Mortgage Servicing Fraud
occurs post loan origination when mortgage servicers use false statements and book-keeping entries, fabricated assignments, forged signatures and utter counterfeit intangible Notes to take a homeowner's property and equity.
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William A. Roper, Jr.
In yet another delightful decision by Kings County NY Supreme Court Justice Arthur SHACK, the Court admonishes the Steven Baum Law Firm for including a consumer debt caution in a letter to the Court and then dismissed a case without prejudice upon the plaintiff's withdrawal of its applicatioin for an order of reference.

The case is Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Zelouf, decided TODAY:
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Zelouf, 2011 NY Slip Op 50212(U), NY Supreme Court for Kings County (23 Feb 2011)
In its cover letter to the Court, the Baum law firm included this threatening caution:
"[t]he law firm of Steven J. Baum, P.C. and the attorneys whom it employs are debt collectors who are attempting to collect a debt. Any information obtained by them will be used for that purpose."
Justice SCHACK was NOT amused!

The central issue though, was Wells Fargo's withdrawal of its application for an order of reference.  Its seems that the Baum law firm wasn't prepared to furnish the new attorney's affirmation now required by the New York Court of Appeals (the law firm wouldn't swear that its allegations and evidence were truthful).  So the Baum firm wanted to simply withdraw the motion for the order of reference while it contemplated how to clean up its no doubt fabricated evidence.

Justice SCHACK took the position that if the plaintiff wasn't prepared to furnish the attorney affirmation and move the case forward that the case disn't belong on the docket and the correct procedure was to dismiss the case entirely.  And by order he did so, without prejudice, sending the plaintiff back to "Go" without collecting $200.

The plaintiff will have to refile, reserve and begin this case again from its inception!

It should probably also be noted that this case was filed in 2009 and is already almost two years old.  And the dwell time on dockets is increaing rather than decreasing.  So it seems most likely that the case will ulitmately be determined in 2012 or 2013.

Isn't it about time that the taxpayers DEMAND the firing of the Baum law firm from ALL Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac foreclosures?  Why is taxpayer money being used to subsidize this crooked and unethical law firm?
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Firm Dominates Foreclosures, but Faces Growing Criticism

Attorneys who represent lenders bringing foreclosures are "an easy target for criticism" in the current economic climate, says Steven J. Baum, who runs by far the largest New York state firm offering services to what its website calls the "default industry."

Indeed, Baum and his firm, Steven J. Baum, P.C., have faced increasing criticism with a surge in foreclosures sought by client lenders, who have been struggling to mop up the financial debris from the burst housing bubble.

The once-obscure Buffalo-area firm has become a fixture in courthouses throughout the state. Last year, it sought judicial action in 17,620 foreclosure cases, nearly 40 percent of the 46,572 reported by the court system. (The statewide total has more than doubled from the 22,601 recorded in 2005).

While Baum's business has soared, however, his firm has been reviled as a "foreclosure mill" that tramples on the rights of homeowners.

Critics claim the Baum firm's high-volume practice makes it prone to error and inconsistencies. Adversaries accuse it of "sloppy" work, inadequate documentation for the actions it brings and poor communications. One federal suit even accuses it of knowingly filing "false and fraudulent" court documents.

Several judges have faulted the Baum firm's lawyers for what the judges said was the firm's failure to prove its clients owned properties on which they were seeking to foreclose -- an area that has been muddied by "securitization" of mortgages and their serial assignment from one institution to another.
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Bob G
It is very important for pro se litigants to take a deep breath before jumping to any conclusion regarding the applicability of a statute.  RPAPL is a prime example. Carefully parse the sentence referenced for its application to a foreclosure action:

Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL) § 1321 allows the Court in a foreclosure action, upon the default of the defendant or defendant's admission of mortgage payment arrears, to appoint a referee "to compute the amount due to the plaintiff."

The take-way is (1) they have to prove that you defaulted (or admitted so), and (2) that the money is actually due to a plaintiff, and (3) that they are that plaintiff to whom the money is due.

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