Ocwen Financial Corporation, a Florida-based servicer of subprime mortgages, continues to find its name at the top of the list of key performance metrics when it comes to the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
The U.S. Treasury's just-released HAMP report card puts Ocwen in the upper echelon on several critical fronts, including a new metric introduced this month, trial length at conversion.
HAMP trials were intended to span a three-month period, according to Treasury guidance, at which time a borrower can be converted to a permanent modification. But nearly all participating servicers' trial plans are significantly longer, extending up to seven months for some of the largest banks.
Ocwen is one of only two servicers who have been able to achieve a three-month turn time on trial to permanent conversions Ã¢â‚¬" the other being Wachovia FSB, according to the Treasury report.
Similarly, only 10 percent of Ocwen's trial modifications were initiated six or more months ago -- the lowest aging rate of all servicers and in stark contrast to several larger participants whose aging rates exceed 50 percent.
Ocwen's trial-to-permanent conversion rate for May held steady at 83 percent, second only to HomEq Servicing's 86 percent.
Last month, Ocwen announced its impending acquisition of HomEq from Barclays Bank, expected to close in the third quarter of this year. The combined operations, with an aggregate servicing portfolio of over $80 billion, will make Ocwen among the largest independent servicers.
Ronald Faris, Ocwen's president, says his company's success with loan modifications stems from more than 20 years servicing high-risk loans and the firm's proprietary technology.
This technology, Faris said, ""allows us to modify mortgages for distressed homeowners so they're affordable on a sustainable basis while at the same time generating more cash flow to investors than they would get from a foreclosure.""