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Wholesale Originations Jump at Ocwen

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Home lending inched higher at Ocwen Financial Corp., and the current quarter could be even better. Wholesale lending drove the recent rise.

From Jan. 1 through March 31 of this year, the Atlanta-based company closed 6,500 home loans for $1.112 billion.

The production numbers were included in Ocwen’s first-quarter 2015
preliminary operating results.

Ocwen still hasn’t reported its Form 10-K for 2014 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Total originations were up from approximately 6,300 mortgages closed for roughly $1.069 billion in the final quarter of last year.

New business declined, however, from the same three-month period in 2014, when originations and purchases totaled $1.417 billion.

First-quarter 2015 production included $0.242 billion in direct originations, up 3 percent from three months earlier. Wholesale lending jumped nearly a third to $0.305 billion.

But correspondent acquisitions declined 7 percent from the fourth quarter to $0.374 billion, and reverse mortgage production fell 4 percent to $0.192 billion.

First-quarter 2015 lock volume jumped 38 percent from the prior period to $1.3 billion, pointing to a stronger second quarter.

The unpaid balance of home loans and real estate owned serviced by Ocwen fell to $382.214 billion as of March 31, 2015, from $398.728 billion at the end of last year.

However, of the $411.280 reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission in Form-10-Q as of Sept. 30, 2014 — the last detailed financial report from the Atlanta-based company —
$50.360 billion was sub-serviced.

Using a similar level of sub-servicing, that would put the primary servicing portfolio at around $331.854 billion as of March 31, 2015, from approximately $348.367 billion as of Dec. 31, 2014.

The primary residential loan servicing portfolio was previously reported at $391.701 billion as of March 31, 2014.

The company outlined agreements to sell mortgage servicing rights on a total of $89 billion in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans.

Ocwen earned $47 million before taxes during the first quarter, less than $77 million earned in the same period last year.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished as far as managing the business through this difficult transition period,” Ocwen President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Faris stated in an announcement. “We made great progress on our asset sale strategy, have returned to profitability and continue to generate substantial operating cash flow.

“However, I am not satisfied with only making $34 million in the quarter. We intend to do better.”

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