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Ocwen to Sell $45 Billion Worth of Agency Performing Loans

Ocwen Financial has signed a letter of intent to sell the mortgage servicing rights for $45 billion worth of agency performing loans, according to an announcement on Ocwen's website late Monday night.

The portfolio consists of about 277,000 performing loans owned by Fannie Mae. The approximate unpaid balance of the loans is approximately $45 billion. According to the announcement, Ocwen expects the deal to close by the middle of the year. The transaction is subject to approval from Fannie Mae as well as the Enterprise's conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and other customary conditions. Ocwen expects the loan servicing to transfer over the second half of 2015.

Monday's announcement came less than a week after Ocwen announced it was selling an MSR portfolio worth $9.8 billion in performing Agency loans to Dallas-based Nationstar. That portfolio contained approximately 81,000 performing residential mortgage loans owned by Freddie Mac.

These two transactions together represent approximately $55 billion in unpaid principal balance for which Ocwen has agreed in the last week to sell the mortgage servicing rights. Both of the transactions are expected to be completed in the next six months. According to Ocwen's announcement, the Atlanta-based servicer expects the two transactions will generate approximately $550 million in proceeds and "accelerate Ocwen's strategy to reduce the size of its Agency servicing portfolio."

Ocwen did not name the buyer in the $45 billion transaction announced Monday, though Ocwen President and CEO Ron Faris did say last week that the Atlanta-based servicer was looking forward to "exploring additional MSR transactions with Nationstar."

Also announced on Monday, Ocwen entered into an amendment to its $1.3 billion Senior Secured Term Loan to remove certain restrictions on asset sales and permanently increase a financial covenant. To repay cash received from asset sales, Ocwen has agreed to an accelerated repayment schedule.

"We are pleased with the actions of our term loan investors. They have been supportive of Ocwen and recognize the importance and benefit of executing on our strategy," Faris said. "Additionally, their willingness to enter into an amendment with Ocwen is an affirmation that the Company is, and always has been, in compliance with all of its SSTL covenants."

Ocwen's regulatory troubles over the last year have been well-documented. The Atlanta-based non-bank mortgage servicer agreed to a $150 settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services in December 2014. That settlement included the departure of chairman Bill Erbey, who founded the company more than 30 years ago.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.
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