Ocwen to securitize FHA mortgages
A special vehicle put together by subprime mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp. (OCN) plans to acquire government-backed loans soon and package them into bonds for investors.
Ocwen and its former asset management firm Altisource built Correspondent One last year. The vehicle will buy mortgages originated by Lenders One, which Ocwen estimates wrote 8% of all home loans in the U.S. last year. Lenders One is a national alliance of mortgage bankers, correspondent lenders and suppliers of mortgage products and services.
Correspondent One will also acquire Federal Housing Administration mortgages soon for future securitizations, Ocwen disclosed to investors in its second quarter filing. Currently, roughly 98% of FHA loans are securitized through Ginnie Mae bonds.
The company said Correspondent One acquired roughly $17 million in conventional loans from Lenders One in the first half of 2012.
"Correspondent One has seen significant, positive environmental changes in the correspondent lending market. There has been a contraction in correspondent lending," Ocwen said, alluding to recent exits by Bank of America (BAC), Ally Financial and others.
In July, Ocwen also began setting up agreements to purchase servicing on newly originated loans. Under the arrangements with undisclosed firms, lenders would sell the loan to either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or issue a Ginnie Mae security backed by FHA loans. The servicing on those loans would automatically transfer to Ocwen.
The company serviced nearly $128 billion in mortgages as of June 30, nearly double the $70 billion portfolio it held one year prior.
The funding pipeline for Correspondent One and these special arrangements reached nearly $195 million at the end of July, Ocwen said.
Ginnie may raise its minimum net-worth requirement for issuers of its FHA-backed mortgage bonds, American Banker reported this week. Smaller lenders are becoming shut out and could turn to more creative and private deals like the one Ocwen has set up in order to fund their new loans.