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Wells Fargo to Sell $39B MSR Portfolio to Ocwen

Ocwen's servicing segment is set to acquire mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) on a $39 billion portfolio from Wells Fargo, the two companies announced Wednesday. The loans underlying the MSRs in the portfolio are primarily in private label securities, the companies said, and they were not originated by Wells Fargo. They represent about 2 percent of Wells Fargo's total residential servicing portfolio as of the end of 2013.

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Berkshire Hills Completes Acquisition of BofA Branches in Central New York

deal closed, agreement, acquisition

Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc., announced Tuesday that its banking subsidiary, Berkshire Bank, has completed the previously announced acquisition of 20 retail bank locations from Bank of America, effective January 17, 2014. As a result of the transaction, Berkshire acquired approximately $450 million in deposits and $4 million in loans as of January 14, 2014, bringing the total number of branches in Berkshire's footprint to 91 across New England and New York.

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Two Full-Service Rocky Mountain Brokerages Join Berkshire Hathaway Network

In Colorado, Prudential Preferred Real Estate of Greater Denver and Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors of Boulder have joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the new real estate brokerage network operated by HSF Affiliates LLC. Based in Irvine, California, this new network is designed for a new era in residential real estate. It currently currently comprises more than 22,000 agents and more than 600 offices in 26 states.

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MIAC Brings Fannie, Ginnie Portfolios to MSR Market

Mortgage Industry Advisory Corporation (MIAC) announced two new mortgage servicing rights (MSR) portfolios totaling more than $694 million. The first offering is a $669.22 million portfolio from a seller with originations focused mostly in the Northeast. The portfolio contains a mix of Fannie Mae (47 percent) and Ginnie Mae (50.9 percent) loans, with warehouse loans making up the rest. The second offering is a $24.96 million portfolio featuring 79.8 percent Ginnie Mae and 20.2 percent Fannie Mae loans.

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CFPB Targets Missouri Lender over Alleged Kickbacks

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last week ordered a Missouri-based mortgage lender and its president to pay more than $80,000 for funneling illegal kickbacks in exchange for real estate referrals. According to CFPB's complaint filed in mid-January, Fidelity Financial Mortgage Corporation (FFMC) in 2010 entered into an agreement with a Missouri bank in which Fidelity would lease an office at the bank in exchange for business referrals.

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DocMagic Addresses Compliance Woes Related to ECOA Valuation Rule

DocMagic, Inc., says it has a variety of solutions available that support lenders' compliance with the ECOA Valuation Rule, no matter what the lender's business rules are. Under the ECOA Valuation Rule, a creditor must provide an applicant with a copy of the appraisal and other written valuations upon completion, or three business days prior to consummation of the transaction, whichever is earlier.

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Interactive Mortgage Advisors Opens Dallas Office

Interactive Mortgage Advisors (IMA), a firm focused on the valuation and trading of mortgage servicing rights (MSRs), has added to its operational network with the opening of a new office in Dallas. With its new expansion, the company hopes to gain a foothold in the Lone Star State, which is home to a large number of originators and servicers.

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Florida Man Gets Six Years’ Jail Time for Defrauding TARP Recipients

A 46-year-old Florida builder convicted of bank fraud, money laundering, and identity theft tied to three different banks and Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds was sentenced on January 16 to six years in federal prison and ordered to pay back more than $3.7 million. Lawrence Allen Wright, of Niceville, pleaded guilty to seven charges, among them, conspiracy to commit money laundering and making a false statement to a federally insured financial institution.

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California Home Sales Abate to Close Out Year

sales

Single-family and condominium sales in California closed 2013 on a cautiously positive note, even though overall sales were down notably from the year prior, according to the latest quarterly market report from PropertyRadar. December sales in the Golden State's home and condo market grew 1.4 percent over November 2013 sales, but were down nearly 20 percent from December 2012. Overall, last year’s property sales finished the year at their lowest level since 2007.

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Miami Real Estate Agents Sentenced in Multimillion-Dollar Fraud

Two former Miami real estate agents were sentenced Thursday for their roles in a $2.4 million mortgage fraud scheme. The Justice Department announced that Jose Filgueiras, 43, was found guilty of three counts of bank fraud. He was sentenced by a U.S. district judge to serve 57 months in prison. His wife, Raquel Filgueiras, 39, was found guilty of one count of bank fraud and sentenced to 30 months in prison.

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