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.

52 Comments on "Top Foreclosure Firm’s Homelessness-Themed Halloween Party"

  1. Anonymous | Oct 31, 2011 at 5:07 pm |

    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….

  2. GoodDoktorBad | Oct 31, 2011 at 1:07 pm |

    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….

  3. Abusers devalue their victims out of necessity.

  4. Abusers devalue their victims out of necessity.

    • And for kicks.

    • Anarchy Pony | Oct 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

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

    • Mrwhowatyes | Oct 31, 2011 at 1:53 pm |

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

      • 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 | Oct 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm |

          This is a fact?

          • Jin The Ninja | Oct 31, 2011 at 4:09 pm |

            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 | Oct 31, 2011 at 4:20 pm |

            “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 | Oct 31, 2011 at 4:25 pm |

            “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 | Oct 31, 2011 at 4:59 pm |

            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]

          • what is it like to be a tool?

          • Calypso_1 | Oct 31, 2011 at 4:12 pm |

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

      • Anarchy Pony | Oct 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm |

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

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

      • Calypso_1 | Oct 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm |

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

      • AdamJWall | Oct 31, 2011 at 2:53 pm |

        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 | Oct 31, 2011 at 3:32 pm |

          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 | Oct 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm |

            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 | Oct 31, 2011 at 7:59 pm |

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

  5. And for kicks.

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

    Any whining will be punished.

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

    Any whining will be punished.

  8. Anti-Citizen1 | Oct 31, 2011 at 5:49 pm |

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

  9. Anti-Citizen1 | Oct 31, 2011 at 5:50 pm |

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

  10. Anarchy Pony | Oct 31, 2011 at 1:50 pm |

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

  11. Mrwhowatyes | Oct 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm |

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Anti-Citizen1 | Oct 31, 2011 at 6:07 pm |

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

  16. Anonymous | Oct 31, 2011 at 6:11 pm |

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

  17. AdamJWall | Oct 31, 2011 at 6:53 pm |

    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.

  18. Mrwhowatyes | Oct 31, 2011 at 7:32 pm |

    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.

  19. Mrwhowatyes | Oct 31, 2011 at 7:34 pm |

    This is a fact?

  20. Anonymous | Oct 31, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    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?

  21. Anonymous | Oct 31, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    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?

  22. Anonymous | Oct 31, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    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?

  23. Anonymous | Oct 31, 2011 at 8:09 pm |

    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.

  24. Anonymous | Oct 31, 2011 at 8:12 pm |

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

  25. Mrwhowatyes | Oct 31, 2011 at 8:20 pm |

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

  26. Anonymous | Oct 31, 2011 at 8:25 pm |

    “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.

  27. Anonymous | Oct 31, 2011 at 8:59 pm |

    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]

  28. John Smith | Oct 31, 2011 at 9:28 pm |

    It’s time for another Bastille Day!

  29. John Smith | Oct 31, 2011 at 5:28 pm |

    It’s time for another Bastille Day!

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

  31. E.B. Wolf | Oct 31, 2011 at 11:59 pm |

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

  32. what is it like to be a tool?

  33. Jjabrahams | Nov 2, 2011 at 6:38 pm |

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

  34. Jjabrahams | Nov 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

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

Comments are closed.