The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) continues to flex its administrative muscles. As discussed in one of our recent installments, early in 2017, the CFPB forced a California-based mortgage company into a consent decree whereby that company paid a $3.5 million penalty and agreed to strict monitoring of its activities. The penalty resulted from multiple violations of the anti-kickback provisions of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
Just last week, both the CFPB and the Florida Attorney General have filed separate lawsuits against Ocwen Financial Corporation (“Ocwen”) and its subsidiaries alleging gross incompetence in virtually every aspect of that company’s operations, resulting in harm to consumers. Ocwen is based in West Palm Beach, Florida, and is one of the largest loan servicers in the country. According to the press release distributed by the CFPB, “[a]s of Dec. 31, 2016, Ocwen serviced almost 1.4 million loans with an aggregate unpaid principal balance of $209 billion.”
The scope of the allegations against Ocwen is astounding. Among other allegations, the CFPB alleges that Ocwen’s proprietary servicing software is defective, resulting in errors in every aspect of the mortgage servicing process. Real estate agents and loan originators can expect questions from their customers who have loans serviced by Ocwen about the practical consequences of the CFPB’s action against Ocwen. It would be prudent for consumers with loans serviced by Ocwen to vigilantly monitor their mortgage statements and payment history to ensure that they are not experiencing any of the problems noted by the CFPB, and specifically, to confirm that their insurance and real estate taxes have been paid and that all loan payments have been properly credited to their accounts.
For more information regarding our Residential Real Estate Settlements Group or our general real estate transactions and litigation practice, please contact the Group Chair at 301-230-6574 or email@example.com.
This publication/newsletter is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. The information herein should not be used or relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting a lawyer.
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