Ocwen reached a nationwide settlement relating to mortgage abuses in the marketplace. The details are outlined in the below article by Paul Gores of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“Wisconsin consumers will receive more than $13 million in reductions on mortgage principal and direct cash payments as the state’s share of a settlement with a mortgage servicer accused of misconduct and violating homeowners’ rights.
In all, Ocwen Financial Corp. of Atlanta and its subsidiary, Ocwen Loan Servicing, have agreed to a $2.1 billion state-federal settlement with Wisconsin, 48 additional states and other government entities, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the state Department of Financial Institutions said Thursday.
The settlement addresses servicing misconduct by Ocwen and two companies later acquired by Ocwen — Homeward Residential Inc. and Litton Home Servicing LP, state officials said.
Ocwen specializes in servicing high-risk mortgage loans. According to the complaint, the misconduct resulted in premature and unauthorized foreclosures, violations of homeowners’ rights and protections, and the use of false and deceptive documents and affidavits.
The settlement with the nation’s fourth-largest mortgage servicer is the result of a civil law enforcement investigation and initiative that includes state attorneys general, state mortgage regulators and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Through a court order, the settlement holds Ocwen accountable for past mortgage servicing and foreclosure abuses, provides relief to homeowners and stops future fraud and abuse, state officials said.
“With this settlement, we are holding another mortgage servicer accountable for unfair practices and working to make sure Wisconsin consumers are treated fairly in the future,” Van Hollen said in a statement.
In Wisconsin under the settlement, Ocwen is expected to provide troubled borrowers with an estimated $12 million in first-lien principal reductions, and 2,484 loans will be eligible to receive a cash payment. The payment amount, which depends on the number of consumers who submit valid claims, is projected to exceed $1,000.
The National Mortgage Settlement, a three-year agreement announced in 2012 with the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia, the federal government and five mortgage servicers — Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — has so far provided more than $51 billion in relief to distressed homeowners and created new servicing standards, state officials said. Wisconsin consumers have reaped more than $197 million in benefits, they said.
The final agreement with Ocwen, through a consent judgment, will be filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. It will take effect upon approval by the court.
Officials said Ocwen will contact borrowers regarding principal reduction eligibility, or borrowers may contact Ocwen to see whether they qualify under terms of the settlement at (800) 337-6695 or email@example.com.
A settlement administrator will contact qualified borrowers regarding cash payments. Eligible consumers include those foreclosed upon by Ocwen, Litton or Homeward from 2009 to 2011.
The state Office of Consumer Protection can be reached at (800) 998-0700 or (608) 266-1852 or online at http://www.doj.state.wi.us/dls/consumer-protection/joint-state-federal-mortgage-servicing-settlement.”