NOV 27, 2012 1:34pm ET

EverBank’s Servicing Unit Gets ‘Stable’ Outlook Rating

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EverBank received a “stable” outlook grade in its initial U.S. residential primary servicer rating from Fitch, demonstrating a proficiency in its ability to process home mortgages.

As of July 2012, EverBank serviced roughly 390,000 residential mortgages with an unpaid principal balance of $53.1 billion. This includes 50,000 nonagency prime loans ($8.5 billion).

Fitch’s RPS3+ rating for EverBank means the company has adequate financial resources for its portfolio size, effective internal controls, a proven ability in staffing and training, and established comprehensive policies and procedures.

Since November 2010, when Fitch assigned a negative outlook to the entire servicing sector, there has not been a change in status. According to the New York-based ratings agency, the sector has a bleak outlook because of increased concerns surrounding alleged procedural defects in the judicial foreclosure process.

EverBank’s rating comes more than a year after the financial services company entered into consent orders with the Office of Thrift Supervision for critical weaknesses in processing home foreclosures.

During the review by federal regulators during 4Q 2010, examiners evaluated the accuracy of foreclosure documentation, as well as the servicers’ foreclosure procedures, staffing resources to handle the surging volume of foreclosures and outsourcing of foreclosure work to law firms and other vendors.

The review uncovered unsafe and unsound practices, violations of law and foreclosure processes geared toward speed and quantity, instead of quality and accuracy.

As part of the enforcement orders, EverBank is required to hire an independent firm to conduct another comprehensive review, overseen by the OTS, of foreclosure actions pending at any time in 2009 and 2010 to identify borrowers financially harmed by foreclosure errors, misrepresentations or other deficiencies, and to provide appropriate remediation and reimbursement.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based EverBank said it is still addressing all of the consent order requirements. The servicer added that it “did not issue blanket foreclosure holds in any state due to document execution issues. EverBank examined its document execution process with counsel. However, this process did not result in a delay of any foreclosures.”

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