Maryland also banned Ocwen from operating in the state.

Housingwire:

Maryland’s action, taken by the state’s Commissioner of Financial Regulation, is, in the words of a HousingWire tipster, a “doozy.”

Maryland’s cease-and-desist order, which can be read in full here, presents a laundry list of Ocwen’s supposed failings, including the company’s “failure to cooperate” with examiners from the Multi-State Mortgage Committee, Ocwen’s alleged unlicensed servicing activity in Maryland, issues with the REALServicing platform that Ocwen uses (issues with REALServicing were also cited by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which took its own action against Ocwen last week), various states’ enforcement actions against Ocwen, and a cavalcade of other issues.

Because of these issues, Maryland partially “summarily suspended” the mortgage lender licenses of Ocwen Mortgage Servicing, Ocwen Loan Servicing, Ocwen Financial Solutions Private Limited, Ocwen Business Solutions, Homeward Residential, Liberty Home Equity Solutions.

Under those suspensions, Ocwen and its related companies are prohibited from acquiring new mortgage servicing rights for Maryland mortgages. The companies must also suspend “any and all” new agreements to subservice Maryland mortgages and is also ordered to not retain the servicing for any newly originated Maryland mortgages.

One of the most significant stipulations of the Maryland action is that Ocwen is ordered to “immediately begin the process of migrating loans off the REALServicing platform,” and is required to provide a report to the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation on its progress on a monthly basis.

Ocwen and the related companies are also ordered to suspend “any and all” stock repurchases “during the course of this administrative action.”

Ocwen is also required to provide a written plan to the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation that demonstrates how the company will remain a “going concern” for one year.

Ocwen is also orders to develop new payment plans for its executives that “better align with performance.”

Ocwen is also ordered to prepare a wind-down plan that illustrates what will happen if the company is no longer able to operate moving forward. According to Maryland’s order, that plan is required to provide details on the “orderly transfer” of all Maryland servicing rights should Ocwen fail.

N.J. Town Pulls Public Funds From Wells Fargo

The city of East Orange in northern New Jersey has pulled public funds from Wells Fargo & Co. after lawmakers accused the bank of engaging in predatory-lending practices and exacerbating the city’s foreclosure crisis.

City officials said Wells Fargo holds 13% of the 439 mortgages currently in foreclosure in East Orange. City councilman Chris James said the bank forced people from their homes and then let the vacant properties fall into disrepair.

“We can’t have the city’s money, that’s from hard working people’s taxes, in this system,” said Mr. James, a Democrat who led the divestment push. Mr. James also pointed to Wells Fargo’s investment in the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline and last year’s revelation that bank employees had opened more than 2 million unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts to meet ambitious sales goals as additional reasons for cutting ties with the company.

Read on.

Navient will acquire approximately $6.9 billion in education loan assets from JPMorgan Chase

WILMINGTON, Del., April 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Navient (Nasdaq:NAVI), a leading asset management and business processing services firm announced today it has reached an agreement to purchase JPMorgan Chase’s (NYSE:JPM) approximately $6.9 billion education loan portfolio.

“We welcome our new customers, and we commit to delivering best-in-class support to ensure a seamless transition,” said Jack Remondi, president and CEO, Navient. “Leveraging our 43-year track record of helping borrowers succeed, we will provide ongoing assistance to help our new customers continue to successfully manage their education loans. The transaction delivers on our business strategy and is a win-win for our company and our customers.”

The portfolio is comprised of approximately $3.7 billion in federally guaranteed student loans, of which $1.6 are securitized, and approximately $3.2 billion in whole private education loans.

Read on.

North Carolina Slaps Ocwen with a Cease-and-Desist Letter

Trump signs memorandum on Dodd-Frank’s orderly liquidation authority

Housingwire:

Unlike a broader past executive order designed to roll back the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, the landmark legislation passed in wake of the financial crisis, Friday’s executive memorandum focused on the orderly liquidation authority part of Dodd-Frank.

From the USA Today piece:

Direct the Treasury Secretary not to use orderly liquidation authority to bail out insolvent financial institutions, reigniting the debate over a key provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Critics have said that provision could actually allow banks to take more risks than they ordinarily would, and Trump wants to re-examine whether court-supervised bankruptcy would be a better way to wind down failing banks.

“It doesn’t sound like much, but it is,” Trump said on signing the directive. “That’s a biggie.”

Here’s a detailed breakdown of Ocwen’s new restrictions by state

Massachusetts put Ocwen out of business. Here are the rest of the states..

Housingwire:

Below is a list of the remaining states with relevant passages about each state’s restrictions on Ocwen:

ArkansasArkansas Securities Commissioner, B. Edmond Waters, issued a press release in connection with a cease and desist order issued against Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC and Ocwen Mortgage Servicing, Inc. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC and Ocwen Mortgage Servicing, Inc. are ordered to cease and desist from acquiring new mortgage servicing rights and originating new mortgage loans. The order prohibits the acquisition of mortgage servicing rights and the origination of mortgage loans until the company is able to prove it can appropriately manage its borrower mortgage escrow accounts.

ConnecticutThe Commissioner finds that the public welfare requires immediate action in order to prevent irreparable and immediate harm to Connecticut borrowers and the necessity of a temporary order requiring Ocwen to cease and desist from violating the laws cited herein, pursuant to Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in that, since December 2013, State Mortgage Regulators, including this Department, have been concerned about Ocwen’s mortgage servicing practices including, but not limited to, the misapplication of borrower payments and inaccurate escrow accounting and statements, and that the recent Multi-State Examination and CT Examination indicate that these issues have not been resolved, but rather may be exacerbated.  In addition, Connecticut borrowers have no ability to select a different mortgage servicer to remedy such persistent and pervasive errors by Ocwen.  Considering the potential harm to Connecticut borrowers and Ocwen’s inability to provide sufficient information concerning its existing borrower escrow accounts, the Commissioner finds it imperative that Ocwen cease from acquiring new mortgage servicing rights in connection with Connecticut residential mortgage loans for which it would have to maintain escrow accounts, and acquiring or originating new Connecticut residential mortgage loans serviced by Ocwen for which it would have to maintain escrow accounts, until it can ensure that the escrow accounts of its existing residential mortgage loan servicing portfolio in Connecticut are properly reconciled and that all Connecticut borrowers’ monies are maintained in segregated deposit or trust accounts for the benefit of such Connecticut borrowers.

District of ColumbiaThe majority of the orders prohibit the acquisition of new mortgage servicing rights and the origination of new mortgage loans until the company is able to prove it can appropriately manage its existing mortgage escrow accounts and not further harm consumers. Some orders also require Ocwen to cease any ongoing unlicensed activity.

FloridaFiled a separate lawsuit over Ocwen’s servicing practices.

HawaiiThe Notice of Charges and Proposed Order prohibits the acquisition of mortgage servicing rights and the origination of mortgage loans until the company is able to prove it can appropriately manage its consumer mortgage escrow accounts. The Notice of Charges and Proposed Order also demands Ocwen to cease illegal unlicensed activity that is believed to be occurring in Hawaii.

IdahoThe department’s order prohibits Ocwen from violating Idaho law in the handling of consumer escrow accounts. Managing the money that borrowers remit as part of their monthly mortgage payments is critical to the business of a mortgage servicer, and the department’s order requires Ocwen to accurately and lawfully fulfill that function when dealing with Idaho borrowers’ mortgage payments.

IllinoisA search of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation did not show record of Illinois’ actions against Ocwen.

MaineOcwen shall immediately cease acquiring new mortgage servicing rights, and acquiring or originating new residential mortgages serviced by Ocwen, until Ocwen can show it is a going concern by providing a financial analysis that encompasses all of the liabilities Ocwen currently maintains, as well as liabilities it has knowledge it will incur in the course of its business; Ocwen shall immediately cease from acquiring new mortgage servicing rights, and acquiring or originating new residential mortgages serviced by Ocwen, until Ocwen can provide the state regulators with a reconcilement of its escrow accounts showing that consumer funds are appropriately collected, properly calculated, and disbursed accurately and timely.

MississippiOLS shall immediately cease acquiring new mortgage servicing rights, and acquiring or originating new residential mortgages serviced by OLS, until Ocwen can show it is a going concern by providing a financial analysis that encompasses all of the liabilities Ocwen currently maintains, as well as liabilities it has knowledge it will incur in the course of its business; OLS shall immediately cease from acquiring new mortgage servicing rights, and acquiring or originating new Mississippi residential mortgages serviced by OLS, until OLS can provide the DBCF with a third party audit of its escrow accounts associated with any Mississippi residential mortgage loans demonstrating that consumer escrow funds are appropriately collected, properly calculated, and disbursed accurately and timely; and make any and all corrections of whatever type necessary to remedy all mistakes, errors, and improprieties occurring in the past due to OLS’s Actions.

MontanaThe order prohibits Ocwen from acquiring new mortgage servicing rights until the company is able to establish that it can appropriately manage its Montana escrow accounts. Over the past three years, the Montana Division of Banking and Financial Institutions has handled 16 complaints against Ocwen and required Ocwen to credit $51,368.56 to Montana borrowers. Division officials will now focus on assisting borrowers who currently make mortgage payments to Ocwen.

NevadaThe majority of orders, including the order issued by the Nevada Division of Mortgage Lending, prohibit the acquisition of mortgage servicing rights and the origination of mortgage loans until the company is able to prove it can appropriately manage its existing mortgage escrow accounts and prevent harm to consumers.

North Carolina Lead state in announcing restrictions.

South CarolinaA search of the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions – Consumer Finance Division did not show record of South Carolina’s actions against Ocwen.

TennesseeThe Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions (“Department”) issued today an enforcement action against Ocwen Loan Servicing to prohibit the company from acquiring new mortgage servicing rights or originating mortgage loans in Tennessee until it provides the Department with a plan to demonstrate an ability to operate in a sound manner.

TexasA search of the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending did not show record of Texas’ actions against Ocwen.

West VirginiaA search of the West Virginia Division of Finance did not show record of West Virginia’s actions against Ocwen.

WisconsinThe majority of orders prohibit the acquisition of new mortgage servicing rights and the origination of mortgage loans until the company is able to prove it can appropriately manage its existing mortgage escrow accounts and not further harm consumers. Ocwen conducts mortgage loan servicing for approximately 1.5 million consumers nationwide, including about 13,500 in Wisconsin.

WyomingA search of the Wyoming Division of Banking did not show record of Wyoming’s actions against Ocwen.

Wells Fargo’s Board Investigation of Itself Amounts to a Farce

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News and explains how the Wells Fargo scandal is emblematic of the bank’s corporate culture and that the fined executives are only scapegoats. You can view the video with a transcript here.

Source: New Economic Perspectives