A few weeks after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Ocwen Financial Corporation (OCN), Wellington Management is pulling most of its stake out of the company.
In an SEC filing, Wellington reports that it is down to 154,000 shares, or 0.12% of the company, down from its last report in February when Wellington held 7.1 million shares, or 5.23% of the company.
As reported at SeekingAlpha, “Amid a regulatory onslaught into its servicing practices and related-party deals, the former high-flier is off about 50% from a peak hit a little less than a year ago.”
In August, Moody’s downgraded Ocwen Loan Servicing’s servicer quality ratings as a primary servicer of subprime mortgage loans and as a special servicer of residential mortgage loans from SQ2- to SQ3+.
Moody’s rates servicers’ quality based on its view of the servicer’s ability to prevent or mitigate asset pool losses “across changing markets” on a scale from SQ1 (strong) to SQ5 (weak).
Additionally, Moody’s lowered its rating of Ocwen’s loan administration functions from “above average” to “average.”
In the new report from Moody’s, the ratings agency cites the subpoena Ocwen received in June from the Securities and Exchange Commission over the convoluted relationship between Ocwen and its affiliated companies, Altisource Residential (RESI), Altisource Asset Management Corp (AAMC), Altisource Portfolio (ASPS), and Home Loan Servicing Solutions (HLSS), among the reasons for lowering Ocwen’s ratings.
The subpoena was revealed in an August SEC filing from Ocwen.
In the filing, Ocwen stated that it received an SEC subpoena on June 12, in which the SEC requested “production of various documents relating to our business dealings with Altisource, HLSS, AAMC and Altisource Residential and the interests of our directors and executive officers in these companies.”
Moody’s also notes the ongoing investigation into Ocwen’s business dealings by the New York Department of Financial Services as another concern.
The NYDFS has been looking into Ocwen’s business since February, when it sent a letter to Ocwen’s general counsel about the company’s dealings with its affiliates.