Montana issues cease-and-desist order to mortgage servicer Ocwen
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Montana has issued a temporary cease-and-desist order to Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, (Ocwen) to address mishandling of borrower escrow accounts. Ocwen is a mortgage servicer.
The Montana Division of Banking and Financial Institutions says it has handled 16 complaints against Ocwen and required Ocwen to credit $51,368.56 to Montana borrowers over the past three years.
“Managing borrower funds paid as part of their mortgage payments every month is critical to the business of a servicer, said Melanie Hall, Montana Banking Commissioner. "A company that cannot demonstrate that it can accurately accomplish these basic requirements cannot be allowed to continue to grow and potentially cause harm to additional Montanans.”
Mortgage servicers receive borrower mortgage payments and are responsible for timely paying taxes and insurance payments, keeping accurate records of all borrower payments, and correctly calculating sums that should be paid into escrow. The order prohibits Ocwen from acquiring new mortgage servicing rights until the company is able to establish that it can appropriately manage its Montana escrow accounts. The order is the culmination of several years of examinations and monitoring that revealed the company is not appropriately managing its escrow accounts.
“As Attorney General, I joined with other states in holding the big banks and servicers accountable for abusive practices committed against homeowners," Gov. Steve Bullock said. "This action is necessary to ensure that hardworking Montanans aren’t at risk of losing their homes due to Ocwen error.”
Division officials will now focus on assisting borrowers who currently make mortgage payments to Ocwen. Montana has a toll-free number (800-914-8423) that Ocwen borrowers who have experienced problems with payments or any other account issues can call with questions.