It’s been several years now since the Roses first came in to see us regarding their problems with their mortgage loan servicer, Ocwen. At that time they told us that they would repeatedly send in their monthly payment well within the grace period due date (the 15th credit the payment to the account until after the 15th, Over the years, this practice caused thousands of dollars to be added onto the Rose’s loan balance. Of course, Ocwen was totally unresponsive to the Rose’s complaints about this, failing to give them a legitimate explanation as to how or why they owed the deficiency it was claiming.
This left the Rose’s in the unenviable and precarious position of not know what to expect next, wondering day to day whether they would be receiving a foreclosure complaint. Eventually, the Rose’s decided to stand their ground and fight by stopping to send in their payments altogether. After doing so, almost another year went by before they received the inevitable foreclosure complaint. Upon reviewing that document, it was immediately apparent that serious standing issues (that is, issues concerning Ocwen’s legal right to foreclose) existed, in addition to the substantial questions regarding the unwarranted and ongoing late fees.
Since we raised these questions in the foreclosure case, Ocwen already appears to be backing down from its aggressive, take your home away position. They have made the Rose’s an offer which sure seems like an apology to them for its past sins. Consider the following terms of that offer:
Old Loan Terms Proposed New Loan Terms
Mo. Payment $824 $369
(principal & interest)
Interest rate 11% 4.21%
Loan balance $86,000 $50,000
Although on its face this would appear to be a fantastic end result for the Rose’s, Ocwen’s proposal in fact represents small recompense to them. The trauma of living every day for the past several years not knowing whether they would be able to continue to live in their home is something no amount of mortgage relief can fully compensate them for. It remains to be seen whether the Rose’s will accept Ocwen’s offer. But whether they do or they don’t doesn’t change what seems to be obvious: that when caught in the act of misconduct, Ocwen extended an olive branch as its form of asking for forgiveness for its transgressions, an olive branch which would not have been extended but for the fact that it did get caught.
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Kate Eyster and Lauren McGookey contributed to this article.