Our office recently received a communication from Ocwen (on behalf of a client). Last October, the New York Department of Financial Services alleged that Ocwen had backdated crucial letters to borrowers, exposing them to significant harm. At the time, Ocwen issued a statement acknowledging that borrowers received letters with incorrect dates.
Many of the letters involved the denial of a loan modification. The letters were dated more than 30 days prior to the mailing date of the letter, according to Benjamin Lawsky, Superintendent of the DFS. These letters informed borrowers that they could appeal the decision—within thirty dates of the denial. That period had already passed when the letters were received.
In the last year, Ocwen has “established a voluntary claim program” to provide compensation to borrowers that received backdated letters. According to the website, eligible borrowers would have received an incorrectly dated letter between January 1, 2012 and December 21, 2014 that included a deadline by which the borrower had to act. The mortgage must have then be submitted to foreclosure.
Claim packets are currently being mailed. If you believe that you are an eligible borrower and did not receive a claim packet, the website provides a claim form. Forms must be submitted May 2, 2016. Ocwen claims that it will review most claims within 180 days. Compensation for claims is projected to be between $300 and $3,000. This won’t repair the harm of losing a home to foreclosure, but it seems to be par for the course with other borrower “restitution” paid over the years. Hopefully Ocwen manages this better than the Independent Foreclosure Review.