March 2, 2015 / 10:12 PM / 5 years ago

Ocwen to sell servicing rights on $45 billion of Fannie Mae loans

(Reuters) - Mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp (OCN.N) said it would sell residential mortgage servicing rights on $45 billion of Fannie Mae loans to an undisclosed buyer, sending its shares up 5.5 percent in extended trading.

The announcement comes a week after Ocwen said it would sell servicing rights on $9.8 billion of loans backed by Freddie Mac to Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc, as part of a strategy to transfer some types of non-strategic servicing.

Ocwen said on Monday it was on track to sell servicing rights on agency loans of about $55 billion, including the two deals, in the next six months to raise around $550 million.

The company, which warned last month that it would report a quarterly and full-year loss mainly due to high legal expenses, said it would take a goodwill charge of $370 million–$420 million in the fourth quarter.

Mortgage servicers such as Ocwen have grown exponentially since the financial crisis by buying up the rights to service mortgages after new capital regulations made the business too costly for banks to maintain.

But investments in systems and procedures did not keep pace with their expansion, causing headaches for many homeowners.

Ocwen had to pay $150 million in penalties in December related to improper foreclosures. As part of the settlement, the company’s founder and chief executive stepped down.

Ocwen said on Monday it expected the sale of about 277,000 Fannie Mae loans to close by mid-2015, subject to approvals by the government-backed mortgage agency and the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Ocwen’s shares were trading at $9.02 after the bell. Up to Monday’s close, the stock had fallen nearly 77 percent in the past 12 months.

Reporting by Neha Dimri in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey

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