Today in stories that might just turn you off of Halloween altogether: Joe Nocera's written a chilling op-ed in the New York Times about the Halloween party thrown last year by the law firm of Steven J. Baum, where several employees were photographed wearing costumes that mocked foreclosure victims. That stands alone as a pretty gross move, but it's compounded by the fact that Baum's firm is a notorious foreclosure mill and represents all of the largest mortgage lenders in the country. Nocera writes:
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 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.
Nocera learned about the Halloween party through a nameless ex-Baum employee, who sent him a series of photographs of the party. They've been posted here, and they're worse than you'd expect. Happy Halloween, everyone!