Although the timeline started way before the one cited in the WSJ, it is a decent recap of events of the past month…


The Demise of Steven J. Baum PC: A Chronology

Steven J. Baum PC, one of New York state’s largest foreclosure firms, is closing its doors.

The announcement Monday by the firm’s leader, Steven Baum, was not entirely surprising, given its recent history. Baum is one of several firms that represent banks and services trying to foreclose on the millions of homeowners who have defaulted since the housing bubble burst.

Click here for a Buffalo News report, here for a Bloomberg report, here for a story in Dealbook and here for a USA Today report.

Let’s do a quick chronology of the firm’s demise.

April 8: The New York Times reports that New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued subpoenas to Baum (the firm) and a related company. Baum (the man) says “the firm will cooperate with the attorney general in this matter. We are confident that after a full review by the attorney general they will find no wrongdoing.”

[A spokesman for the AG gave Law Blog this statement today: “While we cannot comment on ongoing investigations, Attorney General Schneiderman will continue to bring accountability to the firms responsible for the mortgage crisis, and put an end to the abusive foreclosure practices that have devastated families across the state.”]

Oct. 6: Baum agrees to pay $2 million to resolve a separate probe by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York into faulty foreclosure filings. The office investigated whether the firm filed misleading pleadings, affidavits and mortgage assignments in state and federal courts in New York. The agreement does not constitute a finding that Baum engaged in any unlawful practice or wrongdoing.

Oct. 28: The New York Times’ Joe Nocera pens a column about photos he received of firm employees dressed as foreclosed-upon homeowners at 2010 Halloween party.

Nov. 2: Steven J. Baum apologizes for “the inappropriate costumes worn by some of our employees at our Halloween Party in 2010. It was in extremely poor taste and I take full responsibility. I know people were extremely offended and people have every right to be upset with me and my firm.”

Rest from the WSJ here…

I told you those pictures would be his downfall…

Oh, and you all might want to get involved in the comments over at the WSJ. They are still blaming the “deadbeat” and are suggesting Baum did nothing wrong…