Massachusetts Foreclosure Mill Connolly, Geaney, Ablitt & Willard In Financial Disarray And Facing Eviction

Brandon Gee, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

A law firm that profited for years by helping banks foreclose on Massachusetts homeowners is learning what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the boot.

Woburn-based Connolly, Geaney, Ablitt & Willard employed approximately 150 people earlier this year and, at one point, billed up to $100,000 a day, according to internal documents and emails obtained by Lawyers Weekly.

Now the well-known foreclosure firm is facing eviction following several tumultuous months that saw forensic accountants investigating its books and the firm bouncing checks, failing to pay employee insurance premiums, and laying off the majority of its lawyers, paralegals and other staff en masse. Meanwhile, a Florida whistleblower lawsuit against the firm is scheduled to go to trial later this year.

Many of the problems surfaced with the departure of the firm’s chief financial officer, Robert F. Feige, in February. Feige’s checkered past includes numerous allegations and findings of financial misdeeds. For example, a federal consent judgment in 2009 required him to restore more than $25,000 to Michael Benes Communications’ 401(k) plan and barred him from overseeing retirement plans in the future. The U.S. Department of Labor had accused Feige of failing “to forward employee salary deferrals to the plan and to take prudent steps to collect contributions owed to the plan,” according to a DOL summary of the case.

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