Ocwen targeted by FTC for scrutiny
The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Ocwen Financial Corp., which has turned over documents relating to the company's home loan servicing and foreclosure activities.
Ocwen, which has 245 employees in its West Palm Beach office, said in its 2010 annual report that it received a "Civil Investigative Demand" from the FTC for paperwork and information regarding its practices.
The company is one of the largest home loan servicers in the country, specializing in sub-prime accounts and lauded for its work modifying mortgage payments under its own programs as well as through the federal Making Home Affordable plan.
Last year, Ocwen, which was based in West Palm Beach until January when its headquarters officially moved to Atlanta, modified 69,917 loans to reduce monthly payments for homeowners.
In its annual SEC filing, Ocwen reported a net income last year of $38 million on revenue of $360.4 million. It services about $70 billion in loans.
Paul Koches, Ocwen's executive vice president, said the FTC's request for information was made in November at the height of the "robo-signing" controversy. Many major lenders temporarily halted foreclosures pending inquiries into the apparent mass signing of foreclosure documents without review. Ocwen did not freeze its foreclosures, saying the issues affecting other lenders and servicers were not a problem for it.
"We've not been advised of any wrongdoing, and we're fully cooperating with the commission," Koches said this week about the FTC's inquiry. "It's a generic review of operations."
And it appears Ocwen is not the only company the FTC is reviewing.
Joel Winston, associate director of the FTC, confirmed the Ocwen investigation and said "we are looking at more than one possible target."