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Ocwen buys $15B in Chase mortgage servicing rights

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Ocwen Financial Corp. (OCN) bought the mortgage servicing rights to 82,000 subprime mortgages from JPMorgan Chase (JPM) with an unpaid principal balance of $15 billion, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday. Ocwen will pay $950 million for the MSRs, of which $625 million the servicing giant will finance. The deal represents MSRs on 2% of the entire JPMorgan mortgage servicing portfolio. The transaction is expected to close Jan. 1, 2012, but it phases of it could close before then. The Florida-based company is the largest mortgage servicer of subprime loans in the U.S. Ocwen bought Saxon Mortgage Services from Morgan Stanley (MS) in October. In June, it acquired Litton Loan Servicing from Goldman Sachs (GS). And in September 2010, Ocwen purchased HomEq Servicing from Barclays Capital (BCS). Including the deal from Chase, the servicing giant has accumulated the servicing rights to $110.8 billion in total unpaid principal balance on subprime loans from the four deals. During a third-quarter conference call with investors, Ocwen CEO Roger Faris said the company would be going after more servicing rights after the Saxon deal. Analysts at Sterne Agee estimate the acquisition should show modest growth to the company's earnings per share over the first year and would go up "significantly" from there. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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