Ocwen Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a mortgage servicer and how do I know if Ocwen services my loan?

The company that you make your monthly payment to is your mortgage servicer. A mortgage servicer administers mortgage loans, including collecting and recording payments from borrowers. A servicer also handles loan defaults and foreclosures, and may offer programs to avoid foreclosure and to help homeowners who are behind on their payments.

You can find out whether Ocwen services your mortgage by calling Ocwen at 1-800-337-6695 or emailing ConsumerRelief@Ocwen.com.

How will I know whether this settlement affects me?

This settlement involves Ocwen and two companies that Ocwen recently bought: Litton Loan Servicing LP (Litton) and Homeward Residential Holdings LLC (previously known as America Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. or AHMSI). The settlement administrator has already contacted all individuals who were eligible for money from this settlement. Borrowers who received payments do not have to release any legal claims and are free to file their own lawsuits in court.

For loan modification options, you may be contacted directly by Ocwen. You may also contact Ocwen to learn more about specific loan modification programs and find out if you will be impacted by this settlement. You may reach Ocwen at 1-800-337-6695 or ConsumerRelief@Ocwen.com.

How does this settlement hold Ocwen accountable?

This is an action that addresses Ocwen’s servicing of loans, including the handling of foreclosures and requests from borrowers for help in avoiding foreclosure, and will result in Ocwen providing substantial relief to consumers. One of the main problems was the practice known as “robo-signing,” where companies submitted foreclosure documents that were not properly reviewed or notarized. This action also focused on Ocwen’s failure to honor in-process loan modifications agreed to by prior servicers when Ocwen bought loans or servicing rights from other servicers.

This action, brought by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and state attorneys general, will require Ocwen to pay foreclosed-upon consumers $125 million, and provide $2 billion worth of principal reductions to homeowners at risk of foreclosure to help them keep their homes.

This settlement will also require Ocwen to follow the standards for servicing loans that will better protect borrowers who are behind on their payments or in foreclosure. Many of these standards are the same as those in the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement by the state attorneys general and federal government with the five largest mortgage banks.

Ocwen is subject to a federal court order enforceable by a federal judge. The CFPB and state attorneys general may sue Ocwen if it does not follow the settlement’s terms. In addition, a special independent monitor will oversee the settlement and require Ocwen’s compliance, which will provide an extra layer of oversight of Ocwen’s servicing practices. Finally, there will be a monitoring committee made up of the state attorneys general, the CFPB, and state financial regulators.

Did you conduct an investigation?

Yes. The Multi-State Mortgage Committee of state financial regulators conducted thorough examinations of Ocwen, Litton, and Homeward in the spring of 2012. The state financial regulators then partnered with the state attorneys general, who had just successfully completed the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement with the five largest banks, and the CFPB, which was handling an investigation of Ocwen that was referred to it by the Federal Trade Commission, to bring this action.

What conduct did your investigation uncover?

We believe that Ocwen was engaged in practices that harmed consumers, including:

  • failing to timely and accurately apply borrowers’ payments and failing to maintain accurate account statements;
  • charging unauthorized fees for default-related services;
  • providing false or misleading information to borrowers regarding loans that have been transferred from other servicers;
  • failing to provide accurate and timely information to borrowers who sought information for help in avoiding foreclosure;
  • misrepresenting to borrowers that loss mitigation programs would provide relief from foreclosure;
  • improperly denying loan modification relief to eligible borrowers;
  • providing false or misleading reasons for denial of loan modifications;
  • for transferred loans, failing to honor in-process trial modifications agreed to by prior servicers; and
  • robo-signing affidavits in foreclosure proceedings.

What laws did Ocwen violate?

We believe that Ocwen violated federal and state laws against unfair and deceptive practices. Ocwen’s unlawful conduct hurt consumers who have had home loans serviced by Ocwen, Litton, and Homeward. For example, Ocwen made consumers pay improper fees and charges, caused unreasonable delays and expenses when consumers asked for help to avoid foreclosure, and wrongly refused to give consumers loan modifications that could have helped those consumers stay in their homes.

Does the settlement include payments to foreclosure victims?

Yes. The settlement administrator has already contacted all foreclosure victims who are eligible for payments under this settlement. Borrowers who lost their home due to foreclosure between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2012, whose loans were serviced by Ocwen, Homeward, or Litton, and who met other criteria were sent a Notice Letter and Claim Form by the settlement administrator. The settlement administrator is Rust Consulting. You may contact Rust by e-mail settlementadministrator@nationalocwensettlement.com. Borrowers who received payments do not have to release any legal claims and are free to file their own lawsuits in court.

Ocwen has already begun the foreclosure process on my home. Will the settlement stop the foreclosure?

No. The settlement does not order Ocwen stop all foreclosures. However, you may be eligible for a loan modification, and there are important limitations on what foreclosure actions Ocwen can take while you are pursuing a loan modification. For example, if you complete an application for a loan modification, Ocwen cannot proceed with a foreclosure until it has fully reviewed your application. You may contact Ocwen about potential loan modification options at 1-800-337-6695 or ConsumerRelief@Ocwen.com.

What if I have continued making payments?

Only borrowers who are delinquent on their payments or at imminent risk of foreclosure and who owe more than their homes are worth are eligible for the settlement. For loan modification options, you may be contacted directly by Ocwen.

You may also contact Ocwen yourself to obtain more information about your options. You may reach Ocwen at 1-800-337-6695 or ConsumerRelief@Ocwen.com.

What if I owe more than my house is worth and I have missed at least one payment on my mortgage – is Ocwen required to modify my loan?

No, Ocwen is not required to modify any particular loan. Although the settlement generally orders Ocwen to give a total of $2 billion in principal reductions to borrowers who qualify, it does not dictate which consumers get this relief. In other words, any particular consumer does not have a “right” to a loan modification under this settlement. You may contact Ocwen about potential loan modification options at 1-800-337-6695 or ConsumerRelief@Ocwen.com.

Will taxpayers ultimately pay for this settlement?

No, the settlement money is coming from Ocwen only and will not be paid by taxpayers.

Is Ocwen being required to make any settlement payments to state or federal government agencies?

No. The federal and state agencies that negotiated this settlement are not getting any money. All of the money is going to consumers.

Are payments taxable?

Whether you owe taxes on your payments depends on your individual circumstances. Please check with your tax advisor for any tax questions.

How will this settlement protect consumers in the future?

Ocwen has agreed to major reforms in how it treats borrowers facing foreclosure. For example, Ocwen must be able to give borrowers all of their loan documents so they can make sure any potential foreclosure is legal; Ocwen must give borrowers every available opportunity to first modify their loan before facing foreclosure; Ocwen will be required to have an appropriate number of well-trained staff members to promptly respond to the needs of distressed borrowers; and Ocwen will provide each borrower a reliable single point of contact so they have access to a person who can give them information throughout the process.

In addition, for loans that were transferred to Ocwen from another servicer, Ocwen must determine the status of in-process loss mitigation requests within 60 days of transfer to Ocwen. Ocwen cannot start or continue any foreclosure proceeding until that is done.

Finally, Ocwen must make its employees available to consumers in a timely fashion and must make sure that consumers can get help in avoiding foreclosure in other ways, such as through homeownership events, public workshops, and non-profit housing counselors.

Is Ocwen still subject to the Homeowner Bill of Right and the CFPB’s mortgage servicing rules?

Yes. In addition to the settlement’s servicing standards, Ocwen must also comply with the California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR), which went into effect in January 2013. For more information about HBOR. Please visit http://www.oag.ca.gov/hbor for more information about HBOR. Ocwen must also comply with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) mortgage servicing rules, which went into effect in January 2014. Please feel free to view the CFPB’s mortgage servicing rules http://www.consumerfinance.gov/regulations/2013-real-estate-settlement-procedures-act-regulation-x-and-truth-in-lending-act-regulation-z-mortgage-servicing-final-rules.

Why are you releasing Ocwen from some claims?

The release of claims relinquishes particular state and federal claims on issues addressed by the settlement. The release is narrow and is limited to mortgage servicing claims. The CFPB and the states are not immunizing any individuals or institutions from criminal prosecution or other non-servicing claims, such as securities-related cases.

The agreement does not affect any individual’s rights. You may still sue Ocwen, or be a part of a class action. Any recovery you may get in a future individual or class action, however, is likely to be reduced by any payments you receive through this settlement.

How will this settlement be enforced?

This settlement has been filed in federal court, and if approved by the court, it will be backed by a federal court order. State attorneys general may also enforce this order in state court. State attorneys general and the CFPB could seek penalties if Ocwen does not follow the settlement terms. The Department of Business Oversight and other state financial regulators have also entered into an agreement with Ocwen and can enforce that agreement.

The settlement also includes an independent monitor. The monitor, who will work from a strict set of objective measuring standards, will oversee the carrying out of this agreement and will report to the states and the CFPB on Ocwen’s compliance. This will provide another layer of oversight over Ocwen. Finally, there will be a monitoring committee made up of state attorneys general, the CFPB, and state financial regulators, which will work closely with the independent monitor.