One of the largest foreclosure mills in the country, Steven J. Baum, P.C., in Amherst, New York is required to pay $2 million and make significant reforms as a result of a settlement agreement reached on October 6, 2011. Most significantly, Baum employees may no longer sign mortgage assignments as officers of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”).
Tens of thousands of homeowners have lost their homes in cases where Baum employees signed mortgage assignments as officers of MERS. In most cases, these employees assigned mortgages to mortgage-backed trusts so that the trusts could foreclose; even though such transfers did not take place on the dates and in the manner set forth on the Baum assignments.
These Baum Assignments appear throughout the New York courts, but often in the Courts of other states as well. Two million is also the amount paid by the Law Offices of Marshall Watson in Florida, whose associates engaged in similar practices of signing as MERS officers, assigning mortgages after foreclosure actions were initiated.
This is a first-of-its-kind settlement and further relief may be forthcoming, from both criminal prosecutions, the NY Bar, and from private class action and RICO lawsuits brought by private litigants.
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Foreclosure defense attorney, Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on this topic or on the topic of foreclosure, please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.