Embattled Baum Law Firm To Shut Down

Embattled Baum Law Firm To Shut Down Steven J. Baum PC, the foreclosure-specializing law firm that has been at the center of a skein of recent controversies, has announced that it is going out of business.

According to combined media reports, the law firm will shut down its Amherst, N.Y.-based headquarters and its affiliate office in Westbury, N.Y. Eighty-nine employees will be laid off.

‘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 J. Baum, owner of the firm, in an email statement.

Earlier this month, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped the firm from their respective list of law firms that were eligible for handling foreclosures. Other major mortgage servicers, including Ally Financial and Bank of America Corp., have also dropped the firm.

The firm has been the subject of controversy for its handling of foreclosures, and it is being investigated by the New York Attorney General's office and the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The firm recently agreed to pay a $2 million settlement stemming from an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan, and it received additional negative publicity a few weeks ago following news reports that its staff dressed up in ragged costumes to ridicule foreclosed homeowners during a 2010 office Halloween party.

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