Ocwen Federal Bank FSB, West Palm Beach, Fla., has filed an application with its regulator to turn in its federal thrift charter, a move that would prevent it from taking deposits in the U.S.Ocwen Federal, a subsidiary of Ocwen Financial, is the nation's ninth-largest servicer of subprime loans, but is currently operating under a supervisory agreement that, among other things, has the effect of limiting its growth. Even though the parent is headquartered in Florida, the thrift has but one bank branch -- located in Ft. Lee, N.J. The branch issues retail certificates of deposit that "currently serve as a source of financing for us," according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A few months back Ocwen said it was considering "debanking," and it finally filed an application to do so during the week of Nov. 22. At MortgageWire's deadline, OTS officials and Ocwen chief executive Bill Erby could not be reached for comment. In the third quarter Ocwen Financial earned $39.3 million, but most of the profit was due to what the company called a "partial reversal of the deferred tax asset valuation allowance."

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