The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance has issued a cease and desist order to Ocwen Financial Corporation, which handles mortgage escrow accounts for distressed borrowers.Ocwen Financial has offices in Florida and the Virgin Islands, the banking department said Thursday in the announcement.
The order is the culmination of several years of multi-state examinations and monitoring that revealed the company is unable to accurately reconcile consumer’s mortgage escrow accounts, the department said.
Mortgage escrow accounts are utilized to pay taxes and insurance and hold borrower funds the company is entrusted to manage appropriately.
The majority of Ocwen’s loan servicing portfolio represents distressed credit, sometimes referred to as troubled borrowers.
“As a distressed credit servicer, Ocwen holds an increased responsibility for managing accounts where borrowers may have experienced problems arising from questionable loan sales practices. Such borrowers often need greater care and handling due to the subprime or alternative nature of their loan,” the banking department said.
The Order prohibits the acquisition of mortgage servicing rights and the origination of mortgage loans until the company is able to prove it can appropriately manage its consumer mortgage escrow accounts.
The Department of Banking and Finance is available to assist consumers who currently make mortgage payments to Ocwen, in the event those consumers experience problems with payments or other account issues. The Cease and Desist Order, and other related information, is available on the Department of Banking and Finance’s website at https://ndbf.nebraska.gov.
The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance can be reached at 402-471-2171.
In issuing the Cease and Desist Order, the department joined mortgage regulators in other states and the District of Columbia to address mishandling of consumer escrow accounts, ongoing unlicensed activity, deficient financial conditions, and deficiencies in system records.
Ocwen has these subsidiaries licensed in Nebraska -- Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, 1661 Worthington Road, Suite 100, West Palm Beach, Florida and Ocwen Mortgage Servicing, Inc., William D. Roebuck Industrial Park, Building 1, Estate Negro Bay, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, the banking department said.