Stephen L. Baum, the foreclosure mill law firm which generated controversy recently when pictures of a past Halloween party showed employees dressed as homeless people and foreclosure victims, will close its doors, they announced today.
The party, while perhaps crude and thoughtless, didn’t cause the real problem. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently dropped the firm from their list of approved lawyers to use in foreclosure:
Last month, the Baum firm settled a federal claim relating to alleged mishandling mortgage filings on behalf of his clients. Baum agreed that the firm would pay $2 million in fines and promised to change business practices at the firm.
The Baum agency was also working under a cloud of suspicion concerning allegedly misleading pleadings and affidavits, some of which led to people having their homes foreclosed under what was deemed unfair circumstances […]
But, the largest blow came on Nov. 10 when Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae cut off all business with the Baum firm because of its business practices.
As for the party, the firm of Steven J. Baum is described as a “merciless” foreclosure mill, subject of a Justice Department investigation, and defendant in at least two class-action lawsuits over its shady foreclosure practices.
In one photo, two women with fake dirt on their faces hold a sign that says “3rd party squatter. I lost my home and was never served!!”; in another, a woman holding a beer bottle in a paper bag pushes a shopping cart with a sign saying “will work for food.”