This page provides information to customers of Ocwen Loan Servicing regarding the Commissioner’s recent cease-and-desist order. Please
see our press release for more information. Please note that the N.C. Office of the Commissioner of Banks does not provide legal
advice or represent private citizens in any legal matter. The following FAQs are for informational purposes only.
Q. What is the status of Ocwen Loan Servicing in North Carolina?
A: Ocwen Loan Servicing is a licensed mortgage servicer in North Carolina and is authorized to service existing North Carolina mortgage loans. On April 20, 2017, the North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks (NCCOB) issued a cease-and-desist order that prevents the company from acquiring new loans to service until it is able to show it can appropriately manage existing consumer escrow accounts.
Q. What is a cease-and-desist order?
A: When the Commissioner of Banks has reason to believe that a mortgage company licensed under the NC SAFE Act has violated or failed to comply with the law, the Commissioner may issue a cease-and-desist order to prohibit the company from continuing to engage in harmful activities. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 53-244.114(b).
Q. Who does the cease-and-desist order cover?
A: The cease-and-desist order applies to Ocwen Loan Servicing (NMLS No. 1852). It does not apply to any of Ocwen’s other affiliates or subsidiaries.
Q. What is a mortgage servicer and how do I know if my loan is serviced by Ocwen?
A: A mortgage servicer administers mortgage loans, including collecting and recording payments from borrowers. A servicer also handles loan defaults and foreclosures, and may offer loss mitigation programs to assist delinquent borrowers. The company that you make your monthly payment to is your mortgage servicer.
Q. Do I need to do anything as a result of this action?
A: Not at this time. You should, however, always keep your loan documentation in a safe place, as these documents will have important information on them like your loan number, the dates that you obtained the loan, and the address to which you mail your payments. This information is necessary in order to make changes to your loan should you choose to do so.
Q. Why did North Carolina and other states issue a cease-and-desist order?
A: A cease-and-desist order was issued to address Ocwen’s mishandling of consumer escrow accounts, among other things. State mortgage regulators conduct regulatory examinations to ensure that companies like Ocwen are operating legally and in compliance with state and federal lending laws and regulations. Part of that process includes testing the company’s ability to accurately process mortgage loan payments.
Q. What happens to Ocwen under the cease-and-desist order?
A: The cease-and-desist order prevents Ocwen from acquiring new loans to service. It does not include loans that are currently serviced by Ocwen. Therefore, servicing processes should continue and consumers should continue to pay their mortgage loans in the manner in which they always have.
Q. What did Ocwen do wrong in handling consumer escrow accounts?
A: NCCOB cannot comment on specific escrow account problems due to confidentiality and privacy issues. As the order indicates, concerns with Ocwen’s compliance with state and/or federal laws were identified.
Q. Why is Ocwen being allowed to continue servicing existing loans after North Carolina issued the cease-and-desist order?
A: As a North Carolina licensee, Ocwen must continue to abide by the state’s statutory requirements. A sudden disruption of Ocwen’s current servicing responsibilities would not be in the best interest of the consumer. The company has been and will continue to be closely monitored by State Mortgage Regulators.
Q. What does it mean when Ocwen says it escrows for taxes or insurance?
A: This simply means that Ocwen takes a portion of your monthly mortgage payment and sets it aside in an account, saving it for the time when your taxes or insurance payment is due to be paid. Having your servicer escrow for your taxes and insurance is a way to ensure that you always have money in your account for these important payments.
Q. How will I know if my payments have not been handled correctly?
A: You receive a monthly statement from Ocwen, either electronically or in the mail. You also receive an annual escrow statement that reflects the part of your payment set aside, the timing, and amounts that Ocwen paid on your behalf for real estate taxes, insurance, or other items, if you originally agreed for them to perform that function. These statements are excellent ways for you to determine that your payments are being correctly managed.
Q. If I get a delinquent tax notice, and Ocwen is escrowing for my taxes, does that mean there is something wrong?
A: It may. You should immediately call Ocwen (800.746.2936) to inquire as to why you received the delinquent notice, especially if Ocwen is escrowing for taxes on your loan.
Q. If I get a notice of expired home owner’s insurance and Ocwen is escrowing for insurance, does that mean there is something wrong?
A: It may. You should immediately call Ocwen (800.746.2936) to inquire as to why you received the notice, especially if Ocwen is escrowing for insurance on your loan.
Q. Ocwen sent me a notice of force placed insurance, even though they escrow for my insurance payments. Does that mean there is something wrong?
A: It may. You should check your insurance policy to make sure it has not expired. If it has expired, the force placed insurance should cover your property. If it has not expired and you think the insurance was placed in error, you should call Ocwen (800.746.2936) and ask for an explanation.
Q. How will I know if anything changes as a result of this action?
A: If something changes that would impact your loan, you should be notified by Ocwen through a letter and possibly email correspondence. If you would like more information on this action, you may call Ocwen’s customer service (800.746.2936) to inquire. Don’t forget to note the date and time of your call and the person you spoke to.
Q. What if I have questions about the handling of my current mortgage payment or my loan is not being properly serviced by Ocwen?
A: Processes and/or contact numbers that are currently in place with Ocwen should continue to be followed. You should call Ocwen (800.746.2936) and ask them to explain the issue. If they cannot explain the issue in a way that you can understand, you should ask to speak with a different customer service representative. Take note of the person’s name that speaks to you, the time and date on which you spoke, and ask the customer service representative to note the conversation in your loan file.
Ocwen is still obligated to service loans in compliance with all state and federal regulations. If Ocwen is mishandling your loan and you are unable to obtain a satisfactory answer, contact NCCOB at Ocwenquestions@nccob.gov.
Q. How many North Carolina consumers have loans that are serviced by Ocwen?
A: Due to confidentiality laws, NCCOB is unable to provide details relating to the number of consumers affected in the state. Nationwide, Ocwen services approximately 1.5 million consumers and operates in 50 states.
Q. What if I have additional questions regarding the Ocwen cease-and-desist order?
A: Contact NCCOB at Ocwenquestions@nccob.gov and a member of the NCCOB staff will respond. Alternatively call 919-733-3016.