Foreclosure Firm Steven J. Baum to Close Down

A law firm that had become a lightning rod in the controversy over mortgage-foreclosure practices has shut down, costing 89 employees their jobs.

The Steven J. Baum P.C. law firm, which has offices in Amherst, N.Y., and Westbury on Long Island, has filed papers with government agencies notifying them that it plans to close. It made the filings under a federal law requiring employers to provide notice before mass layoffs.

“Disrupting the livelihoods of so many dedicated and hardworking people is extremely painful, but the loss of so much business left us no choice but to file these notices,” said Mr. Baum in a statement issued on Monday.

A firm spokesman said it would have no further comment beyond the release.Mr. Baum and his colleagues have come under fire for their foreclosure-related legal work. They are one of numerous firms across the country that represent banks and services in trying to foreclose on the millions of homeowners who have defaulted on their loans.

Some of these firms’ aggressive, and, in some cases, duplicitous practices, have earned them the moniker “foreclosure mills.”The Baum firm’s tactics, which included the “robo-signing” of documents, has been among the most criticized.

Last year, a state-court judge in Brooklyn called one foreclosure filing from the Baum firm that he said contained numerous falsities “incredible, outrageous, ludicrous and disingenuous.”Last month, the firm struck a settlement with the United States attorney in Manhattan, which had been investigating the Baum firm and whether, on behalf of its lender clients, it filed misleading legal papers to expedite foreclosures.

The firm agreed to pay a $2 million penalty and vowed change its practices to resolve the case.

Read the full article here: Foreclosure Firm Steven J. Baum to Close Down –

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