Ocwen Bank Rebuked by Regulators: Lawyer David Soble Lists How Borrowers Can Protect Against Suspect Loan Practices

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A majority of people are not experienced in addressing a loan default or problematic loan services. Proven Resource managing attorney recommends actions both consumers and business owners can take against rogue lenders.

"The great thing about fact-based decisions is that they overrule the hierarchy." - Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon

On December 16, 2014 The New York Times reported that the New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent publicly admonished Ocwen Bank, among this country’s largest mortgage loan servicers, alleging that it back dated hundreds of thousands of significant default and loan modification letters, undermining the legal rights of homeowners nationwide. As a result, Ocwen Bank’s CEO has agreed to resign next month, and the company was penalized $150 Million Dollars by New York alone. This comes on as Joseph Smith Jr, regulator at the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight concluded in his December 16, 2014 official press release, that Ocwen Bank had allegedly provided authorities with unreliable information earlier this year and that he was setting up an "Ethics Hotline" for Ocwen employees.

For many disenfranchised borrowers, the government's allegations and financial sanctions against Ocwen Bank come too late. Here are 4 things borrowers of any loan type can do to protect themselves from rogue banks and their collectors:

1. Keep all written correspondence. This includes the date -stamped envelope. A large part of Ocwen’s problem was that legal notifications were written long before they were mailed, effectively shortening the response times normally afforded to troubled borrowers. Aside from a signed certified letter, a date stamped envelope verifies
the actual date of mailing which is very important for time sensitive notices.

2. Take great notes. It’s simply not enough to rely upon a bank representative's verbal statements concerning a loan. In any telephone conversation, always note the date and time and collect the full name, employee identification number, and telephone extension. Many companies record telephone conversations “for quality control and training purposes.” Having the date and time of a particular conversation may help to retrieve a recording of any significance.

3. Be proactive. Always confirm a date to follow up on a status, and then actually follow up. Be mindful that a change in status may not occur on a designated date. Still bank representatives, required to keep conversation logs, will be aware of external expectations and hopefully act accordingly. Remember the old adage, ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” and use it in conjunction with "catching more flies with sugar than vinegar.”

4. Seek the assistance of an appropriate professional. The stress of dealing with a bank's collection arm, when one’s home or business is in jeopardy, is compounded by the fact that the majority of people are not experienced in addressing a loan default or problematic loan servicer. Nor should they be. If progress seems slow or if a lender’s response seems unwarranted, then its best to contact an attorney experienced in loan matters. No other professional, regardless of good the intentions, can provide legal advice.

About the Author: Since 1990, Michigan attorney David Soble has been responsible for billions of dollars in real estate and finance matters representing the legal needs of both businesses and consumers alike.

Disclaimer: You should not rely or act upon the contents of this article without seeking advice from your own attorney.

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David Soble
Proven Resource
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