Category Archives: Foreclosure

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 […]

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Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Ban Baum From Foreclosures

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have dropped Steven J. Baum P.C., New York’s largest foreclosure law firm, from its network of firms that process the foreclosures of mortgages owned by the government-sponsored enterprises. The servicers of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae-owned mortgages can no longer refer foreclosure cases to the Baum firm, though the firm will retain the cases already referred to it. Freddie Mac’s bar on new referrals also includes bankruptcies and was announced on Nov. 10. Fannie Mae’s decision to bar new referrals was confirmed yesterday. Spokesmen for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would not comment on the […]

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Feds Fine Mortgage Foreclosure Firm Steve Baum $2 Million

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that it entered into an agreement with the law firm of Steve Baum, P.C., one of the largest mortgage foreclosure firms in the state, to pay $2 million to the federal government and revamp its policies and procedures. The arrangement is the result of an investigation into “filings of misleading pleadings, affidavits and mortgage assignments in state and federal courts” according to the Oct. 6 announcement. “In mortgage foreclosure proceedings, there are no excuses for sloppy practices that could lead to someone mistakenly losing their home,” said Manhattan U.S. […]

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HSBC Restarts Foreclosure Activity

HSBC Bank USA and HSBC Finance Corp. have restarted some of their mortgage foreclosures in New York State and certain other markets, about 11 months after the bank suspended home seizures in the wake of national controversy industrywide over improper foreclosure paperwork. Spokesman Neil Brazil said foreclosures have “resumed on a limited basis in certain geographies where we are satisfied that enhanced procedures are correctly in place.” He said those geographies included New York State but didn’t specify other areas of the country. “HSBC has a strong commitment to home preservation and regards foreclosure as a last resort,” Brazil said. […]

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Fannie Mae Ignored Robo-Signing Abuses in Florida Foreclosures

Federal mortgage giant Fannie Mae was told in 2006 about faulty court documents filed by Florida foreclosure attorneys acting on its behalf but did nothing to correct the practices, an inspector general found. A report issued Friday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General said an outside law firm Fannie Mae hired to investigate allegations of wrongdoing confirmed “unlawful” practices and stated that foreclosure attorneys were sacrificing accuracy for speed by filing false documents. After learning of the attorney misconduct in 2006, Fannie Mae failed to make any improvements in its oversight of the firms. “Strengthened law […]

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