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Mortgage

Ocwen speeds exodus from mortgage servicing with latest, massive MSR sale

Nationstar buys in bulk, expects more deals soon

In what’s becoming a weekly occurrence,Ocwen Financial (OCN) announced Tuesday that it will sell off another massive agency mortgage servicing rights portfolio.

The company is set to sell a $25 billion MSR portfolio to Nationstar Mortgage (NSM), just over a month after agreeing to sell another $9.8 billion portfolio of agency servicing to Nationstar.

According to Ocwen, this latest portfolio consists of approximately 142,000 loans owned by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

"This transaction, on top of the one announced in February between Ocwen and Nationstar, furthers our announced corporate strategy and demonstrates the strong working relationship we have developed with Nationstar," Ron Faris, Ocwen’s chief executive officer said.

The announcement is the latest in a string of agency MSR sales for Ocwen, which said in December that it plans to exit agency servicing entirely.

“We estimate the difference between our $1.1 billion book value and fair value of our agency MSRs is between $400 and $500 million dollars,” Faris said at the time.

“In addition to potentially realizing these gains, we have the potential to free up $200 to $300 million currently allocated to fund agency advances,” Faris added. “This strategy has the potential to free up over $1.7 billion of capital to invest in new businesses, to reduce leverage, or to return to shareholders over time.”

Earlier this month, Ocwen said that it is “on track” to sell agency MSRs for approximately $55 billion in unpaid principal balance in the next six months for prices “significantly above” its estimated carrying value.

As part of that plan, Ocwen announced last week that it agreed to sell a $9.6 billion mortgage servicing rights portfolio to Green Tree Servicing, a subsidiary of Walter Investment Management (WAC).

That announcement came on the heels of reports that Ocwen intended to sell a $45 billion portfolio of agency servicing to JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

According to Ocwen, the latest sale to Nationstar is subject to a definitive agreement and requires Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Nationstar CEO Jay Bray said that the deal might not be the last one between the two companies.

"This transaction builds upon our strong track record of portfolio acquisitions while serving the needs of homeowners, and we look forward to expeditiously closing and boarding this portfolio," Bray said. "We will continue to work cooperatively with Ocwen as they evaluate the sale of additional agency portfolios and look forward to continuing discussions with all counterparties."

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal and expect the transaction to close before mid-year. 

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