According to a recent article in housingwire.com, titled “Ocwen posts open letter and apology to borrowers,” the widely reviled Ocwen, apparently (sob) guilt-ridden because it, once again, was caught doing what it does best – taking advantage of the little guy.
The latest hit to its already shredded reputation, which is currently hovering between Vlad the Impaler and Pol Pot, was for back-dating letters it sent to borrowers struggling with making their mortgage payments. It seems the New York Department of Financial Services, is taking Ocwen to the woodshed for this little shenanigan. In an October 24, 2014 letter from the Department’s Superintendent, Benjamin Lawsky, he accused the behemoth loan servicer of sending letters to borrowers denying their loan mod requests, but backdating the letters more than 30 days. Thus, when the borrowers got their denial letters, their 30-day appeal period had already run. Clever, huh? Who besides a sociopathic, morally bankrupt, corporate servicer would devise such a ruse?
So in an effort to pull its reputation out of the septic tank where it remains with the rest of the effluent, Ocwen’s CEO, Ron Faris, penned an open letter of apology that can be found on the housingwire.com link here.
Here are snippets of the mea culpa letter, with my post-game color commentary:
In recent days you may have heard about an investigation by the New York Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) into letters Ocwen sent to borrowers which were inadvertently misdated.
Not so, Mr. Faris. There is no suggestion by Mr. Lawsky that the backdating was somehow “inadvertent.”
At Ocwen, we take our mission of helping struggling borrowers very seriously *** We remain deeply committed to keeping borrowers in their homes because we believe it is the right thing to do and a win/win for all of our stakeholders.
Not so Mr. Faris. Ocwen’s mission is clear; under the guise of “helping” homeowners, they slow-walk borrowers’ loan mod requests through a byzantine maze of confusion, putting off the decision for months or years. Why? Because Ocwen get paid by the owners of the loans only so long as they remain in the servicing pool, even though they are not actually paying their mortgages.
What Happened. Historically letters were dated when the decision was made to create the letter versus when the letter was actually created.
So if Benjamin Lawsky decided to send Ocwen a letter notifying them that he was going to investigate the company for all the abuse it’s heaped on consumers over the years, it would be OK for Mr. Lawsky to date that letter when the decision was made, rather than when it posted in the U.S. mails? If that ever happened, I suspect Mr. Faris’s lawyers would be screaming bloody murder.
Needless to say, the housingwire article received numerous comments. Not one of them sided with Ocwen. In fact, more than a few contained a litany of abuses by the servicer. One says it all:
It is well known in the industry that Ocwen is completely arbitrary and unforgiving when dealing with others, using its affiliates to manipulate, trade off and leverage its interests. If anyone believes the validity and sincerity of the letter, I have a bridge…….
Posted in Miscellany, Q-Rants, Real Estate/Distressed, Residential Housiing, Servicers | Tagged Banks, Distressed Transactions, Market Conditions