What do an insurance agent in Tennessee, a homemaker in Ohio, a private investigator from Wisconsin and a helicopter stunt pilot in Hollywood have in common? Well, for one thing, they’ve all participated in some fashion in “Foreclosure Diaries,” the documentary that my company, Pacific Street Films, has been producing, in fits and starts, since 2006.
When work first started on the film, the original tag was “Follow the Money,” and the road seemed to lead towards a dark and confusing destination. There was all this talk in the industry about scads of money to be made in servicing “subprime” loans. There were seminars, conferences, it seemed all the rage.
Segment from an actual call, recorded on October 20, 2008, between a homeowner and a lawyer, Heather Johnson, of the notorious foreclosure mill, Steven J Baum, representing Litton Loan Servicing. Mr.Christopher Wyatt, part of Litton’s “Executive Resolution Team,” begged out of the call when told it would be filmed an recorded. Loan modifications were offered on a take-it-or leave it basis; however requests for follow-up documentation were ignored. This same lawyer then signed off on a foreclosure, nearly ten months later, initiated by the trustee, Wells Fargo, on behalf of the securitized pool holding the homeowner’s mortgage. The “foreclosure mill” law firm, in this case, Steven J Baum, was specifically cited in a New York Times article about NY State Supreme Court Judge Arthur M Shack on August 31st, 2009, and has engendered criticism for its faulty filing practices. The firm has done extensive work for Litton Loan and its host of robo-signers, including Marti Noriega (who also does double duty for MERS). Hedge Fund Tailwind Capital has a hefty investment in this foreclosure mill. Guess they figured that throwing families out of their homes had a financial upside. Now, the Steven J Baum firm believes that any attempt to make them produce evidence is, simply, a “fishing expedition.” Why? Because actually producing evidence would be enough to get them and their clients thrown in the proverbial shitcan (judicial or otherwise). This call will become part of Pacific Street’s upcoming feature documentary, FORECLOSURE DIARIES.
Gretchen Morgenson is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.Gretchen is one of the first journalist who began reporting on the mortgage crisis and understands exactly what is happening all around us. We thank Gretchen for all her hard work and we are proud to say she is aware of StopForeclosureFraud.com 🙂
Gretchen Morgenson, Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times writer, interviewed for Pacific Street’s upcoming feature doc on the financial crisis. Begun in 2007, this film (yet untitled) has strayed in many directions; covered much ground, and, when completed, will offer a very different perspective on the personalities and companies that have played the principal leads in the longest-running soap opera in this country’s financial history. A Ken Burns documentary it is not…