Just two weeks after being upgraded by Moody's Investor Service and being placed Standard & Poor's CreditWatch list for a downgrade, S&P cut Ocwen Financial's rankings for residential mortgage prime, subprime, special, and subordinate-lien from Average to Below Average. S&P said that it believed "regulatory and investor scrutiny and/or actions" had affected Ocwen's operations. An Ocwen spokesman said the company was disappointed and that the downgrade did not accurately reflect progress the company has made in resolving regulatory concerns and improving the company's financial position.
The Atlanta-based servicer has made many improvements this year, however. One of the reasons why Ocwen expressed surprise and disappointment at S&P's decision to downgrade its rankings was the recognition the servicer received from Moody's earlier this month, which were prompted largely by sales of nearly 100 billion dollars in Agency mortgage servicing rights portfolios this year. Moody's upgraded Ocwen's Corporate Family Rating, the Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, and the Senior Unsecured Debt, and all ratings were given a "stable" outlook.
The U.S. Department of Treasury has priced auctions of preferred Capital Purchase Program stock for five institutions as part of the government's strategy to wind down the Troubled Asset Relief Program and recover remaining CPP investments, according to an announcement from Treasury. Treasury said it expects the aggregate gross proceeds to taxpayers from the auctions to be about 15.4 million dollars. The five institutions auctioning the CPP stock are Citizens Bank in Louisiana, CSRA Bank in Georgia, Metropolitan Capital in Illinois, Prairie Star Bank in Kansas, and SouthFirst Bank in Alabama.