Tag Archives: Ocwen

Texas orders Ocwen to stop acquiring new mortgage servicing rights

The Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending recently ordered Ocwen Financial Corporation to cease and desist, adding its name to a growing list of states and regulators coming after the mortgage servicer over alleged violations of state and federal law.

According to the order, as first reported by Kristen Mosbrucker with the San Antonio Business Journal, “The Savings and Mortgage Lending Commissioner having determined Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, has engaged in, or is engaging in, or is about to engage in, acts or practices constitution violations of state and federal law and applicable regulations, hereby issues the following finding of facts and order to cease and desist.”

Read on.

Massachusetts sues Ocwen for “abusive” mortgage servicing practices

Ocwen fought back against Massachusetts’ regulations, asking a court to restrain the state’s cease and desist order because it would “cause significant harm” to its customers in the state.

But, the Division of Banks isn’t the only Massachusetts governmental entity that is now targeting Ocwen.

Recently, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that the state is suing Ocwen for widespread “abusive” mortgage servicing practices.

According to Healey’s office, Massachusetts’ lawsuit claims that Ocwen charged homeowners in the state for “unnecessary and expensive force-placed insurance policies, imposed excessive fees on delinquent borrowers, and failed to properly process escrow and insurance payments.”

Massachusetts’ complaint also claims that Ocwen failed to respond to borrower disputes about their accounts and to correct account errors.

Healey’s office alleges that Ocwen’s “servicing failures” increased Massachusetts’ borrowers’ mortgage and insurance payments, put borrowers at risk via lapses in insurance, and pushed borrowers into delinquency and foreclosure.

According to details from Healey’s office, Ocwen “has consistently fallen short” in its servicing operations in a number of ways, including (charges directly from Healey’s office):

  • Funneling fees and commissions: Ocwen arranged for commissions and other fees to be paid to companies related to Ocwen, even though those companies did little or no work, resulting in higher charges to Massachusetts borrowers
  • Improperly administering insurance premiums: Ocwen failed to disburse borrowers’ escrowed insurance premiums to insurers, causing their insurance policies to lapse, leaving them exposed to serious gaps in insurance coverage. The force-placed policies that Ocwen then puts in place are very expensive, carry high deductibles, and do not provide critical liability and personal property coverage
  • Unnecessary flood insurance: Ocwen force-placed borrowers in expensive flood insurance policies for time periods when properties were not in special hazard flood area and did not require flood insurance
  • Duplicative insurance policies: Ocwen force-placed certain borrowers who already had insurance coverage, either through their own homeowners’ insurance or through other policies that Ocwen itself had acquired on behalf of the borrowers
  • Charging inflated and duplicative default-related fees: Ocwen took advantage of struggling borrowers by ordering unnecessary and duplicative title search, property inspection and landscaping services and then passing the costs on to the borrower

Healey’s lawsuit also accuses Ocwen of overcharging borrowers and failing to give them the necessary information to understand or dispute inappropriate charges.

Read on.

OCWEN FILES MOTIONS FOR RESTRAINING ORDERS AND INJUNCTIONS AGAINST ILLINOIS AND MASSACHUSETTS MORTGAGE REGULATORS

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., April 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ocwen Financial Corporation, (NYSE:OCN) (Ocwen or the Company), today announced the filing of two emergency motions requesting immediate court action restraining the cease and desist orders brought by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Banking and the Commissioner of Banks of the Massachusetts Division of Banks.

As discussed in today’s legal filings, Ocwen believes that the Illinois and Massachusetts orders will cause significant harm to the consumers in those states, including potentially those consumers with pending mortgage applications, and those seeking loan modifications. Under these circumstances, Ocwen has a responsibility to its customers, shareholders, and employees to vigorously defend the Company. The allegations at issue do not arise out of a recent assessment of Ocwen’s business activities. Instead, they come from a 2015 multi-state examination of the Company’s mortgage servicing business by the Multi-State Mortgage Committee (MMC), which covered Ocwen’s activities from January 2013 to February 2015. The MMC concluded its examination well over a year ago, in December 2015.

Over the course of almost two years, Ocwen and the Company’s Board of Directors have been in regular communication with its state mortgage regulators, including those in Illinois and Massachusetts. During those communications, Ocwen shared information regarding the significant operational and programmatic enhancements that the Company has made. For example, as it relates to borrower escrow accounts, one of the primary areas of concern in the orders at issue, independent reviews have consistently confirmed Ocwen’s escrow practices are in line with common industry standards for timeliness and accuracy.

Read on.

Ocwen pulls a PHH: Asks court to declare CFPB unconstitutional, requests DOJ help

Ocwen Financial is pulling a PHH.

Just as PHH did recently, Ocwen is playing the unconstitutional card in its fight against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, asking the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida to declare the CFPB unconstitutional and toss out the CFPB’s lawsuit against the company.

Read on.

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.

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

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.