Ohioans to Receive $43 Million Settlement from Mortgage Giant
Ohioans threatened by foreclosure will receive more than $43 million in mortgage adjustments as part of a $2.1 billion multi-state settlement with the nation’s fourth largest mortgage servicer, Ocwen Financial Corporation of Atlanta, and its subsidiary, Ocwen Loan Servicing.
Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia signed the agreement with the U.S. Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), which cited servicing misconduct by Ocwen, which specializes in high-risk mortgage loans, and two companies it later acquired, Homeward Residential Inc. and Litton Home Servicing LP. Documents filed in federal court say Ocwen initiated premature and unauthorized foreclosures, violated homeowners’ rights and protections, and used false and deceptive documents and affidavits, including “robo-signing.”
“Ocwen is yet another company who abused loan servicing standards against vulnerable Ohioans throughout the mortgage financing crisis,” state Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement. “Just as with the National Mortgage Settlement, I am pleased additional homeowners will receive much-needed relief as part of this settlement.”
Ocwen has agreed to $2 billion in first-lien principal reduction for troubled borrowers and $125 million in cash payments for nearly 185,000 foreclosed loans. Ohioans will receive an estimated $37,723,909 in first lien principal reductions and $6.6 million in cash payments for 6,630 foreclosed loans. The exact cash payment, currently expected to exceed $1,000 per borrower, depends on the number of consumers who submit valid claims. A settlement administrator will contact foreclosed homeowners regarding cash payments.
Ocwen has also agreed to comprehensive mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure standards. The Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, established in the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement with Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, will monitor Ocwen’s compliance with new homeowner protections.
“The Ocwen settlement does not grant immunity from criminal offenses and would not affect criminal prosecutions. The agreement does not prevent homeowners or investors from pursuing individual, institutional or class action civil cases,” said the AG’s office, adding that the agreement preserves the authority of state attorneys general and federal agencies to investigate and pursue other aspects of the mortgage crisis, including securities cases.
DeWine said the settlement agreement will be filed in Washington D.C.’s U.S. District Court as part of a consent judgment, which will have the authority of a court order with final approval from a judge.
Ohioans with questions on the Ocwen settlement or other foreclosure and mortgage servicing issues may contact the attorney general’s office at 800-282-0515. They may also contract Ocwen directly at 800-337-6695 or ConsumerRelief@Ocwen.com.
Story originally published in The Hannah Report on December 19, 2013. Copyright 2013 Hannah News Service, Inc.