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Just Desserts: Foreclosure Lawyer David Stern Defaults on Rent, $15 Million Loan

— By Andy Kroll| Mon Nov. 15, 2010 10:01 AM PST

— A caricature of David J. Stern, portrayed as Superman, from a t-shirt he gave to investors.

For people pushed out of their own homes by the law firm of foreclosure king David J. Stern, consider Monday's news a piece of sweet irony. Stern, the South Florida lawyer who built a business empire in the foreclosure industry, has come full circle: In a regulatory filing published today, Stern's publicly traded company revealed that one of its subsidiaries failed to pay rent in November on its towering office building in Plantation, Florida, and had received a notice of default. Mother Jones readers likely first heard of Stern through our eight-month investigation into his global foreclosure operation and the larger world of foreclosure mills, the assembly line-like law firms that cut corners and allegedly commit fraud in their quest to snatch borrowers' homes as fast as possible.

Stern's financial troubles stem from the implosion of his foreclosure empire. In the months after Mother Jones published its investigation, he's lost clients such as Citigroup, GMAC, Wells Fargo, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, and laid off nearly 450 employees. New business to his companies, he wrote in a recent letter, has declined by a staggering 90 percent in the past six months.