Layoffs at Baum foreclosure firm to occur in February: New York labor records
The mass layoff at the default services law firm Steven J. Baum P.C. will occur on Feb. 20 and will include employees in Amherst and Westbury, N.Y., according to employment documents filed with the state of New York. A Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter to the New York Department of Labor provides additional detail on the firm, which announced via a press statement Monday that it would shut down. The firm said a total of 67 employees would be laid off in mid February in compliance with a law that requires a 60-day notice of mass layoffs. That leaves 22 whose layoff date wasn't specified in the letter. Although the WARN notice, dated on Monday, said the entire firm wouldn't close, a company spokesman confirmed Tuesday that it will shut down as reported by HousingWire and other news outlets. The Baum firm is the second large default services firm to cease foreclosure operations in the wake of last fall's robo-signing scandal and the investigations it spawned. The closure notice came as Fannie Mae sent out a directive Monday that servicers are authorized to transfer Fannie Mae foreclosure or bankruptcy matters from the Baum firm to any other retained attorney network firm in New York. In March, the Law Offices of David J. Stern in Plantation, Fla., one of the largest foreclosure firms in the nation, ceased foreclosure work. Last month, the Baum firm agreed to pay the Department of Justice $2 million and change its practices to resolve a probe of faulty foreclosure filings. In April, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed the firm. At the time, Baum said he was cooperating fully with Schneiderman's investigation. In a public relations disaster, a New York Times column reported late October that the Baum firm held a Halloween party last year during which employees dressed as foreclosed-upon homeowners. Write to Kerry Curry. Follow her on Twitter @communicatorKLC.