Saturday, February 11, 2012

Foreclosure and 'Home Retention': a new firm by Ex-Baum Lawyers

Two attorneys from one of New York's largest - and most notorious -foreclosure firms have set up their own shop in suburban Buffalo with 18 attorneys and counting, and they have plans for a downstate satellite office on Long Island.

Steven J. Baum PC shut its doors in November, following a rocky half year that included probes of how the firm handled foreclosures by New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

The likely death knell: a New York Times column that mentioned a Halloween party where some firm employees came dressed as foreclosed-upon homeowners. (See our handy timeline here)

Now two former Baum lawyers, Adam Gross and Amy Polowy, have teamed up with another attorney, Linda Orlans, of Michigan, to form Gross, Polowy & Orlans LLC. The Buffalo News has the full report from upstate here.

So what exactly will the new firm do?

Here's one clue, from the outgoing message on the main office number: "Please be advised this office is a debt collector, and is attempting to collect a debt. Any information obtained may be used for that purpose."

Gross was emphatic that the new entity - while retaining some of his clients from the Baum days - is in no way a Baum spinoff.

"The response has been very positive by the lender community, the courts and our public advocates as well," Gross told Law Blog on Friday.

The firm represents residential mortgage lenders and servicers, he said. "We will be in the foreclosure business, because that's one of the needs," Gross said. But he said the firm also plans to focus on "home retention" - representing those same lenders and servicers when arranging plans to prevent homes from being foreclosed on.

"I can take what I learned on my career up to this date, and expand upon it, better it and present the best service to my clients and the best legal work to the courts, and the best service to the communities and the homeowners of New York state," said Gross, who is still scouting for office space in Western Long Island.

Take note, young attorneys - they're still hiring.

By Jennifer Smith

Source: Wall Street Journal

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