Fitch: Servicing portfolio changes could increase post-Ocwen

by MPA14 Jan 2015
Portfolios of the largest U.S. RMBS servicers have seen little change of late, though that could change in 2015, according to Fitch Ratings in its latest U.S. RMBS servicer index.

Fitch observed little movement among the five largest bank and non-bank servicers in their portfolios of agency, non-agency, owned portfolio and third-party servicing. A primary driver of this is the reduced level of servicing transfer, MSR sale and subservicing transactions from banks to nonbanks in 2014.

However, servicing transfer activity is expected to pick up in 2015, according to Managing Director Roelof Slump. "We may see more portfolios change hands among RMBS servicers particularly once Ocwen Loan Servicing begins its announced withdrawal from agency servicing," said Slump.

Ocwen's portfolio of agency serviced loans stood at over $170 billion at the end of third quarter-2014 (3Q'14). Ocwen's ability to maintain licensing agreements in key states like California, which accounts for $98 billion of its servicing book, could also become a factor.

However, an exit by Ocwen from such important servicing segments could be prolonged due to the size of their portfolio and regulatory requirements. "The Ocwen portfolio change is probably the most significant one on the horizon, though larger trades and portfolio shifts could be more commonplace if and when industry regulatory concerns recede," said Slump.

Fitch's latest quarterly U.S. RMBS servicer index report represents the seventh in this series.


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