Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ocwen Loan Reviews Faulted by Monitor After Whistleblower Report

A federal monitor is investigating whether Ocwen Financial Corp. (OCN) is treating borrowers fairly after a whistleblower said the company may have improperly influenced which mortgages were picked for a compliance review.

Joseph Smith, who is overseeing a 2012 settlement with five lenders over flawed foreclosures, said he hired an outside accountant to review Ocwen’s loan servicing after becoming convinced the company’s self-reporting was unreliable. Workers picking loans for review weren’t independent from management as required by the court, he said in a report released today.

“I’m not saying everybody there did wrong,” Smith said in a telephone interview. “The best you could say about it was it was sloppy. It could be more.”

Smith's findings are the latest trouble for Ocwen, which has seen its stock plunge 60 percent this year amid heightened regulatory scrutiny and last month canceled an acquisition to expand its business. Benjamin Lawsky, head of New York’s Department of...

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Foreclosures Jump Across St. Louis Area, Nation

Sales Of Existing Homes Rise For Seventh Month In Row (Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Foreclosure activity jumped last month – both nationwide and in the St. Louis area – after three years of declines. According to RealtyTrac, foreclosures were up 16 percent nationally and 37 percent in the St. Louis area in May of 2015.

RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist says it’s not because more people are starting the foreclosure process, but because banks are repossessing homes that have been in the pipeline.

“The  banks were really gearing up for what I call a ‘spring cleaning’ of some of the distressed properties that have been just sitting around in the foreclosure pipeline for...

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FHA Charts Recovery After Premium Cut

WASHINGTON — Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro touted the Federal Housing Administration's recent improvement on Thursday, saying it was on a trajectory to hit its statutory capital minimum and had recently seen a "significant uptick in refinancings."

Speaking before the House Financial Services Committee, Castro said that recent actions by the FHA to reduce its mortgage insurance premiums had increased loan volume. Though he would not have concrete data until November, he said he was optimistic it would hit its 2% statutory capital threshold within two years.

"With the limited data we have, we believe we are on track," he told skeptical Republican lawmakers.

The Federal Housing Administration single-family program appears to be benefiting from an improving economy, falling delinquency rates and the recent premium reduction. The agency dropped its annual premium in January by 50 basis points, which...

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