NY foreclosure firm under fire

December 08, 2010 02:08PM

A New York foreclosure law firm has been fined and sued for its actions during the housing crisis, with one judge comparing its deeds to something out of the “Twilight Zone.” Last month, Steven J. Baum PC — which reportedly processes about half the foreclosures in New York State — was ordered by the Nassau County District Court to pay $14,532.50 in legal fees and a $5,000 fine, according to Bloomberg News. Judge Scott Fairgrieve said that when Paul Raia refused to vacate a Garden City co-op after foreclosure, the firm filed an eviction petition that misidentified the lender. “Falsities were contained in five paragraphs out of only 10 paragraphs in the entire petition,” Fairgrieve wrote. The firm has also been accused of overcharging, filing false documents and representing parties on both sides of a mortgage transfer. These questionable actions come at a time when all 50 U.S. state attorneys general are investigating whether banks, loan servicers and law firms properly prepared documents to justify hundreds of thousands of foreclosures. [Bloomberg]