There were over 700,000 U.S. foreclosures last year, according to Moody’s Analytics. And some of those people probably did not need to actually lose their homes. Even now lawyers allege that mortgage companies are still making mistakes regarding homes and foreclosure. Ocwen Financial Corp, a national mortgage servicer is allegedly one of those companies, and is thus facing an investigation over the treatment of its homeowners.
The class-action lawsuit alleges Ocwen has back-dated letters, marked-up illegal fees, and participated in deceptive business practices that have pushed homeowners into unnecessary foreclosures. Ironically, Ocwen has touted itself as the company that does the best when it comes to avoiding foreclosures.
One of the main issues facing Ocwen is the allegations that the company issued thousands of back-dated letters to make it appear as if homeowners had missed the window to avoid foreclosure. Released documents show thousands of loan-modification letters that are likely to have caused homeowners “significant harm” because Ocwen back-dated them. Ocwen has since pledged to work to fix this back-dating problem. But that’s not the only issue.
Marked-up and Illegal Fees
The lawsuit also alleges the company marked-up and charged illegal fees. According to Phyllis Nugent, a plaintiff in the case, “They just keep sending us bills with erroneous amounts on there and then charging us all these different fees.” Gary Klein, a lead attorney representing the homeowners against Ocwen said, “People have a relatively small and manageable default, something that they could correct, but because Ocwen adds charges in such large amounts, the problem becomes almost unsolvable.”
Ocwen has issued this following statement: “Ocwen is currently reviewing the lawsuit and will vigorously defend itself against the claims asserted. Because the litigation remains pending, Ocwen declines to comment further at this time.”
Sources: NPR.org, Firm Accused Of Illegal Practices That Push Families Into Foreclosure, November 18, 2014