Our firm filed a class action lawsuit against Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, the operations subsidiary of mortgage giant Ocwen. Wait, you've never heard of Ocwen? You probably haven't because they've only recently gotten to be the largest non-bank mortgage servicer in the United States, more doubling in size from 2013 to 2014 with the purchase of a $39 billion dollar loan portfolio from Wells Fargo.
Our client had a home in Las Vegas that went to foreclosure in late 2007 when his income fell and he couldn't afford to make payments anymore. Like a lot of folks, he downsized and started renting a smaller place and tried to move on with his life. But here's the problem: despite the house selling for about $50,000 more than what was owed on the first mortgage, the holder of the home equity line of credit (originally a Countrywide loan) refused to credit any of that excess to him. He repeatedly disputed the amount due with the new servicer, but they kept calling him and reporting that he was past due on his mortgage payments. They only stopped when he complained to federal and state regulators.
Fastforward to 2014 and up pops Ocwen. Apparently they'd bought the servicing rights and started calling him on his new cell phone number and sending letters demanding almost $200,000. Under Nevada law, though, a creditor can't collect a post-foreclosure deficiency unless it first goes to court and presents evidence to a judge about the sale and how much was obtained and whether that was above or below fair market value. Neither Ocwen nor anyone else ever did that back in 2007.
We sued for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, for using an automatic dialer to make calls to our client's cell phone, and the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, for trying to collect on a debt that isn't valid or lawful. The case is pending in federal court in Chicago as Snyder v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, Case No. 1:14-cv-8461.
This isn't the first complaint we've heard about Ocwen and we hope anyone reading this who has had a similar experience gets in touch to tell us their story.