After being blacklisted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, troubled foreclosure firm Steven J. Baum PC announced on Monday that it would be closing.
The law firm handled a substantial number of foreclosures in New York State, working with major lenders including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. But it came under fire for allegedly mishandling documents and improperly conducting foreclosure actions. It recently settled with the U.S. Attorney's office for $2 million without admitting wrongdoing, and lawyers had been previously fined by the Nassau Country District Court Judge.
The New York Times published photos of the an office Halloween party in which workers dressed up as foreclosure victims, sparking an outrage from readers. Baum later apologized to the Associated Press, but the photos tarnished the company.
The company cited a slowdown in business for the shutdown.
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 Steven Baum, owner of the firm, in a statement.
Steven J. Baum has around 67 employees in Amherst, N.Y. and 22 employees in Westbury, Long Island.