Ocwen won't face SEC enforcement action over collection practices

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Ocwen Financial Corp. received more breathing room on the legal front as the Securities and Exchange Commission is not pursuing an enforcement action against the company regarding its debt collection practices.

In addition, Ocwen settled a servicing lawsuit with three more states: New Mexico, West Virginia and Virginia on similar terms to an agreement reached last week.

Both announcements were in the same 8-K filing the West Palm Beach, Fla., company made Wednesday morning with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC's New York office sent the company a letter in February 2015 investigating the use of collection agents by mortgage loan servicers. Other companies are believed to have received a similar letter.

A year later, it received a second letter stating the SEC was investigating fees and expenses charged regarding liquidated loans and real estate owned properties held in nonagency residential mortgage-backed securities trusts.

On Oct. 2, the company received two letters from the SEC stating the investigations were closed and that it did not intend to recommend any enforcement actions against Ocwen.

The SEC declined to comment.

The servicing lawsuits were filed by 31 states and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding how Ocwen handled escrow payments. But Ocwen has yet to settle with Florida and North Carolina, which took the lead on the state side of the lawsuits.

Ocwen has filed suit challenging the constitutionality of the CFPB.

There were no financial penalties with the latest settlements and Ocwen did not admit or deny liability, the 8-K said.

It previously settled with Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wisconsin, while Indiana and Nevada previously withdrew or allowed cease-and-desist orders to expire.

"Ocwen is pleased to have reached resolutions with three additional states to resolve regulatory actions brought against the company, bringing the total number of states where we have reached a resolution to 15," said Ocwen spokesman John Lovallo.

"We continue to work cooperatively with the remaining 16 state regulatory agencies and two state attorneys general to reach acceptable resolutions. In addition, we are pleased that the SEC has concluded both of the investigations we have previously disclosed."

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Enforcement actions MSR Compliance RMBS State regulators Ocwen Financial CFPB SEC New Mexico West Virginia Virginia