Homeowners protest abuses by Ocwen Financial
Image source: AFSCAtlanta.blogspot.com
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has fought and won a $2.2 billion settlement from Atlanta based mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial. $26 million of this settlement is earmarked for North Carolina borrowers. NC Attorney General Roy Cooper has said that the bulk of the state’s settlement will go to reduce principal for homeowner’s with an Ocwen serviced mortgage. And for those that have lost their homes to foreclosure from an Ocwen serviced loan, they will get a cash settlement ranging from roughly $700-$1240 per borrower.
Who Is Ocwen Financial Corporation?
Ocwen is the largest non-bank mortgage servicer in the country and has been in business since 1988. But in 1994, they branched into services loans made via subprime lending. Subprime loans are made to customers with lower credit scores, employment issues and financial problems. These loans are written at higher than the prime interest rate – much higher interest rates than most customers pay – which can make loan payments difficult to manage. In North Carolina alone, Ocwen has been the subject of hundreds of consumer complaints.
How Did Ocwen End Up in Trouble?
Ocwen was accused of mass servicing errors on mortgages and then forcing borrowers into foreclosure as a result of the mistakes. Other accusations included not posting borrower payments in a timely manner, charging unauthorized fees and providing knowingly false or inaccurate information when confronted with consumer complaints about their practices.
CFPB’s Richard Cordray said, “Deceptions and shortcuts in mortgage servicing will not be tolerated. Ocwen took advantage of borrowers at every stage of the process.” They were charged with unfair and deceptive acts/practices in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act that resulted in injury to consumers.
Homeowners across the country victimized by Ocwen
Image source: SeattlePI.com
How Do Victims Get Their Reparations?
If Ocwen or their subsidiaries (Litton Loan Servicing and Homeward Residential Holdings) were your servicers, you may be due a principal reduction or refund. If you believe (or wonder) if you are part of the group eligible for relief, you can call them directly at (800)337-6695. If you were foreclosed on and Ocwen was you loan servicer, you should be contacted by a settlement administrator about your refund. However, if you don’t want to wait or if your contact information has changed (especially for those that were foreclosure cases) you may want to contact them proactively. You must make a claim to get paid.
Which Borrowers Are Eligible?
Here are the requirements for eligibility to participate in the financial settlement:
- Your home was foreclosed between January 2009 and December 2012
- When your home was foreclosed, your loan was serviced by Ocwen, Litton or Homeward
- You made three or more payments on your mortgage
- The mortgage was for your principal place of residence
- The property was classified as one to four unit residential
- The unpaid principal was less than $729,750 on a one unit property, $934,200 on a two unit, $1,129,250 on a three unit and $1,403,400 for a four unit property
If you are struggling with your mortgage, you may be eligible for a principal modification if Ocwen is your loan servicer. If not and you are underwater with your loan, Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy can offer relief – either with your mortgage or with your other debts so that you have more money available to service your mortgage. Contact the law offices of John T Orcutt to get bankruptcy advice North Carolina consumers can trust.