Beyond Outrageous – Steven J. Baum Halloween Party Photos Show Appalling Lack of Respect Toward the Homeowners they Defraud

4closureFraud's picture

Sorry but… This is Beyond Fucking Outrageous – Steven J. Baum Halloween Party Photos Show Appalling Lack of Respect Toward the Homeowners they Defraud

Posted by 4closureFraud

This one crossed the line.

As I always try to censor/warn of foul language in my posts, this one has gone too far to hold that back.

But, I guess, profane times deserve profane words...

Read the write up below and study the pictures. Look at them hard. This is what they think of you "deadbeats."

What the Costumes Reveal

On Friday, the law firm of Steven J. Baum threw a Halloween party. The firm, 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.

he party is the firm’s big annual bash. Employees wear Halloween costumes to the office, where they party until around noon, and then return to work, still in costume. I can’t tell you how people dressed for this year’s party, but I can tell you about last year’s.

That’s because a former employee of Steven J. Baum 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. “There is this really cavalier attitude,” she said. “It doesn’t matter that people are going to lose their homes.” Nor does the firm try to help people get mortgage modifications; the pressure, always, is to foreclose. I told her I wanted to post the photos on The Times’s Web site so that readers could see them. She agreed, but asked to remain anonymous because she said she fears retaliation.

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. My source told me that not every Baum department used the party to make fun of the troubled homeowners they made their living suing. But some clearly did. The adjective she’d used when she sent them to me — “appalling” — struck me as exactly right.

These pictures are hardly the first piece of evidence that the Baum firm treats homeowners shabbily — or that it uses dubious legal practices to do so. It is under investigation by the New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman. It recently agreed to pay $2 million to resolve an investigation by the Department of Justice into whether the firm had “filed misleading pleadings, affidavits, and mortgage assignments in the state and federal courts in New York.” (In the press release announcing the settlement, Baum acknowledged only that “it occasionally made inadvertent errors.”)

MFY Legal Services, which defends homeowners, and Harwood Feffer, a large class-action firm, have filed a class-action suit claiming that Steven J. Baum has consistently failed to file certain papers that are necessary to allow for a state-mandated settlement conference that can lead to a modification. Judge Arthur Schack of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn once described Baum’s foreclosure filings as “operating in a parallel mortgage universe, unrelated to the real universe.” (My source told me that one Baum employee dressed up as Judge Schack at a previous Halloween party.)

I saw the firm operate up close when I wrote several columns about Lilla Roberts, a 73-year-old homeowner who had spent three years in foreclosure hell. Although she had a steady income and was a good candidate for a modification, the Baum firm treated her mercilessly.

When I called a press spokesman for Steven J. Baum to ask about the photographs, he sent me a statement a few hours later. “It has been suggested that some employees dress in ... attire that mocks or attempts to belittle the plight of those who have lost their homes,” the statement read. “Nothing could be further from the truth.” It described this column as “another attempt by The New York Times to attack our firm and our work.”

I encourage you to look at the photographs with this column on the Web. Then judge for yourself the veracity of Steven J. Baum’s denial.

Article reproduced in full for educational purposes and to show the complete disregard for homeOWNERS in NY and across the country.

Source: NY Times

Thank you for covering this...

Rest of the pictures from their "party" can be viewed here...

And big thanks to the former employee of Steven J. Baum who had the courage to come forward with this information.

The world needs thousands more like you...

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boiltherich's picture

By the way, who are the fucktard troll (s) here that consider people living in their houses without making mortgage payments to be squatters?  Up yours bud (s)/budette(s).  If I am legally responsible for the place until the banks get around to selling the house then I am damned well going to live in it and protect that for which they make me financially responsible. 

chunga's picture

This photo essay is heart-warming. God's work. Makes me want to throw a party. Well, maybe not a party, but I feel like throwing something.

Evicted | A Photo Essay – One Year Old Watches on as Eviction Crew Removes Playpen During a Home Foreclosure

Willzyx's picture

How long before Anonymous finds these people's names, addresses, and phone numbers?

chunga's picture

Harmon Law is another scum Foreclosure Mill that will end up like The Law Offices of David J. Stern. Out of business and foreclosed. Stern is hiding in fear for his life. He took his "Company" that specialized in ruining people's lives public. Then he fucked the investors, one of whom was a powerful and wealthy man from China who is not very pleased with Esquire Stern.

TRO and Preliminary Injunction Granted. Who cares? Not Harmon Law.

Building an empire, one home at a time (Harmon Law)

"With a law office, title firm, and auction company under his umbrella, Harmon has assembled a network that can slice through the complexities of a foreclosure faster than most stand-alone legal firms - it’s a one-stop shopping center for banks and mortgage companies."

"Indeed, the firm’s determination to get the job done can cause emotions to erupt, especially those of desperate homeowners. (It is why Harmon Law’s Newton offices are fortified with security glass.) Because when you peel away the layers of foreclosure paperwork and legalese, Harmon’s business comes down to getting people like Mack out of their homes and doing it as quickly as possible."

Tree of Liberty's picture

"The Love of Many shall wax cold" as Christ stated in Matthew 24.

What we lack in this country is a "Call to Anguish" by late David Wilkerson.


moneymutt's picture

Such is the hypocrisy in Americas increasingly winner takes all business marekts. Foreclosure mills violate and bend all sorts of laws and do all sorts of legal but unethical things to get rich, working for banks and mortgage holders that also often committed all kinds of fraud and predatory lending...and yet they self-righteously mock regular folks as the morally bankrupt ones because: they bought at house near park of housing prices, they gladly took the to big loan the bank offered them, they lost a good paying job, the had medical debts etc. and they use the full extent of the law to try to stay in their house.

Studies have shown the more power one has, the more tolerant you are of your own moral failings and unethical behavior AND the less tolerant you are of moral failings of powerless people. The converse is true, the less power you have the more critical you are of your own moral lapses and less critical you ate of the moral failings of those in power. A vicious cycle of increased power imbalance leads to increased hypocrisy which leads to increase power imbalance......because those without power and those with power both judge those without power much more harshly.

Power breeds hypocrisy, absolute power leads to absolute hypocrisy: powerful can do no wrong, oppressed can do no right.

boiltherich's picture

It is the 1% we need to focus upon, the fact that the Jewish race is well represented in that sliver of people does not make it a Jewish problem, it is a greed problem.  If you insist that Jews are primarily responsible then you lose at least half the people that would support you because most of them are as badly messed over as we are, and few of us relish the statement "what do we do about the Jewish problem." 

But, this thread does hit a nerve this morning, I woke up dreaming that I decided to sue the bank for NOT selling my house so I can be free of the tyranny of it all.  It is as though they intentionally set up the circumstances by which they could self impose a moratorium on foreclosure sales in this state.  Very convenient, because in Oregon as well as in many other places they can evict you for nonpayment and foreclose but you are still responsible for the physical building till they sell it.  This gives them the legal right to slap you with an insurance policy that costs some 300% or more what a homeowners policy costs that covers nothing but the repayment of the balance due should the house be destroyed, or otherwise become unsellable, eventually forcing the former homeowner into bankruptcy.  And the house is becoming more unsellable every month it sits there empty.

Also, one cannot begin to rebuild post foreclosure till the place is out of your name.  It is like they have hijacked your life and play games year after year.  They claimed they suspended foreclosure sales here because of a couple rulings regarding MERS and proper title conveyance.  How do I know and why should I care if they won or lost some obscure ruling other than they are putting my life on hold while they appeal.  In my case I gave them the house back voluntarily so there will be no question of clear title.  Could it be they are purposely losing these court battles in order to hang on to the legal right to sell these properties while keeping us financially responsible for them?  We all know in the end that the SCOTUS will rule in their favor because of the GOP majority on the bench. 

If that excuse doesn't work anymore they cans use this one, title companies are beginning to say they will not do title insurance on houses that have had their titles electronically stored with MERS. 

The banks, either through their own bad management or lack of concern for state laws regarding both lending practices and title conveyance, are crying all the way to the bank, they get the legal right to trillions in real estate while making others responsible for it all.  The government did not impose a moratorium, the courts didn't either.  They did.  And some day they might even get around to sorting the mess out.  But why would they rush when they know in the end they can sell the place and get reimbursed for the whole amount the escrow account paid out for taxes and such by my mortgage insurer (USDA Rural Development)?  Plus all arrears, plus principal and interest.  Plus legal fees.  Do I or do I not have a right to move on with my life?  What they are doing keeps me in legal limbo as if I were in a Naval Base in Cuba or some other black op rendition site.  And in the end I will have to file chapter 7 anyway with all their charges and fees.  In the end they will benefit and be made more than whole.  I know this and so do they. 

What those lawyers are doing is pretty bad, but they are lawyers, what DID you expect from them? 

I guess I just answered my own question, they are banks, what DID I expect of them?

Outlaw Of The Wasteland's picture

“Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Balanchine ballets, et al. don’t redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history.”—- Susan Sontag

we should have skinned and boiled this kike bitch while alive.

this is projection on the grandest of scales.

At least this foul, ugly kike hag admitted that she wasn't White, but rather, something else.

Why this disgusting criminal race cult masquerading as a "religion" is allowed to survive at all when it would be so easy for so few men to decapitate their weak structure is beyond me.

Go after the media jews and the daughters.

BDig's picture

You're a bigot.  GTFO.  We don't want your uneducated fucktard bable around here.  You don't understand the issues that are being discussed.  Go back to your local tea bag site and post your hatespeech there.

As for the OP, I thought the pictures were funny.

Dicite justitiam's picture

when folks realize that the line between law and business is tenuous and mostly imagined, then they will realize more fully why NMR knew control of money would include control of law.

dolph9's picture

The Jews don't care.  They got their fiat money and play the U.S. like a violin.

Game over for America.

Incubus's picture

not all jews are bad, or is this too complicated for you?

Jews have their "sheeple" just as any other group does. 

Outlaw Of The Wasteland's picture

This sort of behaviour and business practice seems to be endemic to the khazars who call themselves "jews". 

Is it at all possible that all these countries were wrong?

jews are a global problem and they merit a global pogrom



Vendetta's picture

The scenarios photographed represent the justice system in the US .... derelict.  Perfectly appropriate for many 'law' firms these days and the federal injustice system.  They are about the 'letter of the law', not the spirit of the law.  Law is perverted by language and a complete void of ethics.

QEsucks's picture

Agreed Ron Paul 20112.

etresoi's picture

Buffalo !  They are partying because they must be the only employed people in that dead city.

Manny's picture

This is equivalent to after ruining somebody's life and then on the way out as a parting shit just kick them in the nuts and smirk!



navy62802's picture

This isn't all that surprising. What, you thought all of these people were just blind idiots who never saw what their greed did to others? They know. And they're proud that they've made billions off creating misfortune for others. This is the way of the world. But in reality, there are repurcussions. And these people will be made to pay their pennance ... the only question is when. People can only take so much before their anger boils over, and I think the boiling over has already begun.

chunga's picture

America was once called the world's melting pot. It is now a boiling pot.

Ura Bonehead's picture

Steven J. Baum (and, apparently, his staff and employees) merely represent the culture and ethic of his clients.  Shit flows, well, both ways.

bill1102inf's picture

You took my stapler....I told you not to take my stapler..... "Im gonna burn this ......"

acaciapuffin's picture

unfortunately this does seem to be a huge part off american culture. the complete lack of empathyy or sympathy for their neighbbors. exploitation and domination seem to have replaced them. but this also seems to follow booms and busts, people are chasing the dream to get rich and not care about the consequences. as i already said, this is more of a social issue and will take many years to deal with.

LasVegasDave's picture

I know this will come as a shock to the "by any means necessary" "debt = slavery" crowd that has taken over this site....

But maybe those overworked and underpaid 1st year associates are just sick of the BS excuses and yes THE FRAUD perpetrated by the squatters and deadbeats (and the lawyers who love them) that make up the majority of the "victims" of foreclosure.

So Ill cut them a little slack on this one.

Happy Halloween.  Off to have a nice glass of Burgundy.

whaletail's picture

LVD-That's a huge cop out. Professionalism trumps blowing off steam. If these associates want to do that, hit a strip club. 

Cugel's picture

"Hitler was right" -- 4 junks

"People should pay their debts" -- 13 junks

Zero Hedge has become America.

whaletail's picture

He'll lose all banking clients because of this. For him, that is the unkindest cut. Dumb shit.

Yes_Questions's picture



My "professional" life began in a law firm that represented mortgagees in foreclosure proceedings during the recession of the early nineties.  Went on to do similar work in an S&L.

NEVER did anything like this occur, despite the fact that the divestment process, even back then, could be, and oftens was, held off by savy borrowers, there was never a culture like this.  Sure, there were a few in the collections groups that could be really nasty, but they were not the ones doing the actual foreclosure work.

Maybe because I witnessed how foreclosure affected my mother when my parents divorced, or maybe because I am witnessing it now as it affects family and friends, but this is a really bothering story.

No, not a surprise, but sad and disheartening.

This is exactly the type thing NOT to do as a foreclosure mill. 


May their own entries to economic hell be Linda Green'd and expedient!




Fozzy Slippers's picture

Can't wait to see these fookers running for their lives. Burn witch burn.

prains's picture

the american normal is neither new nor normal, don't understand the surprise about their conduct. although contemptuous and despicable this is just another illustration of the american psyche.who outside of the states has not witnessed this same type of derision by americans towards other countries and other nationalities. It's like the Abu Ghraid pictures all over again, completely endemic of a nation sponsored state of mind that has falsely existed for decades. and no the americans did not win wwII, they did win the economic dominance as a result of it and look where the world is today. one giant flaming bag of shit.   U     S    A      U       S     A      we're number

moondog's picture

Don't blame the peasants, the brainwashing has been taking place for almost a century in the US. There are many among us who are awake, but we're fighting a mass of brainwashed sheeple.

jeff montanye's picture

as the character john winger noted "we're americans.  we're 10 and 1".

of course that was 1981.  the record's taken a beating since then.

Lord Welligton's picture


May they all die of horrible disease and in agony.

Pegasus Muse's picture

Certain scumbags, like these Baum biatches, it be a pleasure to see hung.  And Baum .... he deserves da' bomb.

the tower's picture

After WWII in Holland the bitches that cooperated with the Nazis had their heads shaved so all could see who they were. The bitches in these photos deserve the same. Baum, Kochs et all should be shot. There are so many guns in the USA... why isn't anyone using them on these people. Just a drive-by shooting. What the hell are you waiting for...

General Debility's picture

Gee I am still naive. Here I was thinking these people were victims too and they agonized in the wee, dark hours over what they did. Illusions duly shattered!

It is an interesting line one walks over from non-monster to monster. We are all capable of it sadly.

If you read Lord Jim - the ship's mate has fantasies about being a hero and saving everyone in a hypothetical ship disaster. Day in day out he has the fantasies. When it actually happens, he saves himself, everyone drowns except him and he has to live with himself thereon in.

calgal's picture

U r priceless
Thk u

Wakanda's picture

There is a reason New York is called "The Empire State".  Empire "insiders" regularly treat "outsiders" as scum.  It's a hidden part of the social contract - until it's not hidden anymore. In New Yawk, the financial and cultural center of the West, the egos climb higher and fall farther.  Bonfire of the vanities is becoming the megaton detonation of the vanities.

We are witnessing the unveiling of the darkness of humanity.  It's been here all along, but the self proclaimed "elite" are getting careless as their egos unravel.  Make popcorn, settle back with a favorite beverage and watch the reality show.  I couldn't make this sort of stuff up if I was writing fiction.

Thanks 4closureFraud, Joe Nocera, and former employee of Steven da Bum


Rastamann's picture

clearly these people are LIBERTARIANS celebrating others' misfortune.


where's the roving teabagger band of RABID Ron Paul-ites cheering that they should DIE too?

CPL's picture

I am a libertarian.  I am anonymous.  I am part of the 99%.  Nothing wrong with Ron Paul, people should consider who his VP is though.

Savyindallas's picture

You are one stupid MF - sound like a karl Denninger trained moron.

Savyindallas's picture

You are one stupid MF  - sound like a karl Denninger trained moron.  


anomalous's picture

Rastamann- If I were down for some reason I'd rather be amongst a bunch of libertarian Paul-ites than a bunch of communist, or fascist, or socialist, or democrats, or mainstream republicans. I'm guessing these lawyers and their staff are not Paul-ites. I'm also guessing that unless you just haven't had a chance to know Ron Paul, that you're a troll from one of the other aforementioned factions.

Please take some time to get to know Ron Paul through books, audio-books, etc. You'll find he is selflessly working to spread a philosophy of peace, liberty, and freedom. What's not to like?

If you are casting these bad vibes out there recklessly because you are from one of the aforementioned factions (and you don't care about harming Ron Paul) then fuckoff.  And if you don't like peace, liberty, and freedom but are not from one of those factions you should still fuckoff because the Paul's are good people. "Rasta" my ass, probably - "powder milk" troll.

Cugel's picture

They've been chased out of this site by the gather and share crew.


LasVegasDave's picture


Polite debate is marginalized when the use of force crowd appears.