The new reality of working in mortgage finance is the ephemeral nature of employment can now surprise to the downside. Let me explain: people used to want to hire in this space. We are getting word of another law firm shutting down. In this case, the Steven J. Baum law firm stood accused of callousness toward the plight of distressed homeowners. In many cases, loss of income (no job) can lead a borrower down this road. While it can be argued that, in many default cases, the mortgage product didn't fit the homeowner, there is still no reason to think we aren't in a new reality. This is a wake-up call to everyone: it can happen to you. I take no pleasure in someone going out of business. I do believe the employees of the Baum law firm, who reenacted a skid row scene for Halloween (photo found here), followed a pattern of downward spiral. The law firm clearly knew, even if they didn't approve, that employees dressed up as the down-and-out. The new reality is that there is no irony that they are now unemployed. The point is this. If Baum wanted to slow, or even turnaround, the quality of his business (and that's a big if), he should've fired workers such as this long ago. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @jacobgaffney.