Foreclosure lawyer under investigation, Auburn woman speaks out

Steven J. Baum

Marie Treat is happy to learn that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating a Buffalo law firm for questionable strong-arm tactics in its handling of thousands of foreclosures in New York State. Treat says the Steven J. Baum law firm put her through two and a half years of unnecessary anguish when it tried to foreclose on her home in Auburn beginning in 2007.

Treat claims the firm, acting on behalf of the Wells Fargo Bank and America's Servicing Company , refused to acknowledge receipt of mortgage payments and kept increasing the value of her home when she tried to refinance through another bank. Treat credits CNY Central's Jim Kenyon for exposing her complaints in 2009 and 2010 which she feels caused the Baum law firm to back off its foreclosure proceedings.

The Attorney General's office has reportedly subpoenaed records of the Baum law firm, which handled 50,000 foreclosures in New York State since 2007. Officially the Attorney General has no comment, but a source with knowlege of the probe tells Kenyon that Eric Schneiderman wants to expose what the Baum law firm did to many homeowners during the foreclosure crisis.

Schneiderman has apparently backed off a nationwide settlement between 50 State Attorneys General and a number of large banks for fear that the settlement would allow the banks to cover up how they allegedly mishandled foreclosures.

In response to the investigation, CNY Central received an email statement: "Steven J. Baum P.C. is fully cooperating with the Attorney General's office into this matter and is confident that the Attorney General will find no wrongdoing by the company."

Treat is convinced investigators will find wrongdoing. After our stories aired, she says she was contacted by a number of other homeowners who had similar experiences. She says she has been in touch with the Attorney General's office but will not elaborate.

Have you had any similar dealings with Wells Fargo, America's Servicing Company, or the Steven J. Baum law firm? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.

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