The Consumer Services Division of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has reached a settlement with Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC to end its practice of using offshore unlicensed affiliate companies to perform residential mortgage loan servicing activities for Washington loans, according to a release from DFI.
“We are pleased to have reached a settlement with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions,” says Ocwen spokesperson, John Lovallo. “This settlement resolves questions regarding which activities are permissible under the Washington Consumer Loan Act. Under the Consent Order, Ocwen neither admits nor denies any wrongdoing. Ocwen continues to invest significantly in its risk and compliance infrastructure and remains committed to a culture of compliance with all regulatory requirements.”
Ocwen is currently licensed with DFI as a Consumer Loan Company that is authorized to service residential mortgage loans made to Washington residents. The report states though that Ocwen utilized unlicensed affiliate companies in the Philippines and India to perform activities considered residential mortgage loan servicing under Washington law.
The release states that Washington’s Consumer Loan Act specifically requires that companies servicing residential mortgage loans be licensed as Consumer Loan Companies. DFI says that under the Consent Order entered to resolve the issue, they found that Ocwen Financial Solutions Private Limited (OFSPL), operating out of a location in India, and Ocwen Business Solutions, Inc. (OBS), operating out of a location in the Philippines, have conducted servicing activities on Washington residential mortgage loans. The release says DFI found OFSPL had engaged in such unlicensed servicing activities dating back to Aug. 1, 2010, and OBS’s unlicensed activity was at least between June 2013 and August 2015.
Upon reaching the settlement, the release says Ocwen agreed to pay a $900,000 fine. Additionally, the company agreed to only service Washington residential mortgage loans through licensed entities going forward.
“Ocwen cooperated in our investigation and quickly made changes to its operations to address our concerns around unlicensed activity,” says DFI’s Director of Consumer Services, Charles Clark.
In addition, the release states that for licensed loan servicers, the DFI conducts regular examinations to make sure such companies are operating in compliance with state and federal law.
“Our licensing requirement to engage in servicing activities is a significant protection for borrowers trying to pay off their homes,” says DFI Director Scott Jarvis. “It is critical that Washington residents' mortgage payments are properly handled and that loan modifications and foreclosures are in compliance with the law, and licensure allows us to closely monitor these activities.”