Ocwen reaches mortgage servicing settlement with Texas

Latest in string of settlement with state mortgage regulators

Another day, another mortgage servicing settlement for Ocwen Financial.

Recently, the nonbank has been on a settlement streak, reaching agreements with 20 of the 31 states that took regulatory actions against Ocwen earlier this year over alleged escrow issues and restricted Ocwen’s ability to acquire new mortgage servicing rights and originate new loans.

The first round of settlements included with Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. Then came New Mexico, Virginia, West Virginia; followed by Alabama and Minnesota; and most recently, Arkansas, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.

Now, it’s Texas’ turn.

Ocwen disclosed Thursday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it reached an agreement with Texas to remove the state’s mortgage servicing restrictions.

But, just like Ocwen’s previous settlements, this new agreement with Texas carries some conditions.

As with the previous settlements, Ocwen’s agreement with Texas prohibits the nonbank from acquiring any new residential mortgage servicing rights until April 30, 2018.

Ocwen also agreed to develop a plan to move away from its proprietary REALServicing platform, which is used to process and apply borrower payments, communicate payment information to borrowers, and maintain loan balance information.

Each of the states’ consent agreements, including the new one with Texas, restrict Ocwen from boarding new loans through REALServicing. Ocwen said that this restriction does not apply to loans already serviced on REALServicing, including modifications or loans that are converted to an arrangement where Ocwen acts as a subservicer.

Ocwen must also develop a new plan to “enhance” the way it handles consumer complaints.

Additionally, Ocwen must provide reports on its financial condition to the state for three years.

As with the previous agreements, Ocwen neither admitted nor denied liability. Ocwen also noted that the agreement does not include any monetary fines or penalties.

“Ocwen is pleased to have reached a resolution with Texas, which brings the total number of states where we have reached a resolution to 21,” Ocwen spokesperson John Lovallo said in a statement. “We continue to work cooperatively with the remaining 10 state regulatory agencies and two state attorneys general to reach acceptable resolutions.”

[Update: This article is updated to reflect the accurate number of jurisdictions that took action against Ocwen.]

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