ineffective assignment | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

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Liening on NY homeowners

Chase and law firm draw scrutiny over tactics in foreclosure cases


Last Updated: 12:01 PM, February 28, 2010
Posted: 12:54 AM, February 28, 2010

As the mortgage melt down paralyzed the economy across the US and throughout New York State, one company in the center of the storm had all the business it could handle.The little-known law firm of Steven J. Baum PC, which is based in suburban Buffalo, NY, and represents dozens of banks in matters of failed mortgages, last year filed a staggering 12,551 foreclosure lawsuits in New York City and the suburbs, which works out to about 48 a day.

The foreclosure mill is one of a handful of super-regional law firms used by the country’s banks — and its lawyers appear to have practiced in every county courthouse and bankruptcy court from Staten Island to Plattsburgh and from Montauk to Niagara Falls.

But as the volume of its workload increased, so did complaints from opposing lawyers and judges that some of the thousands of lawsuits contained questionable legal work.

One bank caught in the crosshairs is JPMorgan Chase Bank, one of the largest mortgage lenders in the city.

Last month, Diana Adams, the US Trustee in Manhattan, filed papers in court supporting punitive financial sanctions against the bank for a string of bad behavior, including seeking to foreclose on homes after they rejected the attempts to make on-time payments and for failing to prove they own the mortgage on a home even as they move to seize it.

Chase filed documents that appear to be patently false or misleading, Adams said in the filing.

Although Chase has recently taken steps to address concerns expressed by courts in connection with other cases, based on Chase’s past and current conduct it needs to be sanctioned, Adams wrote.

A spokesperson for Chase had no comment on the US Trustee’s action.

The complaints against Baum — on the record during hearings, in legal pleadings and, eventually, borne out in judges’ decisions — include:

* Not divulging mortgage payments: In the White Plains bankruptcy of Blanca Garcia, Baum’s firm filed papers claiming Garcia was in arrears — when she actually made payments and showed the court her receipts, but they were not credited to her account. When Garcia’s lawyer complained, Baum’s firm answered the claim but, the lawyer said in court papers, ignored the receipts and continued to claim the mortgage was in arrears.

* Creating questionable assignments: A Suffolk County judge took it upon himself to investigate a filing by Baum’s firm when it attempted to foreclose on the home of Gloria E. Marsh. “A careful review,” the judge wrote in a four-page order, “reveals a number of glaring discrepancies and unexplained issues of substance.”

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Law Office Of Steven J. Baum, reversed court decision, Steven J BaumComments (1)



Hasn’t this law firm learned their lesson…time and time again??

Homeowners’ hero judge slaps US Bank

Post staff for NYPOST
Last Updated: 4:42 AM, July 5, 2010
Posted: 12:44 AM, July 5, 2010

Brooklyn’s battling Judge Arthur M. Schack has struck again, giving a Brooklyn homeowner an Independence Day gift — freedom from foreclosure.

The judge, who has steadfastly pressed banks in foreclosure cases to prove they own the troubled mortgage and has tossed cases when banks have failed to do so, has again dismissed a foreclosure case — this time because the lawyer on the case, Steven J. Baum, represented the mortgage broker, the bank that bought the loan and the industry registration service serving as the nominee of the loan.

But Baum’s conflict of interest wasn’t the case’s only problem.

Judge Schack, in his decision, also found that the bank, US Bank, never should have filed the foreclosure action because of an “ineffective assignment of the subject mortgage and note to it.” In other words, it sold the mortgage, and the mortgage was securitized, leaving the company simply as the servicer — but it decided to try and take back the Crown Heights home anyway.

The Post has reported that the actions of the Baum firm in foreclosure cases has caught the eye of the US Trustee, the arm of the Justice Department responsible for monitoring the Bankruptcy Court.

Baum, a Buffalo-based foreclosure mill that filed 12,551 foreclosure actions in New York last year, has been scolded by judges for bringing foreclosure cases without proper documentation.

In this case, a Baum lawyer, Elpiniki Bechakas, signed papers claiming to be an executive of Mortgage Electronic Registration System, or MERS, which was given certain rights to the mortgages by the broker, Fremont Investment and Loan, while simultaneously representing Fremont and US Bank, which filed the foreclosure in July 2009.

“The Court is concerned that the concurrent representation by [the Baum firm] of both assignor MERS, as nominee for Fremont, and assignee plaintiff US Bank is a conflict of interest,” Schack wrote.

Photo Credit: CBS

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in case, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, judge arthur schack, MERS, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, robo signer, Steven J Baum, us bankComments (2)

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