The Sun-Sentinel attempted to profile David J. Stern (The Man Behind The Crumbling Foreclosure Empire), and the resulting article is more of a report about trying to profile the man than about the man himself. On the surface, it's remarkably uninformative, but deep down, it shows that the head honcho of arguably the most publicly hated "foreclosure mill" is little more than a ghost.
According to the Sun-Sentinel non-profile profile:
Stern's marriage license says he was born in Illinois. But the Sun Sentinel could not determine where he grew up, went to high school, or anything else about him before he enrolled at Appalachian State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 1982.
Nothing about his past or his unremarkable education at South Texas College of Law -- a fourth-tier school where he entered and graduated as a Florida resident in 1986 -- hinted at his future.
When Bob Norman first wrote about Stern on The Pulp, he noted...
...Stern shuns the spotlight. In fact, the photo at left [the one at the top of this post] is the only one I could find of the attorney.
Stern is well-liked by some former employees and accused of sexual harassment by others. He went to an unremarkable law school, but ran one of the largest foreclosure law firms. He became rich -- very, very rich -- then recently put many of his assets (including his yacht and Colorado vacation home) on the market. He's a free man, but the state is investigating his shuddering firm for fraudulent foreclosure practices.
He's a scapegoat, whether or not he deserves to be. Yet, publicly, he is nobody -- neither apologetic nor unapologetic, from nowhere with no distinct past. It's as though the Intracostal birthed him and hoisted him onto her most luxurious waterfront property, gave him the keys to a beautiful office building in Plantation, and sent him on his merry way.
If a true profile of Stern ever comes to be, it may read like a mythological tale -- perhaps he's a monster, or maybe a fallen hero, a victim of unfair circumstance, or the leader of a corrupt culture. If Stern ever voluntarily succumbs to a true profile, I would love to read it. In fact, I would love to write it. Could this man be 'Misunderstood,' like the name of his yacht? Is he a good person who did bad things? Is he a bad person who did bad things?
Who are you, David J. Stern, if that's your real name?
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