AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - An Amherst law firm is on the defensive after questionable pictures ended up on national television. Did workers there mock victims of foreclosure?
In the pictures, employees dressed as victims of foreclosure. When News 4 went to question employees on these pictures, taken in poor taste, they were not happy to see our cameras.
With a sinking economy, worries of a double dip recession, and an overwhelming amount of foreclosures, you'd think lawyers, dealing with foreclosures would treat this as a sensitive issue. But on Amherst company, the Steven J. Baum Firm, allowed workers to dress as victims of foreclosure for Halloween in 2010.
Tom Sutton was sent out to speak with News 4. Sutton refused to get a supervisor, or someone with authority to speak on the pictures, which were leaked to the New York Times.
Sutton said, "The only thought I have right now is for you to remove yourself from our property."
Some of the pictures, according to the New York Times, were meant to "mock the typical excuse of the homeowner, trying to evade a foreclosure proceeding." A source told the Times, the workers attitudes are cavalier and the photos represent that mindset.
The pictures are so offensive, the company made national headlines. Even "The Daily Show," hosted by social critic and comedian, Jon Stewart, picked up the story.
Stewart quipped, "The rich have feelings too, sometimes. As you can see, the workers are dressed up as homeless people and squatters. Breaking news: some foreclosure lawyers are giant *****."
Baum has since apologized for his employees' actions. Baum's statement says the annual party was in bad taste, saying, "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 these photos were extremely offensive and people have every right to be upset with me and my firm."
Last month alone, more than 20 homes in the Buffalo area received first-time foreclosure notices.
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