of the homeless.

      • Calypso_1

        Mrprofilenotfound of course it’s not abuse, everbody likes to eat cake.

      • AdamJWall

        Why would you think it’s so black and white, this for that. UGH! No money=they took action by taking your home!? Look their business practices you fool, their services purposely worked against homeowners from the beginning of their loan. They are abusers, do you want these people representing you?  A middle class man or woman should be able to afford an economical home, not go bankrupt over it because these companies are so greedy. They directly and indirectly support the degradation of middle-class America.

        • Mrwhowatyes

          So, the people signed up for a loan they couldn’t afford? Why would I sign up with a place whose services work against me from the beginning? Unless I didn’t pay attention to what I was getting into and was greedy myself.

          • Jin The Ninja

            Perhaps, but it was predatory lenders whom promoted the mortgages in the first place.

            Capitalism, as an economic system, inherently promotes greed as part of the human condition. It’s called ‘capital accumulation.’

            When the biggest frauds have been perpertrated by the money lenders unto the plebians, it is a bit rich of you to assert the citizen public is morally bankrupt.

            Are you an unpaid intern for this mortgage mill?

          • E.B. Wolf

            So greed is a virtue so long as your effective at it? That seems to be the gist of your argument.

  • Andrew

    Abusers devalue their victims out of necessity.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I’m ok with this, as long as they’re just as sanguine when the other shoe drops.

    Any whining will be punished.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    And for kicks.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I’m ok with this, as long as they’re just as sanguine when the other shoe drops.

    Any whining will be punished.

  • Anti-Citizen1

    Derrick Jensen talks about it quite extensively in A Language Older than Words.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Talk about people that need to be strapped to chairs and beaten with hammers. To quote George Carlin.

  • Anti-Citizen1

    Talk about people that need to be strapped to chairs and beaten with hammers. To quote George Carlin.

  • Mrwhowatyes

    So, if you don’t pay your bills and the people you owe money to take action, they are now abusers?

  • apostle

    I find it odd that these fools would so openly show their contempt to those they fleece.Talk about throwing fuel on the fire, I hope they get burnt.

  • apostle

    I find it odd that these fools would so openly show their contempt to those they fleece.Talk about throwing fuel on the fire, I hope they get burnt.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    This is the firm that was made famous for effectively forging signatures and submitting them to the courts.

    Whether that’s abuse or not is up for each of us to judge, I guess.

  • Anti-Citizen1

    Because it is always exactly that simple. There are never ever circumstances more complicated than people just not paying their bills.

  • Anonymous

    Mrprofilenotfound of course it’s not abuse, everbody likes to eat cake.

  • AdamJWall

    Why would you think it’s so black and white, this for that. UGH! No money=they took action by taking your home!? Look their business practices you fool, their services purposely worked against homeowners from the beginning of their loan. They are abusers, do you want these people representing you?  A middle class man or woman should be able to afford an economical home, not go bankrupt over it because these companies are so greedy. They directly and indirectly support the degradation of middle-class America.

  • Mrwhowatyes

    So, the people signed up for a loan they couldn’t afford? Why would I sign up with a place whose services work against me from the beginning? Unless I didn’t pay attention to what I was getting into and was greedy myself.

  • Mrwhowatyes

    This is a fact?

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps, but it was predatory lenders whom promoted the mortgages in the first place.

    Capitalism, as an economic system, inherently promotes greed as part of the human condition. It’s called ‘capital accumulation.’

    When the biggest frauds have been perpertrated by the money lenders unto the plebians, it is a bit rich of you to assert the citizen public is morally bankrupt.

    Are you an unpaid intern for this mortgage mill?

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps, but it was predatory lenders whom promoted the mortgages in the first place.

    Capitalism, as an economic system, inherently promotes greed as part of the human condition. It’s called ‘capital accumulation.’

    When the biggest frauds have been perpertrated by the money lenders unto the plebians, it is a bit rich of you to assert the citizen public is morally bankrupt.

    Are you an unpaid intern for this mortgage mill?

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps, but it was predatory lenders whom promoted the mortgages in the first place.

    Capitalism, as an economic system, inherently promotes greed as part of the human condition. It’s called ‘capital accumulation.’

    When the biggest frauds have been perpertrated by the money lenders unto the plebians, it is a bit rich of you to assert the citizen public is morally bankrupt.

    Are you an unpaid intern for this mortgage mill?

  • Anonymous

    http://www.appellate-brief.com/images/stories/PDF/10-6-11USAttyPR.pdf

    Fact enough that they were fined 2 million dollars for that and other abusive practices by the appellate court.

    nice try troll.

  • Anonymous

    I really hope you’re on Baum’s payroll.  How were the bonuses this quarter?

  • Mrwhowatyes

    “The Agreement does not constitute a finding by any court or agency that Baum has
    engaged in any unlawful practice or wrongdoing.”

  • Anonymous

    “In the Agreement, Baum acknowledges,
    however, that it occasionally made inadvertent errors in its legal filings in state and federal court,which it attributes to human error in light of the high volume of mortgage defaults andforeclosures throughout the State of New York in the wake of the national subprime mortgage crisis.”

    See, context matters!

    Pay your fine, make your case go away. Seems legal to me.

  • Anonymous

    This statement constitutes the finding by this committee that this shill has not engaged in anything resembling actions worthy of further allowance of his continued presence in our Glorious People’s Society and in accordance with the venerable tradition set forth in Henry VI(part 2) Act IV, Scene II – we offer you a cigarette -sorry its an fsc.  Damned lawyers. 
    [the preceding statement is a work of satire in no way intending to implicate individuals living or undead]

  • John Smith

    It’s time for another Bastille Day!

  • John Smith

    It’s time for another Bastille Day!

  • Andrew

    Interesting that his supposed defense of the firm is another devaluation, a misrepresentation of the homeless.

  • E.B. Wolf

    So greed is a virtue so long as your effective at it? That seems to be the gist of your argument.

  • Elmyr23

    what is it like to be a tool?

  • Jjabrahams

    Someone in America being an asshole?!?! WHOA GET OUT OF TOWN.

  • Jjabrahams

    Someone in America being an asshole?!?! WHOA GET OUT OF TOWN.

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