Ocwen Financial's shares had fallen nearly 7% Friday afternoon, to under $10 apiece, a day after Standard & Poor's Ratings Services put the company's servicer ratings on CreditWatch negative.
S&P cited numerous reasons Thursday for putting the Atlanta mortgage servicer on watch for a possible downgrade including "high-risk findings in key areas of the servicing and default operations." S&P said Ocwen's internal audit department recently experienced turnover and a reorganization.
Moody's Investor Services had upgraded Ocwen's credit rating on Wednesday after the company sold $45 billion in mortgage servicing rights backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to JPMorgan Chase and roughly $35 billion to Nationstar Mortgage.
A possible downgrade of Ocwen's servicer ratings by S&P could affect the company's ability to fund servicing advances, to sell mortgage servicing rights in the future and to maintain its approved servicer status with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
S&P also cited "consent order actions" by regulators in New York and California, as well as various investor allegations and lawsuits. In December, Ocwen agreed to a $150 million settlement with New York regulators for backdating foreclosure documents. In January, Ocwen paid $2.5 million to California regulators for failing to comply with state mortgage lending laws.
Ron Faris, Ocwen's president and CEO, said in a press release Friday that he was "surprised" by S&P's announcement and "pleased" by Moody's upgrade.
"We believe that we have made significant progress in resolving past regulatory concerns, strengthened our financial condition, and, over the past couple of years, continually invested in the quality and capacity of our risk, compliance and internal audit functions," Faris said in the release.