Just this past week, Ocwen agreed to pay $900,000 to the state of Washington after an investigation conducted by the state found that Ocwen used unlicensed companies in India and the Philippines to service mortgage loans.
And more good/bad news came out for Ocwen last week, when a federal judge dismissed a racketeering lawsuit against the nonbank.
According to Reuters and Westlaw News, Ocwen stood accused of “overcharging thousands of homeowners for property inspections as well as taking kickbacks” from a scheme that allegedly involved Ocwen and Altisource Portfolio Solutions, a company that is closely affiliated with Ocwen.
The Reuters report provides scant details, but a review of the court filing shows that a pair of homeowners sought class action status and sued Ocwen and Altisource for allegedly overcharging for property inspection and broker price opinions, with Altisource allegedly providing “kickbacks” to Ocwen in exchange for using its services and passing those increased costs onto the borrowers.
The plaintiffs in the case claimed that Ocwen, Erbey and Altisource engaged in an “abusive, predatory and illegal home mortgage loan servicing business,” and in some cases, performed multiple property inspections and BPOs to “run up unnecessary fees.”
The good news for Ocwen is that the lawsuit was dismissed, as in the eyes of the judge, the plaintiffs’ claims didn’t hold water. Specifically, the judge said the plaintiffs’ case “failed to allege facts that are sufficient to make out a viable claim for relief.”
But Ocwen didn’t get off scot-free. In fact, the judge called the charges levied against Ocwen and Altisource “extremely troubling,” as the plaintiffs allegations are “bolstered” by other consent orders and settlements Ocwen has previously entered into, like in New York, for example.
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