-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
We have previously discussed the foreclosure firm of Steven J. Baum and the offensive Halloween party where employees mocked foreclosure victims. The firm has filed notifications with government agencies stating their intentions of shutting their doors. The firm employs 89 full- and part-time workers who have to find another source of income to pay their mortgages.
It has been alleged that the Baum firm mishandled mortgage filing on behalf of their clients. The firm settled a claim with the federal government by promising to pay a $2 million fine and change its business practices.
The negative publicity raised by the party photos led mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to forbid servicers of their mortgages from using Braum’s firm. Without the F&F business, Baum’s firm was doomed.
Baum blames New York Times columnist Joe Nocero for his firm’s demise. It was Joe Nocero who broke the story of the Halloween party that brought nationwide condemnation. Baum wrote, “There is blood on your hands for this one, Joe… I will never, ever forgive you for this.” Nocero responded, “I think that’s what they call shooting the messenger.”
The employees of Baum’s firm have displayed their lack of humanity by mocking the suffering of others. Their lack of shame, as evidenced by trying to blame others for the consequences of their own actions, only reinforces the sense of their inhumanity.
The behavior exhibited by the employees goes way beyond a total lack of empathy for fellow human creatures. A degree of professional detachment is understandable from a psychological defense mechanism point of view. However, the mocking indicates a cruelty that should not be considered acceptable.