Embattled Ocwen expects another loss in 2017

by Ryan Smith23 Feb 2017
Ocwen is expecting to post a loss again in 2017 thanks to continued heat from regulators.

The nonbank has had a tough few years at the hands of regulators. A 2014 settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) cost the company $150 million in fines and restricted its ability to acquire mortgage servicing rights in bulk. And a recent settlement with the state of California cost the company $225 million in penalties.

The company posted a net loss of $199.4 million in 2016, $246.7 million in 2015 and $546 million on 2014. And it looks now like 2017 might mark the company’s fourth straight year of net losses, according to a HousingWire report.

Much of the problem is tied to Ocwen’s restriction from purchasing bulk servicing rights. The company’s settlement with California allows it to acquire MSRs in that state, but it’s still bound by the prohibition from the NYDFS. Ocwen CEO Ron Faris told investors Wednesday that ending the consent order with the agency will be a top priority this year, HousingWire reported.

“With the California settlement, we are one step closer to re-entering the bulk MSR market,” Faris said. “But progress must occur soon if we are ever able to make a difference.”

Faris told investors that Ocwen’s servicing portfolio had seen a significant decrease under the restrictions. However, he said that in that time the company has made significant leaps in the quality of its operations.

“We believe we have earned the right ti be allowed to compete again,” he said.

However, the embattled company isn’t out of the woods yet. Ocwen is currently facing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigation into its servicing practices. Faris said Wednesday that the company is expecting to post yet another loss in 2017.

“The regulatory risk and cost burden remains high,” Faris said.

Related stories:
CFPB probing Altisource over Ocwen relationship
Ocwen to pay $225 million over allegations of shoddy servicing


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