Ocwen Enters Into Comprehensive Settlement With California Department of Business Oversight
California lifts the acquisition ban on mortgage servicing rights in California
Terminates engagement of independent auditor
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocwen Financial Corporation (NYSE:OCN) (Ocwen or the Company) today announced a comprehensive settlement and termination of the January 2015 Consent Order between Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC and the State of California Department of Business Oversight (DBO), without admitting any wrongdoing.
Under this settlement, the DBO will lift its prior restriction on Ocwen's ability to acquire mortgage servicing rights associated with California properties, and will terminate the engagement of the independent auditor, which has been in place under the prior Consent Order in California.
In addition, Ocwen has agreed to pay a cash settlement of $25 million to the DBO. As previously communicated, the Company has reserved for this settlement as of September 30, 2016. Ocwen will also provide an additional $198 million in debt forgiveness through loan modifications to existing California borrowers over a three year period, as permitted under various servicing agreements.
"Ocwen is pleased to have reached a comprehensive settlement with the DBO related to matters the agency raised, and we will quickly move forward to implement all terms associated with this agreement," commented Ron Faris, President and CEO of Ocwen. "The settlement resolves claims between Ocwen and the DBO without the Company admitting to any wrongdoing, and will allow us to focus on our business going forward, while reducing a significant expense by terminating the engagement of the independent auditor."
Ocwen is recognized as the national leader in responsible home retention through foreclosure prevention. Since January 1, 2008, Ocwen has granted a total of more than 720,000 loan modifications, many that included a principal reduction throughout the United States.
"Since 2008, Ocwen has helped more than 91,000 California homeowners avoid foreclosure through loan modification programs," added Mr. Faris. "A homeowner whose loan is serviced by Ocwen has a much better chance of avoiding foreclosure than if their loan is serviced by other large mortgage servicers. This has been confirmed by numerous independent third-party studies, which consistently find that Ocwen has a superior record helping borrowers bring their payments current, stay current, and repay their mortgage."
About Ocwen Financial Corporation
Ocwen Financial Corporation is a financial services holding company which, through its subsidiaries, originates and services loans. We are headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida, with offices throughout the United States and in the U.S. Virgin Islands and operations in India and the Philippines. We have been serving our customers since 1988. We may post information that is important to investors on our website (www.Ocwen.com).
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements may be identified by a reference to a future period or by the use of forward-looking terminology.
Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. Our business has been undergoing substantial change which has magnified such uncertainties. Readers should bear these factors in mind when considering such statements and should not place undue reliance on such statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. In the past, actual results have differed from those suggested by forward-looking statements and this may happen again.
Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: our servicer and credit ratings as well as other actions from various rating agencies, including the impact of downgrades of our servicer and credit ratings; adverse effects on our business as a result of regulatory investigations or settlements; reactions to the announcement of such investigations or settlements by key counterparties; increased regulatory scrutiny and media attention, uncertainty related to claims, due to rumors or otherwise, litigation and investigations brought by government agencies and private parties regarding our servicing, foreclosure, modification and other practices, including uncertainty related to past, present or future investigations and settlements with state regulators, the CFPB, State Attorneys General, the SEC, Department of Justice or HUD and actions brought under the False Claims Act by private parties on behalf of the United States of America regarding incentive and other payments made by governmental entities; any adverse developments in existing legal proceedings or the initiation of new legal proceedings; our ability to effectively manage our regulatory and contractual compliance obligations; our ability to contain and reduce our operating costs, including our ability to successfully execute on our cost improvement initiative; the adequacy of our financial resources, including our sources of liquidity and ability to sell, fund and recover advances, repay borrowings and comply with debt covenants, including the financial and other covenants contained in them; volatility in our stock price; the characteristics of our servicing portfolio, including prepayment speeds along with delinquency and advance rates; our ability to successfully modify delinquent loans, manage foreclosures and sell foreclosed properties; uncertainty related to legislation, regulations, regulatory agency actions, government programs and policies, industry initiatives and evolving best servicing practices; as well as other risks detailed in Ocwen's reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 and its current and quarterly reports since such date. Anyone wishing to understand Ocwen's business should review its SEC filings. Ocwen's forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and, we disclaim any obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
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