Opinion Editorials

Firm changes tune, apologizes for Halloween party mocking foreclosure victims

Major PR blunder

This week, a former employee of the Steven J. Baum law firm (commonly called a “foreclosure mill”) leaked photos of the company’s 2010 Halloween party wherein the offices were transformed into shanty towns to mock the people that were foreclosed upon and now homeless, and employees dressed as dirty homeless people with misspelled signs mocking their excuses given before being evicted.

The firm which is subject of a federal investigation and multiple class-action law suits has had their corporate culture called into question by former employees before and in response to the photos leaked, Joe Nacera at the NYTimes.com said, “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.’ ”

Baum changes their tune, apologizes

The firm’s outside communications team issued a statement wherein Baum repeatedly apologizes. “The images in the photographs that were recently published by The New York Times obviously were in very poor taste,” said one statement, obtained by WGRZ. “In fact, we had our annual Halloween party this past week at our various locations and we reiterated our company policy as it pertains to wearing appropriate costumes. No one is permitted to wear a costume that could be interpreted as being offensive.” Further, Baum said, “On behalf of the firm, I sincerely apologize for what happened last year at our Halloween party.”

The firm issued an additional statement that said, “I again want to sincerely apologize for the inappropriate costumes worn by some of our employees at our Halloween Party in 2010. It was in extremely poor taste and I take full responsibility. I know people are extremely offended and they have every right to be upset with me and my firm.”


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