Saxon Mortgage bids to close mid-September
Morgan Stanley (MS) is said to be closing the window for eligible bids on its mortgage servicer, Saxon Mortgage, according to sources familiar with the process. The Wall Street investment bank put Saxon on the market in May and has been taking bids since. Saxon services about $28 billion in mortgages, down from $55 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to regulatory filings. Morgan Stanley would not comment on any pending deal, but sources tell HousingWire there are several offers already on the table. One name being dropped is Fortress Investment Group (FIG), which sources say is behind two separate bids in the mix. One has Fortress-owned Nationstar Mortgage trying to acquire Saxon. The other involves Fortress backing a bid from Ocwen Financial (OCN). Ocwen would seem to be a more natural fit at first glance, as Saxon already transferred mortgage servicing rights on about 38,000 predominately subprime loans, with an aggregate unpaid principal balance of about $6.9 billion, over to Ocwen Loan Servicing this past April. WL Ross & Co.-backed American Home Mortgage Servicing is also said to be in the mix. "These speculations are not far from the truth," according to a source familiar with the bidding process. Should the Ocwen bid be successful, the Florida-based company would be close to cracking the list of top 10 mortgage servicers. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @jacobgaffney.