Financial Regulation

Ocwen Servicing Abuses in Maryland and Elsewhere: Foreclosures Spark Lawsky Investigation and Lawsuits

Ocwen is a mortgage servicing company: it’s paid to collect payments from consumers in Maryland and elsewhere, deal with escrow accounts, and sort out any problems that arise. Servicers do not necessarily own the mortgage itself, only the “servicing rights”. The CFPB’s guidance for examining mortgage servicers explains “[t]his is because some entities have expertise in payment processing and other servicing responsibilities, while others seek to invest in the underlying mortgages.” Mortgage servicers are supposed to help the mortgage repayment process run smoothly and to deal with problems – such as mistakes in escrow or missed payments. According to Ocwen’s slogan “Helping homeowners is what we do!”

Homeowners Sue

However, lawsuits filed in Maryland and around the country accuse Ocwen of everything from blatant fraud to utter incompetence, all to the detriment of the homeowners it claims to be helping.  A lawsuit filed in Florida recently accuses Ocwen of needlessly forcing homeowners into foreclosure by turning minor problems into major ones. NPR reports the story of one couple who were charged massive fees after an error regarding property taxes:

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CFPB Enforcement Division Responds to Motion to Dismiss Filed by “Lawsuit Mill” Frederick J. Hanna & Associates

In July the CFPB sued Frederick J. Hanna & Associates, a Georgia law firm, for its debt collection practices (complaint here), calling the firm a “lawsuit mill.”  Hanna & Associates filed a Motion to Dismiss (copy hosted by CFPB monitor) in September, and the CFPB’s response (copy hosted by Consumer Financial Services blog) elegantly explains what Hanna was doing wrong:

Read More »CFPB Enforcement Division Responds to Motion to Dismiss Filed by “Lawsuit Mill” Frederick J. Hanna & Associates

CPFB Proposes to Regulate Non-Bank Auto Finance Lenders

September 23, 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed new rules to regulate non-bank auto finance lenders, including the lending divisions of large car manufacturers. The proposed rules are here. CFPB estimates that the new rule would cover 38 auto finance companies, which make 90% of all consumer auto loans in the country. These companies have never been regulated before.Read More »CPFB Proposes to Regulate Non-Bank Auto Finance Lenders