Baum fall throws NY foreclosures a curve
The implosion of the foreclosure-mill law firm of Steven J. Baum has thrown close to 10,000 New York families into legal limbo.
Baum announced last week that he was closing the firm after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-run mortgage organizations, said the law firm was no longer eligible to handle foreclosures.
The Baum firm, which is located in Buffalo, with a second office in Westbury, Long Island, notified the New York Department of Labor that all 67 employees would be laid off in mid-February. (By law, any firm has to give employees 60 days notice when issuing mass layoffs.)
Last week, along with the Baum firm announcing its closure notice, Fannie Mae sent a directive that mortgage servicers are authorized to transfer Fannie Mae foreclosure or bankruptcy matters from Baum to any other retained attorney network firm in New York.
Baum’s folding is the second default-services firm to cease foreclosure operations in the wake of last fall’s robo-signing scandal and the investigations it spawned.
In March, the David J. Stern law firm in Plantation, Fla., one of the largest foreclosure mills in the nation, ceased foreclosure work.
While some court observers speculate that, with the Baum firm’s closure, thousands of court cases will proceed with new counsel, that was not the case with the Stern shutdown.
Rest from the NY Post here…
Fannie Mae Directive below…