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Ocwen Teams With Housing Group to Aid Distressed New York Homeowners

Ocwen Financial Neighborhood Housing ServicesOcwen Financial Corp. found trouble in New York last year when a top regulator's investigation revealed that the servicer had sent erroneously dated correspondence to about 7,000 borrowers. Over the weekend, however, Ocwen made positive news in New York when it teamed with Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City to reach out to aid struggling homeowners who were at risk of foreclosure.

On Saturday, March 7, NHS' housing counselors and Ocwen's home retention agents met with distressed Ocwen borrowers in the Queens, New York, area for about five hours to discuss loss mitigation plans and foreclosure alternatives.

The outreach event was the first in a series of help forums that NHS is offering in collaboration with mortgage servicers to help homeowners in the New York City area who are struggling to make mortgage payments. NHS is a HUD-approved counseling agency and a NeighborWorks America-chartered organization with six offices in the New York City metropolitan area: East Flatbush, Bedford Stuyvesant, Manhattan (NHSNYC NeighborWorks Homeownership Center), Northern Queens, the North Bronx and the South Bronx. NHS also has satellite offices in Canarsie, Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach and District Council 37 Union in Manhattan.

While exact attendance numbers and summary outcomes for the Queens outreach event were not immediately available, the CEO of NHS of New York City, Bernell Grier, said "this forum met our expectations." She said some borrowers had to cancel due to transportation issues, since the subway station nearest to the NHS Northern Queens office was closed due to repairs on Saturday.

"Ocwen was proud to work with the Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City on a solution focused event to assist struggling homeowners," Ocwen said in a prepared statement. "There are still communities that are not sharing in the overall improvement in the economy and many Americans are unable to keep up with their mortgage payments and are at risk of losing their single largest financial asset.  Ocwen has helped more than 500,000 American families avoid foreclosure by offering loan modifications and we remain committed to finding solutions in these hard hit areas."

According to a press release, Ocwen services about 47,000 active mortgage loans in the New York City metropolitan area and has completed more than 8,000 loan modifications out of those active mortgage loans since 2012. Ocwen, which is the nation's largest non-bank, non-government mortgage servicer, has completed more than half a million permanent loan modifications nationwide, according to the release.

"We are excited to host this event with Ocwen because they truly care. They are willing to come and sit at the table with borrowers to try and find solutions to the challenges they face with their mortgages," said Patricia Primo, NHS Homeownership Program Director, in a press release. "In fact, in our experience, Ocwen's modification style has been one of the most effective at keeping borrowers in their homes. The work they've done has kept families in their homes, and kept neighborhoods intact. That's something that we all can be thankful for."

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.
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