David J. Stern: Cocksucker of the Year
The housing crisis is such a huge convoluted mess — with everyone blaming somebody else — it’s been impossible to find a single villain. Until now.
David J. Stern is an attorney who runs one of the biggest Foreclosure Mills in the country. These are “law offices” (using the term loosely) that process foreclosure cases on behalf of banks.
The legal process, the rights of homeowners — those little niceties are pushed aside to make way for Maximum Foreclosures ASAP. Robo-signing is the most efficient method for producing the largest number of foreclosures in the shortest period of time. Employees process thousands of court documents without even looking at them.
As this article (by Zachary Roth) says: “The faster a foreclosure moves, the less time a struggling borrower has to fight it.”
During 2009, David J. Stern’s foreclosure mill processed more than 70,000 foreclosures. One of Stern’s former employees gave a deposition describing how the foreclosure mill achieved such a high quota.
For one thing, the process-serving part of this — informing the homeowner that his/her bank is opening foreclosure proceedings — was skipped. Stern’s ex-employee said:
“People were not served. Some of them would go to do modifications on loans, or go to take out other things, and it would come up that they were in foreclosure. And they would end up finding out that way that there was no actual service on them.... Service was a complete mess.”
The same ex-employee also testified that once a bank had referred a foreclosure case to Stern’s office, any subsequent payments by the homeowner were ignored. She also said that whenever she tried to give any kind of help or advice over the phone to a homeowner, she’d get yelled at or threatened by a supervisor. As in, get off the phone and start rubber-stamping some more documents.
But on the bright side, these thousands of ruined homeowners have provided unimaginable wealth and splendor for David J. Stern: A $15 million mansion, a yacht, four Porsches, four Ferraris and a $1 million Bugati. These things don’t come cheap, so God Damn It, get moving on those foreclosure documents. Faster!