Feds go after mortgage servicer


By Frank Lewis - flewis@civitasmedia.com



Of the 675 complaints lodged against Ocwen Financial Corporation in Ohio, only one was from Scioto County, but U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is applauding action taken against Ocwen by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

The CFPB alleges that Ocwen, one of the nation’s largest nonbank mortgage servicers, for years “engaged in significant and systemic misconduct at nearly every stage of the mortgage servicing process.” Ocwen has been the subject of several enforcement actions and more than 23,000 CFPB complaints, including 675 complaints from Ohioans, including three in Lawrence County, two in Jackson County and one in Ross County.

Brown is the Ranking Member of the Banking Committee, which has oversight jurisdictions over CFPB. The Bureau alleges that Ocwen’s years of widespread errors, shortcuts, and runarounds cost some borrowers money and others their homes. Ocwen allegedly botched basic functions like sending accurate monthly statements, properly crediting payments, and handling taxes and insurance. Allegedly, Ocwen also illegally foreclosed on struggling borrowers, ignored customer complaints, and sold off the servicing rights to loans without fully disclosing the mistakes it made in borrowers’ records. The Florida Attorney General took a similar action against Ocwen today in a separate lawsuit. Many state financial regulators are also independently issuing cease-and-desist and license revocation orders against Ocwen for escrow management and licensing issues today.

“Time and again, big banks and mortgage servicers have taken advantage of millions of hardworking homeowners who are struggling to keep up with their mortgages,” Brown said. “This action sends an important message that this kind of outrageous abuse of homeowners won’t be tolerated. This is yet another example of why working families need a strong and independent CFPB.”

The largest number of complaints came from Cuyahoga County which registered 117 complaints, followed by Franklin County with 60 and Hamilton County with 41.

“Ocwen has repeatedly made mistakes and taken shortcuts at every stage of the mortgage servicing process, costing some consumers money and others their homes,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. “Borrowers have no say over who services their mortgage, so the Bureau will remain vigilant to ensure they get fair treatment.”

By Frank Lewis

flewis@civitasmedia.com

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.