Company Quick10K Filing
Ocwen Financial
Price1.99 EPS-1
Shares135 P/E-1
MCap268 P/FCF1
Net Debt6,570 EBIT218
TEV6,838 TEV/EBIT31
TTM 2019-09-30, in MM, except price, ratios
10-K 2020-12-31 Filed 2021-02-19
10-Q 2020-09-30 Filed 2020-11-03
10-Q 2020-06-30 Filed 2020-08-04
10-Q 2020-03-31 Filed 2020-05-08
10-K 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-02-26
10-Q 2019-09-30 Filed 2019-11-05
10-Q 2019-06-30 Filed 2019-08-06
10-Q 2019-03-31 Filed 2019-05-07
10-K 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-02-27
10-Q 2018-09-30 Filed 2018-11-06
10-Q 2018-06-30 Filed 2018-07-26
10-Q 2018-03-31 Filed 2018-05-02
10-K 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-02-28
10-Q 2017-09-30 Filed 2017-11-02
10-Q 2017-06-30 Filed 2017-08-03
10-Q 2017-03-31 Filed 2017-05-15
10-K 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-02-23
10-Q 2016-09-30 Filed 2016-10-27
10-Q 2016-06-30 Filed 2016-07-28
10-Q 2016-03-31 Filed 2016-04-28
10-K 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-02-29
10-Q 2015-09-30 Filed 2015-10-29
10-Q 2015-06-30 Filed 2015-07-31
10-Q 2015-03-31 Filed 2015-05-18
10-K 2014-12-31 Filed 2015-05-11
10-Q 2014-09-30 Filed 2014-10-31
10-Q 2014-03-31 Filed 2014-05-02
10-K 2013-12-31 Filed 2014-03-03
10-Q 2013-12-31 Filed 2014-08-18
10-Q 2013-09-30 Filed 2013-11-05
10-Q 2013-06-30 Filed 2013-08-06
10-Q 2013-03-31 Filed 2013-05-08
10-K 2012-12-31 Filed 2013-03-01
10-Q 2012-09-30 Filed 2012-11-02
10-Q 2012-06-30 Filed 2012-08-06
10-Q 2012-03-31 Filed 2012-05-04
10-K 2011-12-31 Filed 2012-02-29
10-Q 2011-09-30 Filed 2011-11-09
10-Q 2011-06-30 Filed 2011-08-04
10-Q 2011-03-31 Filed 2011-05-05
10-K 2010-12-31 Filed 2011-02-28
10-Q 2010-09-30 Filed 2010-11-04
10-Q 2010-06-30 Filed 2010-08-04
10-Q 2010-03-31 Filed 2010-05-07
10-K 2009-12-31 Filed 2010-03-08
8-K 2020-10-20
8-K 2020-10-15
8-K 2020-09-15
8-K 2020-09-10
8-K 2020-08-04
8-K 2020-08-04
8-K 2020-08-03
8-K 2020-07-16
8-K 2020-05-27
8-K 2020-05-08
8-K 2020-04-08
8-K 2020-04-03
8-K 2020-04-03
8-K 2020-03-30
8-K 2020-03-11
8-K 2020-02-20
8-K 2020-02-06
8-K 2020-01-27
8-K 2019-11-26
8-K 2019-11-05
8-K 2019-08-07
8-K 2019-08-06
8-K 2019-07-17
8-K 2019-07-01
8-K 2019-05-30
8-K 2019-05-15
8-K 2019-05-07
8-K 2019-03-18
8-K 2019-02-27
8-K 2019-02-22
8-K 2019-02-21
8-K 2018-12-06
8-K 2018-11-16
8-K 2018-11-15
8-K 2018-11-06
8-K 2018-10-17
8-K 2018-10-04
8-K 2018-09-27
8-K 2018-08-21
8-K 2018-08-17
8-K 2018-07-26
8-K 2018-07-17
8-K 2018-06-28
8-K 2018-06-22
8-K 2018-05-23
8-K 2018-05-23
8-K 2018-05-02
8-K 2018-04-17
8-K 2018-04-09
8-K 2018-03-22
8-K 2018-02-28
8-K 2018-02-27
8-K 2018-02-26
8-K 2018-02-09
8-K 2018-02-01
8-K 2018-01-18

OCN 10K Annual Report

Part I
Item 1. Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Selected Financial Data (Dollars in Millions, Except per Share Data and Unless Otherwise Indicated)
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
Part III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11. Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Part IV
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16. Form 10 - K Summary
Note 1 - Organization, Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies
Note 2 - Business Acquisition
Note 3 - Severance and Restructuring Charges
Note 4 - Securitizations and Variable Interest Entities
Note 5 - Fair Value
Note 6 - Loans Held for Sale
Note 7 - Reverse Mortgages
Note 8 - Advances
Note 9 - Mortgage Servicing
Note 10 - Rights To Msrs
Note 11 - Receivables
Note 12 - Premises and Equipment
Note 13 - Other Assets
Note 14 - Borrowings
Note 15 - Other Liabilities
Note 16 - Stockholders' Equity
Note 17 - Derivative Financial Instruments and Hedging Activities
Note 18 - Interest Income
Note 19 - Interest Expense
Note 20 - Income Taxes
Note 21 - Basic and Diluted Earnings (Loss) per Share
Note 22 - Employee Compensation and Benefit Plans
Note 23 - Business Segment Reporting
Note 24 - Regulatory Requirements
Note 25 - Commitments
Note 26 - Contingencies
Note 27 - Quarterly Results of Operations (Unaudited)
Note 28 - Subsequent Events
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Ocwen Financial Earnings 2020-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow
10.08.06.04.02.00.02012201420172020
Assets, Equity
0.60.40.1-0.1-0.4-0.62012201420172020
Rev, G Profit, Net Income
2.51.50.5-0.5-1.5-2.52012201420172020
Ops, Inv, Fin

ocn-20201231
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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 For the transition period from: ____________________ to ____________________
Commission File No. 1-13219
OCWEN FINANCIAL CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Florida 65-0039856
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization) (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
1661 Worthington Road, Suite 100 33409
West Palm Beach,
Florida 
(Address of principal executive office)(Zip Code)
(561) 682-8000
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.01 Par ValueOCNNew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12 (g) of the Act: Not applicable.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:
 Large Accelerated filerAccelerated filer
 Non-accelerated filerSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act) Yes No x
Aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity of the registrant held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2020: $84,455,889
Number of shares of common stock outstanding as of February 16, 2021: 8,687,750 shares
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE: Portions of our definitive Proxy Statement with respect to our Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which is currently scheduled to be held on May 25, 2021, are incorporated by reference into Part III, Items 10 - 14.




OCWEN FINANCIAL CORPORATION
2020 FORM 10-K ANNUAL REPORT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
  PAGE

1


FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this report, including, statements regarding our financial position, business strategy and other plans and objectives for our future operations, are forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements may be identified by a reference to a future period or by the use of forward-looking terminology. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “expect”, “believe”, “foresee”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “estimate”, “goal”, “strategy”, “plan” “target” and “project” or conditional verbs such as “will”, “may”, “should”, “could” or “would” or the negative of these terms, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. Readers should bear these factors in mind when considering forward-looking statements and should not place undue reliance on such statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by such statements. In the past, actual results have differed from those suggested by forward-looking statements and this may happen again. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to, the risks discussed in Part I, Item 1A., Risk Factors and the following:
uncertainty relating to the continuing impacts of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, including with respect to the response of the U.S. government, state governments, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) (together, the GSEs), the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) and regulators;
the potential for ongoing COVID-19 related disruption in the financial markets and in commercial activity generally, increased unemployment, and other financial difficulties facing our borrowers;
the proportion of borrowers who enter into forbearance plans, the financial ability of borrowers to resume repayment and their timing for doing so;
our ability to consummate the private placement of senior secured notes with Oaktree Capital Management L.P. and its affiliates (Oaktree);
our ability to consummate on favorable terms or at all the additional debt financing that is a condition to issuance and sale of the senior secured notes to Oaktree;
our ability to satisfy the other conditions precedent to the issuance and sale of the senior secured notes to Oaktree;
our ability to refinance or redeem our corporate debt, including the Senior Secured Term Loan, the 6.375% senior unsecured notes due 2021, and the 8.375% senior secured second lien notes due 2022;
our ability to obtain regulatory approvals and satisfy the closing conditions under the Transaction Agreement relating to our mortgage servicing right (MSR) joint venture with Oaktree and the timing for doing so;
our ability to deploy the proceeds of the senior secured notes, if issued to Oaktree, in suitable investments at appropriate returns;
the extent to which the MSR joint venture (if and when closed), other recent transactions and our enterprise sales initiatives will generate additional subservicing volume;
the adequacy of our financial resources, including our sources of liquidity and ability to sell, fund and recover servicing advances, forward and reverse whole loans, and Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and forward loan buyouts and put-backs, as well as repay, renew and extend borrowings, borrow additional amounts as and when required, meet our MSR or other asset investment objectives and comply with our debt agreements, including the financial and other covenants contained in them;
increased servicing costs based on rising borrower delinquency levels or other factors;
reduced collection of servicing fees and ancillary income and delayed collection of servicing revenue as a result of forbearance plans and moratoria on evictions and foreclosure proceedings;
our ability to continue to improve our financial performance through cost re-engineering initiatives and other actions;
our ability to continue to grow our lending business and increase our lending volumes in a competitive market and uncertain interest rate environment;
uncertainty related to our long-term relationship and remaining agreements with New Residential Investment Corp. (NRZ), our largest servicing client;
uncertainty related to claims, litigation, cease and desist orders and investigations brought by government agencies and private parties regarding our servicing, foreclosure, modification, origination and other practices, including uncertainty related to past, present or future investigations, litigation, cease and desist orders and settlements with state regulators, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), State Attorneys General, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice or the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD);
adverse effects on our business as a result of regulatory investigations, litigation, cease and desist orders or settlements and the reactions of key counterparties, including lenders, the GSEs and Ginnie Mae;
2


our ability to comply with the terms of our settlements with regulatory agencies and the costs of doing so;
any adverse developments in existing legal proceedings or the initiation of new legal proceedings;
our ability to effectively manage our regulatory and contractual compliance obligations;
uncertainty related to changes in legislation, regulations, government programs and policies, industry initiatives, best servicing and lending practices, and media scrutiny of our business and industry;
our ability to interpret correctly and comply with liquidity, net worth and other financial and other requirements of regulators, the GSEs and Ginnie Mae, as well as those set forth in our debt and other agreements;
our ability to comply with our servicing agreements, including our ability to comply with our agreements with, and the requirements of, the GSEs and Ginnie Mae and maintain our seller/servicer and other statuses with them;
our servicer and credit ratings as well as other actions from various rating agencies, including the impact of prior or future downgrades of our servicer and credit ratings;
failure of our information technology or other security systems or breach of our privacy protections, including any failure to protect customers’ data;
our reliance on our technology vendors to adequately maintain and support our systems, including our servicing systems, loan originations and financial reporting systems, and uncertainty relating to our ability to transition to alternative vendors, if necessary, without incurring significant cost or disruption to our operations;
the loss of the services of our senior managers and key employees;
uncertainty related to the actions of loan owners and guarantors, including mortgage-backed securities investors, the GSEs, Ginnie Mae and trustees regarding loan put-backs, penalties and legal actions;
uncertainty related to the GSEs substantially curtailing or ceasing to purchase our conforming loan originations or the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) of the HUD or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ceasing to provide insurance;
uncertainty related to our ability to continue to collect certain expedited payment or convenience fees and potential liability for charging such fees;
uncertainty related to our reserves, valuations, provisions and anticipated realization of assets;
uncertainty related to the ability of third-party obligors and financing sources to fund servicing advances on a timely basis on loans serviced by us;
the characteristics of our servicing portfolio, including prepayment speeds along with delinquency and advance rates;
our ability to successfully modify delinquent loans, manage foreclosures and sell foreclosed properties;
uncertainty related to the processes for judicial and non-judicial foreclosure proceedings, including potential additional costs or delays or moratoria in the future or claims pertaining to past practices;
our ability to adequately manage and maintain real estate owned (REO) properties and vacant properties collateralizing loans that we service;
our ability to realize anticipated future gains from future draws on existing loans in our reverse mortgage portfolio;
our ability to effectively manage our exposure to interest rate changes and foreign exchange fluctuations;
our ability to effectively transform our operations in response to changing business needs, including our ability to do so without unanticipated adverse tax consequences;
uncertainty related to the political or economic stability of the United States and of the foreign countries in which we have operations; and
our ability to maintain positive relationships with our large shareholders and obtain their support for management proposals requiring shareholder approval.
Further information on the risks specific to our business is detailed within this report, including under “Risk Factors.” Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they were made and we disclaim any obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements whether because of new information, future events or otherwise.


3


PART I
ITEM 1.    BUSINESS
When we use the terms “Ocwen,” “OCN,” “we,” “us” and “our,” we are referring to Ocwen Financial Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries.
OVERVIEW
We are a financial services company that services and originates mortgage loans, through our primary brands, PHH Mortgage and Liberty Reverse Mortgage. We have a strong track record of success as a leader in the servicing industry in foreclosure prevention and loss mitigation that helps homeowners stay in their homes and improves financial outcomes for mortgage loan investors. This long-standing core competency will continue to be a guiding principle as we seek to grow our business and improve our financial performance.
We are headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida with offices and operations in the U.S., in the United States Virgin Islands, in India and the Philippines. At December 31, 2020, approximately 70% of our workforce is located outside the U.S. Ocwen Financial Corporation is a Florida corporation organized in February 1988. With our predecessors, we have been servicing residential mortgage loans since 1988. We have been originating forward mortgage loans since 2012 and reverse mortgage loans since 2013. We currently provide solutions through our primary operating, wholly-owned subsidiary, PHH Mortgage Corporation (PMC).
As of December 31, 2020, our public shareholders collectively held 8,536,869 shares or 98.3% of our common stock.
BUSINESS MODEL AND SEGMENTS
Ocwen’s business model is designed to create value and maximize returns for our shareholders, and effectively allocate our resources. Following the acquisition and integration of PHH Corporation (PHH) in late 2018 and 2019, we have transformed into a better balanced and more diversified business. We seek to create value for shareholders through growth, operational efficiency and high quality operational execution. Our core competencies revolve around our Servicing business and we aggressively pursue growth of our servicing portfolio through origination and purchase of servicing volume from multiple sources.
Our servicing portfolio is comprised of three components with different economics - our owned MSRs, our subservicing portfolio, and the NRZ servicing portfolio. We invest our capital to fund purchases and originations of our owned MSRs and servicing advances, for which we establish a targeted return on investment. Our net return includes servicing revenue net of servicing costs, less MSR portfolio runoff, and less our MSR and advance funding cost. Our subservicing portfolio generates a relatively more stable source of revenue. While subservicing fees are relatively lower, we do not incur any significant capital utilization or funding of advances. Our NRZ servicing portfolio is effectively a subservicing relationship - See New Residential Investment Corp. Relationship. We target a balanced mix of our portfolio between servicing and subservicing based on capital allocation and returns. Our servicing operations and customer interactions do not differentiate whether loans are serviced or subserviced. Our leadership and experience in dealing with distressed economic conditions and non-performing loans allowed us to quickly adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and provide payment relief and assistance to borrowers enduring financial hardship, in a relatively seamless manner to subservicing clients and investors.
Our growth strategy is built on our relationships with borrowers, lenders and other market participants. We develop these relationships to grow our existing owned MSR portfolio, or develop new subservicing arrangements. We purchase MSRs through bulk portfolio purchases, through flow purchase agreements with our network of mortgage companies and financial institutions, and through participation in the Agency Cash Window (or Co-Issue) programs. In order to diversify our sources of servicing and reduce our reliance on others, we have been developing our origination of MSRs through different channels, including our portfolio recapture channel, retail, wholesale and correspondent lending.
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The chart below summarizes our current business model:
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We report our activities in three segments, Servicing, Originations (previously Lending) and Corporate Items and Other that reflect other business activities that are currently individually insignificant. Our business segments reflect the internal reporting that we use to evaluate operating performance of services and to assess the allocation of our resources. The financial information of our segments is presented in our financial statements in Note 23 — Business Segment Reporting and discussed in the individual business operations sections of Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
Servicing
Our Servicing business is primarily comprised of our residential forward mortgage servicing business that currently accounts for the majority of our total revenues, our reverse mortgage servicing business, and our small commercial mortgage servicing business. Our servicing clients include some of the largest financial institutions in the U.S., including the GSEs, Ginnie Mae, NRZ and non-Agency residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) trusts. As of December 31, 2020, our residential servicing portfolio consisted of 1,107,582 loans with an unpaid principal balance (UPB) of $188.8 billion.
Servicing involves the collection of principal and interest payments from borrowers, the administration of tax and insurance escrow accounts, the collection of insurance claims, the management of loans that are delinquent or in foreclosure or bankruptcy, including making servicing advances, evaluating loans for modification and other loss mitigation activities and, if necessary, foreclosure referrals and the sale of the underlying mortgaged property following foreclosure (REO) on behalf of mortgage loan investors or other servicers. Master servicing involves the collection of payments from servicers and the distribution of funds to investors in mortgage and asset-backed securities and whole loan packages. We earn contractual monthly servicing fees (which are typically payable as a percentage of UPB) pursuant to servicing agreements as well as other ancillary fees relating to our servicing activities such as late fees and, in certain circumstances, REO referral commissions.
We own MSRs outright, where we typically receive all the servicing economics, and we subservice on behalf of other institutions that own the MSRs, in which case we typically earn a smaller fee for performing the subservicing activities. Special servicing is a form of subservicing where we generally manage only delinquent loans on behalf of a loan owner. We typically earn subservicing and special servicing fees either as a percentage of UPB or on a per loan basis based on delinquency status.
Servicing advances are an important component of our business and are amounts that we, as servicer, are required to advance to, or on behalf of, our servicing clients if we do not receive such amounts from borrowers. These amounts include principal and interest payments, property taxes and insurance premiums and amounts to maintain, repair and market real estate properties on behalf of our servicing clients. Most of our advances have the highest reimbursement priority such that we are entitled to repayment of the advances from the loan or property liquidation proceeds before most other claims on these proceeds. The costs incurred in meeting advancing obligations consist principally of the interest expense incurred in financing the advance receivables and the costs of arranging such financing. Under subservicing agreements, Ocwen is promptly reimbursed by the owners of the MSRs who generally finance the advances and incur the associated financing cost.
Reducing delinquencies is important to our business because it enables us to recover advances and recognize additional ancillary income, such as late fees, which we do not recognize on delinquent loans until they are brought current. Performing loans also require less work and thus are generally less costly to service. While increasing borrower participation in loan modification programs is a critical component of our ability to reduce delinquencies, borrower compliance with those modifications is also an important factor.
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Our servicing portfolio naturally decreases over time as homeowners make regularly scheduled mortgage payments, prepay loans prior to maturity, refinance with a mortgage loan not serviced by us or involuntarily liquidate through foreclosure or other liquidation process. In addition, existing clients may determine to terminate their servicing and subservicing arrangements with us and transfer the servicing to others. Therefore, our ability to maintain or grow our servicing revenue or the size of our servicing portfolio depends on our ability to acquire the right to service or subservice additional mortgage loans at a rate that exceeds portfolio runoff and any client terminations. Our Originations segment is focused on profitably replenishing and growing our servicing and subservicing portfolios.
Originations
The primary source of revenue of our Originations segment (previously Lending) is our gain on sale of loans. We originate and purchase residential mortgage loans that we sell to Agencies or securitize on a servicing retained basis, thereby generating a mortgage servicing rights. Our mortgage loans are conventional (conforming to the underwriting standards of the GSEs, collectively Agency loans) and government-insured loans (insured by the FHA or VA). We generally package and sell the loans in the secondary mortgage market, through GSE and Ginnie Mae guaranteed securitizations and whole loan transactions. We originate forward mortgage loans directly with customers (recapture channel) as well as through correspondent lending arrangements since the second quarter of 2019. We originate reverse mortgage loans in all three channels, through our correspondent lending arrangements, broker relationships (wholesale) and retail channels. In addition to our originated MSRs, we acquire MSRs through multiple channels, including flow purchase agreements, the GSE Cash Window programs and bulk MSR purchases.
In 2020, our Originations business originated or purchased forward and reverse mortgage loans with a UPB of $7.0 billion and $941.6 million, respectively. Per-loan margins vary by channel, with correspondent typically being the lowest margin and retail the highest. As part of our internal management reporting we renamed the Lending segment as Originations effective in the first quarter 2020, without any other changes to our operating and reporting segments. In addition, effective with the fourth quarter of 2020, we report the results of Reverse Servicing within the Servicing segment (previously within Originations), to align with the change in the management of the business and change in the internal management reporting. Historical segment information has been recast to conform to the current segment structure.
Retail Lending. We originate forward and reverse mortgage loans directly with borrowers through our retail lending business. Our forward lending business benefits from our servicing portfolio by offering refinance options to qualified borrowers seeking to lower their mortgage payments. Depending on borrower eligibility, we refinance eligible customers into conforming or government-insured products. We are focused on increasing recapture rates on our existing servicing portfolio to grow this business. We also are increasing our ability to originate retail loans to non-Ocwen servicing customers through various marketing channels. Through lead campaigns and direct marketing, the retail channel seeks to convert leads into loans in a cost-efficient manner.
Correspondent Lending. Our correspondent lending operation purchases mortgage loans that have been originated by a network of approved third-party lenders. All the lenders participating in our correspondent lending program are approved by senior management members of our lending and risk management teams. We also employ an ongoing monitoring and renewal process for participating lenders that includes an evaluation of the performance of the loans they have sold to us. We perform a variety of pre- and post-funding review procedures to ensure that the loans we purchase conform to our requirements and to the requirements of the investors to whom we sell loans.
Wholesale Lending. We originate reverse mortgage loans through a network of approved brokers. Brokers are subject to a formal approval and monitoring process. We underwrite all loans originated through this channel consistent with the underwriting standards required by the ultimate investor prior to funding.
We provide customary origination representations and warranties to investors in connection with our loan sales and securitization activities. We receive customary origination representations and warranties from our network of approved originators relating to loans we purchase through our correspondent lending channel. In the event we cannot remedy a breach of a representation or warranty, we may be required to repurchase the loan or provide an indemnification payment to the investor. To the extent that we have recourse against a third-party originator, we may recover part or all of any loss we incur.
MSR Purchases. We purchase MSRs through flow purchase agreements, the GSE Cash Window programs and bulk MSR purchases. The GSE Cash Window programs we participate in, and purchase MSR from, allow mortgage companies and financial institutions to sell whole loans to the respective agency and sell the MSR to the winning bidder servicing released. In addition, we partner with other originators to replenish our MSR through flow purchase agreements. We do not provide any origination representations and warranties in connection with our MSR purchases through MSR flow purchase agreements or GSE Cash Window programs.
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REGULATION
Our business is subject to extensive oversight and regulation by federal, state and local governmental authorities, including the CFPB, HUD and various state agencies that license and conduct examinations of our loan servicing, origination and collection activities. In addition, we operate under a number of regulatory settlements that subject us to ongoing reporting and other obligations. From time to time, we also receive requests (including requests in the form of subpoenas and civil investigative demands) from federal, state and local agencies for records, documents and information relating to the policies, procedures and practices of our loan servicing, origination and collection activities. The GSEs and their conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA), Ginnie Mae, the United States Treasury Department, various investors, non-Agency securitization trustees and others also subject us to periodic reviews and audits.
In the current regulatory environment, we have faced and expect to continue to face heightened regulatory and public scrutiny as an organization as well as stricter and more comprehensive regulation of the entire mortgage sector. We continue to work diligently to assess and understand the implications of the regulatory environment in which we operate and to meet the requirements of this constantly changing environment. We devote substantial resources to regulatory compliance, while, at the same time, striving to meet the needs and expectations of our customers, clients and other stakeholders. See Item 1A. Risk Factors – Legal and Regulatory Risks for further information.
We must comply with a large number of federal, state and local consumer protection laws including, among others, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the Homeowners Protection Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, as well as individual state laws pertaining to licensing, general mortgage origination and servicing practices and foreclosure, and federal and local bankruptcy rules. These statutes apply to many facets of our business, including loan origination, default servicing and collections, use of credit reports, safeguarding of non-public personally identifiable information about our customers, foreclosure and claims handling, investment of and interest payments on escrow balances and escrow payment features, and mandate certain disclosures and notices to borrowers. These requirements can and do change as statutes and regulations are enacted, promulgated, amended, interpreted and enforced.
In recent years, the general trend among federal, state and local lawmakers and regulators has been toward increasing laws, regulations and investigative proceedings with regard to residential mortgage lenders and servicers. The CFPB continues to take a very active role in the mortgage industry, and its rule-making and regulatory agenda relating to loan servicing and origination continues to evolve. Individual states have also been active, as have other regulatory organizations such as the Multistate Mortgage Committee (MMC), a multistate coalition of various mortgage banking regulators. We also believe there has been a shift among certain regulators towards a broader view of the scope of regulatory oversight responsibilities with respect to mortgage lenders and servicers. In addition to their traditional focus on licensing and examination matters, certain regulators have begun to make observations, recommendations or demands with respect to areas such as corporate governance, safety and soundness and risk and compliance management.
The CFPB and state regulators have also focused on the use and adequacy of technology in the mortgage servicing industry, privacy concerns and other topical issues, such as likely discontinuation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), communications from debt collectors, and the ability of borrowers to repay mortgage loans. In 2016, the CFPB issued a special edition supervision report that stressed the need for mortgage servicers to assess and make necessary improvements to their information technology systems to ensure compliance with the CFPB’s mortgage servicing requirements. In October 2020 and December 2020, respectively, the CFPB issued final rules revising Regulation F, which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and which will take effect on November 30, 2021. In December 2020, the CFPB issued two final rules which will become effective on March 1, 2021, one of which amended the definition of a general qualified mortgage loan under Regulation Z and the other of which created a new category of “seasoned” qualified mortgages. The New York Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) also issued Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies, which took effect in 2017, and which required banks, insurance companies, and other financial services institutions regulated by the NY DFS to establish and maintain a cybersecurity program designed to protect consumers and ensure the safety and soundness of New York State’s financial services industry. Likewise, the NY DFS has directed New York-regulated depository and non-depository institutions, insurers and pension funds to submit their plans for managing the risks relating to the likely discontinuation of LIBOR. Similarly, the California Consumer Privacy Act, which was enacted in 2018 and became effective on January 1, 2020, created new consumer rights relating to the access to, deletion of, and sharing of personal information. In November 2020, California voters approved Proposition 24, thereby enacting the California Privacy Rights Act, which creates additional privacy protections above and beyond the California Consumer Privacy Act, most of which will take effect on January 1, 2023. Further, in 2020 we became subject to additional regulations and requirements as the GSEs, Ginnie Mae, the United States Treasury Department and state regulators responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law, allowing borrowers affected by COVID-19 to request temporary loan forbearance for federally backed
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mortgage loans. In addition, multiple forbearance programs, moratoria of foreclosure and eviction and other requirements to assist borrowers enduring financial hardship due to COVID-19 were implemented by states, agencies and regulators.
Our licensed entities are required to renew their licenses, typically on an annual basis, and to do so they must satisfy the license renewal requirements of each jurisdiction, which generally include financial requirements such as providing audited financial statements or satisfying minimum net worth requirements and non-financial requirements such as satisfactorily completing examinations as to the licensee’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The minimum net worth requirements to which our licensed entities are subject are unique to each state and type of license. In addition, we receive information requests and other inquiries, both formal and informal in nature, from our state regulators as part of their general regulatory oversight of our servicing and lending businesses. We also engage with state attorneys general and the CFPB and, on occasion, we engage with other federal agencies, including the Department of Justice and various inspectors general on various matters, including responding to information requests and other inquiries. Many of our regulatory engagements arise from a complaint that the entity is investigating, although some are formal investigations or proceedings. The GSEs and their conservator, FHFA, HUD, FHA, VA, Ginnie Mae, the United States Treasury Department, and others also subject us to periodic reviews and audits. See Item 1A. Risk Factors – Legal and Regulatory Risks for further information.
In recent years, we have been subject to significant state and federal regulatory actions against us, including the following:
We are currently in litigation with the CFPB after the CFPB filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Southern District of Florida against Ocwen, Ocwen Mortgage Servicing, Inc. (OMS) and Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (OLS) alleging violations of federal consumer financial laws relating to our servicing business.
In October 2020, we announced that we had reached an agreement to resolve a lawsuit filed in April 2017 by the Florida Attorney General and the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation regarding certain legacy servicing activities. Pursuant to that agreement, Ocwen was required to pay the State of Florida $5.16 million within 60 days of the Court entering the final consent judgment between the parties. Ocwen then has an additional two years to provide debt forgiveness totaling at least $1.0 million to certain Florida borrowers. If Ocwen is unable to do so by the completion of the two-year period, it will owe the State of Florida an additional $1.0 million. We anticipate that we will be able to satisfy the debt forgiveness obligation and therefore do not presently anticipate that the additional $1.0 million payment will be required. In addition, Ocwen agreed to certain late fee waivers, a targeted loan modification program for certain eligible Florida borrowers, and certain non-monetary reporting and handling obligations. Ocwen did not admit any fault or liability as part of the settlement. Ocwen satisfied the monetary portions of the settlement in December 2020. Although we believe we had strong defenses to all of Florida’s claims, this was an opportunity to resolve one of Ocwen’s remaining significant legacy matters, and to do so without incurring further expense in preparing for trial.
In addition, we have previously settled state regulatory actions against us by 29 states and the District of Columbia after these states and the District of Columbia alleged deficiencies in our compliance with laws and regulations relating to our servicing and lending activities, we have entered into regulatory settlements with the NY DFS and the California Department of Business Oversight (CA DBO) relating to our servicing practices and other aspects of our business, and we have entered into a settlement agreement with the MMC and consent orders with certain state attorneys general to resolve and close out findings of an MMC examination of PMC’s legacy mortgage servicing practices.
We have incurred, and will continue to incur significant costs to comply with the terms of the settlements into which we have entered. In addition, the restrictions imposed under these settlements have significantly impacted how we run our business and will continue to do so.
We continue to be subject to a number of ongoing federal and state regulatory examinations, consent orders, inquiries, subpoenas, civil investigative demands, requests for information and other actions, which could result in adverse regulatory action against us. See Item 1A. Risk Factors – Legal and Regulatory Risks for further information.
Finally, there are a number of foreign laws and regulations that are applicable to our operations outside of the U.S., including laws and regulations that govern licensing, employment, safety, taxes and insurance and laws and regulations that govern the creation, continuation and the winding up of companies as well as the relationships between shareholders, our corporate entities, the public and the government in these countries.
COMPETITION
The financial services markets in which we operate are highly competitive and fragmented. We compete with large and small financial services companies, including bank and non-bank entities, in the servicing, lending and MSR transaction markets. Our competitors include large banks, such as Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citibank, large non-bank servicers such as Mr. Cooper and PennyMac Loan Services, market disruptors such as Quicken Loans and Loan Depot who are aggressively investing in the digital transformation of their business platforms, and real estate investment trusts, including New Residential Investment Corp.
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In the servicing industry, we compete based on price, quality and risk appetite. Potential counterparties also (1) assess our regulatory compliance track record and examine our systems and processes for maintaining and demonstrating regulatory compliance, (2) consider our customer satisfaction rankings, and (3) consider our third-party servicer ratings. Certain of our competitors, especially large banks, may have substantially lower costs of capital and greater financial resources, which makes it challenging to compete. We believe that our competitive strengths flow from our ability to control and drive down delinquencies using proprietary processes, our lower cost to service non-performing loans and our deep know-how as a long-time operator of servicing loans. Notwithstanding these strengths, we have suffered reputational damage as a result of our regulatory settlements and the associated scrutiny of our business. We believe this has weakened our competitive position against both our bank and non-bank servicing competitors.
In the lending industry, we face intense competition in most areas, including rates, margin, fees, customer service and name recognition. Some of our competitors, including the larger banks, have substantially lower costs of capital and strong retail presence, which makes it challenging to compete. In addition, with the proliferation of smartphones and technological changes enabling improved payment systems and cheaper data storage, newer market participants, often called “disruptors,” are reinventing aspects of the financial industry and capturing profit pools previously enjoyed by existing market participants. As a result, the lending industry could become even more competitive if new market participants are successful in capturing market share from existing market participants such as ourselves. We believe our competitive strengths flow from our existing customer relationships and from our focus on providing strong customer service.
The reverse lending market faces many of the same competitive pressures as the forward market. In addition, the reverse market is significantly smaller than the forward market with a higher market share concentration among the top five Ginnie Mae HMBS issuers. These higher concentration levels can, at times, lead to significant price competition. We believe our competitive advantage flows from the long tenure of Liberty Home Equity Solutions, Inc. (Liberty) in the industry (Liberty began operations in 2004 and we currently operate under the brand name Liberty Reverse Mortgage), which provides us with significant experience and contributes to our name recognition, our strategic partnerships and our use of technology to produce higher levels of productivity to drive down per-loan costs.
THIRD-PARTY SERVICER RATINGS
Like other servicers, we are the subject of mortgage servicer ratings or rankings (collectively, ratings) issued and revised from time to time by rating agencies including Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (Moody’s), S&P Global Ratings, Inc. (S&P) and Fitch Ratings, Inc. (Fitch). Favorable ratings from these agencies are important to the conduct of our loan servicing and lending businesses.
The following table summarizes our key servicer ratings:
PHH Mortgage Corporation
 Moody’sS&PFitch
Residential Prime ServicerSQ3AverageRPS3
Residential Subprime ServicerSQ3AverageRPS3
Residential Special ServicerSQ3AverageRSS3
Residential Second/Subordinate Lien Servicer
SQ3AverageRPS3
Residential Home Equity ServicerRPS3
Residential Alt-A ServicerRPS3
Master ServicerSQ3AverageRMS3
Ratings OutlookN/AStableNegative
Date of last action August 29, 2019December 27, 2019March 24, 2020
In addition to servicer ratings, each of the agencies will from time to time assign an outlook (or a ratings watch such as Moody’s review status) to the rating status of a mortgage servicer. A negative outlook is generally used to indicate that a rating “may be lowered,” while a positive outlook is generally used to indicate a rating “may be raised.” On March 24, 2020, Fitch placed all U.S RMBS servicer ratings on Negative outlook resulting from a rapidly evolving economic and operating environment due to the sudden impact of the COVID-19 virus.
Downgrades in servicer ratings could adversely affect our ability to service loans, sell or finance servicing advances and could impair our ability to consummate future servicing transactions or adversely affect our dealings with lenders, other contractual counterparties, and regulators, including our ability to maintain our status as an approved servicer by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The servicer rating requirements of Fannie Mae do not necessarily require or imply immediate action, as
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Fannie Mae has discretion with respect to whether we are in compliance with their requirements and what actions it deems appropriate under the circumstances if we fall below their desired servicer ratings.
See Item 1A. Risk Factors - Risks Relating to Our Business for further discussion of the adverse effects that a failure to maintain minimum servicer ratings could have on our business, financing activities, financial condition or results of operations.
NEW RESIDENTIAL INVESTMENT CORP. RELATIONSHIP
Ocwen has a legacy relationship with NRZ and we acquired PMC’s legacy relationship with NRZ when we acquired PHH in October 2018. As a result, we service loans on behalf of NRZ under various agreements, including traditional subservicing agreements, where NRZ is the legal owner of the MSRs, and in connection with Rights to MSRs, where Ocwen retains legal title to the underlying MSRs but NRZ has generally assumed risks and rewards consistent with an MSR owner. See Note 10 — Rights to MSRs.
NRZ is our largest servicing client, accounting for $67.1 billion of UPB or 36% of the UPB of our total servicing portfolio as of December 31, 2020, approximately 62% of all delinquent loans that Ocwen serviced, and approximately 30% of our total servicing and subservicing fees in 2020, net of servicing fees remitted to NRZ (excluding ancillary income). Through April 2020, we have benefited from the amortization of $334.2 million deferred upfront lump-sum cash payments that we received from NRZ in 2017 and 2018 when we renegotiated certain aspects of the legacy Ocwen agreements. We recognized other income of $34.2 million and $95.1 million due to the amortization of these lump sum payments in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
On February 20, 2020, we received a notice of termination from NRZ with respect to the legacy PMC subservicing agreement. This termination was for convenience and not for cause, and provided for loan deboarding fees to be paid by NRZ. We continued to service these loans until deboarding on October 1, 2020. A total of 270,218 loans were deboarded representing $34.3 billion of UPB.
The legacy Ocwen agreements have an initial term ending in July 2022. The underlying loans are almost exclusively non-Agency loans, involving a higher level of operational and regulatory risk, and requiring substantial direct and oversight staffing relative to Agency loans. NRZ may terminate the agreements for convenience, subject to Ocwen’s right to receive a termination fee and 180 days’ notice at any time during the initial term. The termination fee is calculated as specified in the Ocwen agreements, and is a discounted percentage of the expected revenues that would be owed to Ocwen over the remaining contract term based on certain portfolio run off assumptions. After the initial term, these agreements can be renewed for three-month terms at NRZ’s option. In addition to a base servicing fee, we receive ancillary income, which primarily includes late fees, loan modification fees and Speedpay® fees. We may also receive certain incentive fees or pay penalties tied to various contractual performance metrics. NRZ receives all float earnings and deferred servicing fees related to delinquent borrower payments, as well as certain REO-related income, including REO referral commissions. As legal MSR owner, or in compliance with the Rights to MSRs agreements, NRZ is responsible for financing all servicing advance obligations in connection with the loans underlying the MSRs.
In the ordinary course, we regularly share information with NRZ and discuss various aspects of our relationship. With respect to the Rights to MSRs, our existing agreements provide that the Rights to MSRs could (i) remain in the existing Rights to MSR structure, (ii) be acquired by Ocwen or (iii) be sold or transferred to a third party together with Ocwen’s title to the related MSRs. In addition, the Rights to MSRs could be transferred to NRZ under the Transfer Agreement and become subserviced by PMC. It is possible that NRZ could exercise its rights to early terminate for convenience some or all of the legacy Ocwen servicing agreements. In addition, the agreements may not be renewed in July 2022. In our business planning efforts, we have assessed the potential impact of such actions by NRZ in light of the current and predicted future economics of the NRZ relationship generally. Because of the large percentage of our servicing business that is represented by agreements with NRZ, if NRZ exercised all or a significant portion of these early termination rights, we would need to rapidly scale our servicing business.
ALTISOURCE VENDOR RELATIONSHIP
Ocwen is a party to a number of long-term agreements with Altisource S.à r.l., and certain of other subsidiaries of Altisource Portfolio Solutions, S.A. (Altisource), including a Services Agreement, under which Altisource provides various services, such as property valuation services, property preservation and inspection services and title services, among other things. This agreement expires August 31, 2025 and includes renewal provisions. Ocwen and Altisource have also entered into a Master Services Agreement pursuant to which Altisource currently provides title services to Ocwen for reverse mortgage loans. Ocwen also has a General Referral Fee Agreement with Altisource pursuant to which Ocwen receives referral fees which are paid out of the commission that would otherwise be paid to Altisource as the selling broker in connection with real estate sales services provided by Altisource. However, for MSRs that transferred to NRZ, as well as those subject to our Rights to MSRs agreements with NRZ, we are not entitled to REO referral commissions.
In February 2019, Ocwen and Altisource signed a Binding Term Sheet, which among other things, confirmed Altisource’s cooperation with the deboarding of loans from Altisource’s REALServicing servicing system to Black Knight MSP. The
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Binding Term Sheet also amended certain provisions in the Services Agreement. After certain conditions have been met and where Ocwen has the right to select the services provider, Ocwen agreed to use Altisource to provide the types of services that Altisource currently provides under the Services Agreement for at least 90% of services for all portfolios for which Ocwen is the servicer or subservicer, except that Altisource will be the provider for all such services for the portfolios: (i) acquired by Ocwen pursuant to loan servicing under agreements from Homeward (acquired in 2012) or assigned and assumed by Ocwen from Residential Capital, LLC, et al (assets acquired in 2013); and (ii) acquired from Ocwen, excluding certain portfolios in which PHH has an interest, by NRZ or its affiliates prior to the date of the Binding Term Sheet. The Binding Term Sheet also sets forth a framework for negotiating additional service level changes under the Services Agreement in the future. As specified in the Binding Term Sheet, if Altisource fails certain performance standards for specified periods of time, then Ocwen may terminate Altisource as a provider for the applicable service(s), subject to Altisource’s right to cure. For certain claims arising from service referrals received by Altisource after the effective date of the Binding Term Sheet, the provisions include reciprocal indemnification obligations in the event of negligence by either party, and Altisource’s indemnification of Ocwen in the event of breach by Altisource of its obligations under the Services Agreement. The limitations of liability provisions include an exception for losses either party suffers as a result of third-party claims.
Certain services provided by Altisource under these agreements are charged to the borrower and/or mortgage loan investor. Accordingly, such services, while derived from our loan servicing portfolio, are not reported as expenses by Ocwen. These services include residential property valuation, residential property preservation and inspection services, title services and real estate sales-related services.
OAKTREE RELATIONSHIP
We have recently established a strategic alliance with Oaktree Capital Management L.P. and certain of its affiliates and managed investment vehicles (collectively Oaktree) that we expect will support refinancing our corporate debt and help advance our growth initiatives. The Oaktree relationship includes the launch of an MSR investment vehicle to scale up our servicing business in a capital efficient manner and investments in our debt and equity to support a comprehensive refinancing at the corporate level and our growth.
On December 21, 2020, we entered into a transaction agreement with Oaktree to form a joint venture for the purpose of investing in GSE MSRs that PMC will subservice. Oaktree and Ocwen will hold 85% and 15% of the venture, respectively, and have agreed to invest equity up to $250 million over three years. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the first half of 2021. Upon closing, Ocwen also agreed to issue to Oaktree up to 4.9% of Ocwen’s then outstanding common stock at a price of $23.15 per share, and to issue to Oaktree warrants to purchase additional common stock equal to 3% of Ocwen’s then outstanding common stock at a purchase price of $24.31 per share, subject to anti-dilution adjustments.
On February 9, 2021, we executed an agreement with Oaktree to issue to Oaktree in a private placement $285 million of Ocwen senior secured notes in two separate tranches. The initial tranche of $199.5 million senior secured notes is subject to certain conditions, including, but not limited to, the contemporaneous consummation by Ocwen or one of its subsidiaries of an additional debt financing not to exceed $450 million. The additional $85.5 million tranche is also subject to certain conditions, including, but not limited to, the closing of the MSR joint venture with Oaktree. Upon issuance of the initial tranche of senior secured notes, Ocwen agreed to issue to Oaktree warrants to purchase common stock equal to 12.0% of Ocwen’s then outstanding common stock at an exercise price of $26.82 per share, subject to anti-dilution adjustments.
The net proceeds before expenses from the issuance to Oaktree of the initial tranche of senior secured notes and the warrants will be $175.0 million (after $24.5 million of original issue discount) and are expected to be used, together with the proceeds from the additional debt financing, to repay in full an aggregate of $498 million of existing indebtedness, including Ocwen’s $185.0 million Senior Secured Term Loan, $21.5 million 6.375% senior unsecured notes due 2021 and $291.5 million 8.375% senior secured second lien notes due 2022. The net proceeds before expenses from the issuance to Oaktree of the additional tranche of senior secured notes and the warrants will be approximately $75.0 million (after $10.5 million of original issue discount) and are expected to be used to fund our investment in the MSR joint venture and for general corporate purposes, including to accelerate the growth of our Originations and Servicing businesses.
There can be no assurance that the conditions to the issuance to Oaktree of the senior secured notes will be met, or that any additional debt financing will be consummated. See the Liquidity and Capital Resources section of Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, Note 25 – Commitments, and Note 28 — Subsequent Events to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
USVI OPERATIONS
The majority of our USVI operations and assets were transferred to the U.S. during 2019 as a result of our legal entity simplification. Our current USVI operations support our three segments, including a Servicing call center for customer call and home retention.
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In 2012, Ocwen formed OMS under the laws of the USVI in a federally recognized economic development zone where qualified entities are eligible for certain tax benefits granted by the USVI Economic Development Commission (“EDC Benefits”). We were approved as a Category IIA service business, and are therefore entitled to receive significant benefits that may have a favorable impact on our effective tax rate. We conducted a substantial portion of our servicing business through OLS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of OMS. Although we are eligible for a reduced tax rate in the USVI, the reduced tax rate has not provided Ocwen with a foreign tax benefit in recent tax years as we have been incurring taxable losses in the USVI.
During 2019, OLS merged into PMC. As a result of this reorganization, the majority of our USVI operations and assets were transferred to the U.S. We plan to continue to maintain some operations in the USVI. However, it is possible that we may not be able to retain our qualifications for the EDC Benefits, or that our past and future EDC Benefits could be adversely impacted by our reorganization, or that changes in U.S. federal, state, local, territorial or USVI taxation statutes or applicable regulations may cause a reduction in or an elimination of the value of the EDC Benefits, all of which could result in an increase to our tax expense, including a loss of anticipated income tax refunds, and, therefore, adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
HUMAN CAPITAL RESOURCES
We believe the success of our organization is highly dependent on the quality and engagement of our human capital resources. Our workforce is dedicated to creating positive outcomes for homeowners, communities and investors through caring service and innovative solutions. We strive to develop a working environment and culture that fosters our company values:
Integrity: Do What’s Right – Always
Service Excellence: Delight Our Customers with Exceptional Service
People: Develop, Grow and Value All Employees
Teamwork: Succeed Together as a Global Team
Embracing Change: Value Innovation and New Thinking
We had a total of approximately 5,000 employees at December 31, 2020. At December 31, 2020, approximately 1,500 of our employees were employed in the U.S. and USVI, and approximately 3,500 of our employees were employed in our operations in India and the Philippines. Of our foreign-based employees, more than 70% were engaged in our Servicing operations as of December 31, 2020. Ocwen currently operates through a secure remote workforce model for approximately 98% of its global workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our Board of Directors and executive leadership team places significant focus on our human capital resources, ensuring our culture enables employees to consistently demonstrate our company values. Important attributes of our human capital strategy include:
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). We are committed to be a globally diverse and inclusive workplace where every voice is heard. Diversity, inclusiveness and respect are integral parts of our culture and work environment. D&I training for all employees and unconscious bias training for leaders are mandatory parts of our learning programs to increase awareness, and employees at all levels are annually evaluated on sustaining an inclusive work environment. The pillars of our diversity program are:
Leadership: Embrace and foster a culture of inclusion throughout the Company and be held accountable for achieving diversity and inclusion goals and objectives.
Workforce: Attract, develop, retain and advance the best and brightest from all walks of life and backgrounds at all levels of the Company.
Vendor Diversity: Achieve a range of suppliers, vendors and service providers who align with our diversity and inclusion strategies.
Community Engagement; Ensure that Ocwen has a significant presence in and supports a core group of diverse, community-based organizations and philanthropies.

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As of December 31, 2020, 44% of our employees globally are women, and 36% of our U.S. leadership roles (Director and above) are filled by women. 59% of our U.S. employees are women and 45% are people of color. Our affinity groups like the Ocwen Global Women’s Network (OGWN) and mentoring programs, when coupled with a culture of appreciation, help provide a comprehensive ecosystem for diversity to flourish.
Talent Development. We continue to foster an environment in which every team member has the opportunity to grow and achieve his or her professional goals, with support and encouragement. We regularly measure employee engagement – our employees’ pride, energy and optimism that fuels their effort – and implement action plans that respond to employee feedback. Our most recent employee survey indicated 81% favorable engagement levels. Our training platform focuses not only on the technical domain skills essential to role success, but includes competency-based programs to develop leadership capabilities and skills needed for the future. In 2020, our voluntary turnover was 15.4%. Succession planning occurs annually and is reviewed by the CEO and the Compensation and Human Capital Committee. Strategic talent reviews to identify, develop and promote top talent are part of our performance management processes.
Rewards. Our total rewards (compensation and benefits) programs are developed to attract, motivate and retain employees. They demonstrate the value the employee provides to the organization, are competitive to the marketplace, and connect directly to key business strategies. Our compensation programs, including salaries and short- and long-term incentives, are centered on our pay-for-performance philosophy, aligning the interests of employees and stakeholders by rewarding both individual and overall company performance. Ocwen’s health and welfare benefit programs strive to keep employees productive and engaged at work by serving the total well-being of employees and their families. We are committed to and regularly evaluate our practices to ensure pay is fair and equitable, and competitive to the marketplace.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Practices
We are committed to conducting our business in a way that is mindful of our environmental impact, our impacts on homeowners, our employees and the communities in which we operate, and the highest standards of corporate governance.
Environmental Impact. In December 2020, we announced we remain committed to a primarily remote post-COVID-19 working model that will result in less than one-third of employees commuting to work on a daily basis, significantly reducing the use of natural resources in our facilities and reducing carbon emissions by eliminating a daily commute for thousands of our employees. We recycle office supplies at all U.S. facilities, are converting to LED lighting, and are in the process of transforming to digital mailrooms to reduce paper usage.
Social Responsibility. Ocwen participates in a variety of community outreach and homeowner assistance programs and events with local and national organizations around the country. We remain focused on areas still suffering the effects of the 2008 housing crisis as well those impacted by COVID-19. Since the onset of the pandemic, we implemented a virtual borrower outreach program in partnership with the NAACP and our Community Advisory Council to support borrowers impacted by COVID-19, with 40 borrower outreach events completed in 2020. In addition to giving back to our communities through corporate-level donations, our employee Corporate Social Responsibility group volunteers plan events focused on giving back to our local communities.
Corporate Governance. We ensure all employees, including members of management, are fully trained in and continuously comply with our robust governance policies, including our code of business conduct and ethics, insider trading prevention policy, anti-money laundering program, “Suspicious Activity Report” filing requirements, fraud risk management policy, whistleblower protections, and vendor audit procedures. With the exception of our Chief Executive Officer, our Board of Directors is fully independent of management, and all directors are re-elected annually. In addition to a committee structure that fully meets the governance requirements of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), our Board of Directors includes a Risk and Compliance Committee to oversee Ocwen’s risk management, compliance management, information security and privacy programs.
AVAILABLE INFORMATION
Our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports are made available free of charge through our website (www.ocwen.com) as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers, including Ocwen, that file electronically with the SEC. The address of that site is www.sec.gov. We have also posted on our website, and have available in print upon request (1) the charters for our Audit Committee, Compensation and Human Capital Committee, Nomination/Governance Committee and Risk and Compliance Committee, (2) our Corporate Governance Guidelines, (3) our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and (4) our Code of Ethics for Senior Financial Officers. Within the time period required by the SEC and the New York Stock Exchange, we will post on our website any amendment to or waiver of the Code of Ethics for Senior Financial Officers, as well as any amendment to the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics or waiver thereto applicable to any executive officer or director. We may post information that is important to investors on our website. The information provided on our website is not part of this report and is, therefore, not incorporated herein by reference.
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ITEM 1A.    RISK FACTORS
An investment in our common stock involves significant risk. We describe below the most significant risks that management believes affect or could affect us. Understanding these risks is important to understanding any statement in this Annual Report and to evaluating an investment in our common stock. You should carefully read and consider the risks and uncertainties described below together with all the other information included or incorporated by reference in this Annual Report before you make any decision regarding an investment in our common stock. You should also consider the information set forth above under “Forward Looking Statements.” If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. If this were to happen, the value of our common stock could significantly decline, and you could lose some or all of your investment. While the following discussion provides a description of some of the important risks that could cause our results to vary materially from those expressed in public statements or documents, other factors besides those discussed within this Annual Report or elsewhere in other of our reports filed with or furnished to the SEC could also affect our business or results.
Summary of Risk Factors
As a non-bank mortgage company, we are exposed in the normal course of business to multiple risks shared by other participants in our industry. In addition, some of the risks we face are unique to Ocwen or such risks could have a different or greater impact on Ocwen than on other companies. These risks could adversely impact our business, regulatory or agency approval, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, ability to grow and reputation, and are summarized below. This summary is intended to supplement, and should not be considered a substitute for, the complete Risk Factors that follow.
Legal and Regulatory Risks
Failure to operate our business in compliance with complex legal or regulatory requirements or contractual obligations, including those in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Adverse litigation outcomes with the CFPB or other legal matters
Adverse changes to GSE and Ginnie Mae business models, initiatives and other actions
Risks Related to Our Financial Performance, Financing Our Business, Liquidity and Net Worth, and the Economy
Inability to consummate the transactions we have entered into with Oaktree, including the private placement of senior secured notes and the MSR asset vehicle transaction
Inability to consummate the additional debt funding that is a condition of the Oaktree debt investment on favorable terms or at all
Inability to execute our strategic plan to return to profitability or pursue business or asset acquisitions
Inability to access capital to meet the financing requirements of our business, or noncompliance with our debt agreements or covenants
Inability to obtain sufficient servicer advance financing necessary to meet the financing requirements due to increased delinquencies or forbearance plans
Inability to fund our tail commitments, securitize our Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM or reverse mortgage loans) or fund our Home Equity Conversion Mortgage-Backed Securities (HMBS) repurchase obligations
Failure to satisfy minimum net worth and liquidity requirements established by regulators, GSEs, Ginnie Mae, lenders, or other counterparties
Inability to appropriately manage liquidity, interest rate and foreign currency exchange risks, including ineffective hedging strategies
Economic slowdown or downturn, a capital market disruption, or a deterioration of the housing market, including but not limited to, in the states where we have some concentration of our business
Inability to acquire additional profitable client relationships
Inability to meet future advance financing obligations if NRZ were to fail to comply with its servicing advance obligations under the subservicing agreement
Operational Risks and Other Risks Related to Our Business
Disruption in our operations or technology systems due to the failure or disagreements of our service providers to fulfill their obligations under their agreements with us, including but not limited to Black Knight
Failure to adequately update our technology systems and processes, and interruption or delay in our operations due to cybersecurity breaches or system failures
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Adverse changes in political or economic stability or government policies in India, the Philippines or the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI)
Disruption in our operations, including in India, the Philippines, the USVI and Florida, resulting from severe weather or natural disaster events
Material increase in loan put-backs and related liabilities for breaches of representations and warranties regarding sold loans or MSRs
Heightened reputational risk due to media and regulatory scrutiny of companies that originate and securitize reverse mortgages
Incurrence of losses by our captive reinsurance entity from catastrophic events, particularly in areas where a significant portion of the insured properties are located
Incurrence of litigation costs and related losses if the validity of a foreclosure action is challenged by a borrower or if a court overturns a foreclosure
Failure to maintain minimum servicer ratings and impairment of our ability to sell or fund servicing advances, access financing, consummate future servicing transactions, and maintain our status as an approved servicer by the GSEs
Volatility of our earnings due to MSR valuation changes, financial instrument valuation changes and other factors
Loss of the confidence of investors and counterparties if we fail to reasonably estimate the fair value of our assets and liabilities or our internal controls over financial reporting are found to be inadequate
Changes in the method of determining LIBOR, or its replacement with an alternative reference rate
Tax Risks
Failure to retain or collect the tax benefits provided by the USVI, or certain past income becoming subject to increased United States federal income taxation
Inability to utilize our net operating losses carryforwards and other deferred tax assets due to “ownership change” as defined in Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code or other factors
General Risks - Risks Relating to Ownership of Our Common Stock
Substantial volatility in our common stock price
The vote by large shareholders of their shares to influence matters requiring shareholder approval in a way that management does not believe represents the best interests of all shareholders
The issuance of additional securities authorized by the board of directors that causes dilution and depresses the price of our securities
Future offerings of debt securities that are senior to our common stock in liquidation, or equity securities that are senior to our common stock in respect of liquidation and distributions
Certain provisions in our organizational documents and regulatory restrictions may make takeovers more difficult, and significant investments in our common stock may be restricted
Legal and Regulatory Risks
The business in which we engage is complex and heavily regulated. If we fail to operate our business in compliance with both existing and future regulations, our business, reputation, financial condition or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
Our business is subject to extensive regulation by federal, state and local governmental authorities, including the CFPB, HUD, the SEC and various state agencies that license and conduct examinations of our servicing and lending activities. In addition, we operate under a number of regulatory settlements that subject us to ongoing reporting and other obligations. See the next risk factor below for additional detail concerning these regulatory settlements. From time to time, we also receive requests (including requests in the form of subpoenas and civil investigative demands) from federal, state and local agencies for records, documents and information relating to our servicing and lending activities. The GSEs (and their conservator, the FHFA), Ginnie Mae, the United States Treasury Department, various investors, non-Agency securitization trustees and others also subject us to periodic reviews and audits.
In the current regulatory environment, we have faced and expect to continue to face heightened regulatory and public scrutiny as an organization as well as stricter and more comprehensive regulation of the entire mortgage sector. We must devote substantial resources to regulatory compliance, and we incurred, and expect to continue to incur, significant ongoing costs to comply with new and existing laws and governmental regulation of our business. If we fail to effectively manage our regulatory and contractual compliance, the resources we are required to devote and our compliance expenses would likely increase. Any
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significant delay or complication in fulfilling our regulatory commitments and resolving remaining legacy matters may jeopardize our ability to return to profitability.
We must comply with a large number of federal, state and local consumer protection laws including, among others, the Dodd-Frank Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, RESPA, TILA, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the Homeowners Protection Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, as well as individual state licensing and foreclosure laws and federal and local bankruptcy rules. These statutes apply to many facets of our business, including loan origination, default servicing and collections, use of credit reports, safeguarding of non-public personally identifiable information about our customers, foreclosure and claims handling, investment of and interest payments on escrow balances and escrow payment features, and mandate certain disclosures and notices to borrowers. These requirements can and do change as statutes and regulations are enacted, promulgated, amended, interpreted and enforced. In addition, we must maintain an effective corporate governance and compliance management system. See “Business - Regulation” for additional information regarding our regulators and the laws that apply to us.
We must structure and operate our business to comply with applicable laws and regulations and the terms of our regulatory settlements. This can require judgment with respect to the requirements of such laws and regulations and such settlements. While we endeavor to engage proactively with our regulators in an effort to ensure we do so correctly, if we fail to interpret correctly the requirements of such laws and regulations or the terms of our regulatory settlements, we could be found to be in breach of such laws, regulations or settlements.
Our actual or alleged failure to comply with the terms of our regulatory settlements or applicable federal, state and local consumer protection laws, regulations and licensing requirements could lead to any of the following:
administrative fines and penalties and litigation;
loss of our licenses and approvals to engage in our servicing and lending businesses;
governmental investigations and enforcement actions;
civil and criminal liability, including class action lawsuits and actions to recover incentive and other payments made by governmental entities;
breaches of covenants and representations under our servicing, debt or other agreements;
damage to our reputation;
inability to raise capital or otherwise secure the necessary financing to operate the business and refinance maturing liabilities;
changes to our operations that may otherwise not occur in the normal course, and that could cause us to incur significant costs; or
inability to execute on our business strategy.
Any of these outcomes could materially and adversely affect our business, reputation, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.
In recent years, the general trend among federal, state and local lawmakers and regulators has been toward increasing laws, regulations and investigative proceedings with regard to residential mortgage lenders and servicers. The CFPB continues to take a very active role in the mortgage industry, and its rule-making and regulatory agenda relating to loan servicing and originations continues to evolve. Individual states, including New York and California, have also been active, as have other regulatory organizations such as the MMC. We also believe there has been a shift among certain regulators towards a broader view of the scope of regulatory oversight responsibilities with respect to mortgage originators and servicers. In addition to their traditional focus on licensing and examination matters, certain regulators have begun to make observations, recommendations or demands with respect to such areas as corporate governance, safety and soundness, and risk and compliance management. We must endeavor to work cooperatively with our regulators to understand all their concerns if we are to be successful in our business.
The CFPB and state regulators have also increasingly focused on the use, and adequacy, of technology in the mortgage servicing industry, privacy concerns and other topical issues, such as likely discontinuation of LIBOR and communications from debt collectors and the ability of borrowers to repay mortgage loans. In 2016, the CFPB issued a special edition supervision report that stressed the need for mortgage servicers to assess and make necessary improvements to their information technology systems in order to ensure compliance with the CFPB’s mortgage servicing requirements. See Business - Regulation for a description of recent rules issued by the CFPB and NY DFS and recent legislation adopted in California.
Presently, a level of heightened uncertainty exists with respect to the future of regulation of mortgage lending and servicing, including the future of the Dodd Frank Act and CFPB. We cannot predict the specific legislative or executive actions that may result or what actions federal or state regulators might take in response to potential changes to the Dodd Frank Act or to the federal regulatory environment generally. Such actions could impact the industry generally or us specifically, could impact our relationships with other regulators, and could adversely impact our business and limit our ability to reach an
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appropriate resolution with the CFPB, with which we are engaged to attempt to resolve certain concerns relating to our mortgage servicing practices, as described in the next risk factor.
New regulatory and legislative measures, or changes in enforcement practices, including those related to the technology we use, could, either individually or in the aggregate, require significant changes to our business practices, impose additional costs on us, limit our product offerings, limit our ability to efficiently pursue business opportunities, negatively impact asset values or reduce our revenues. Accordingly, they could materially and adversely affect our business and our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.
Finally, the regulations and requirements to which we are subject have been changing rapidly as the GSEs, Ginnie Mae, the United States Treasury Department and state regulators have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law, allowing borrowers affected by COVID-19 to request temporary loan forbearance for federally backed mortgage loans. Multiple forbearance programs, moratoria of foreclosure and eviction and other requirements to assist borrowers enduring financial hardship due to COVID-19 are being issued by states, agencies and regulators. These requirements vary across jurisdiction, may conflict in some circumstances, and can be complex to interpret and implement, and could cause us to incur additional expense. If we are unable to comply with, or face allegations that we are in breach of, applicable laws, regulations or other requirements, we may face regulatory action, including fines, penalties, and restrictions on our business. In addition, we could face litigation and reputational damage. Any of these risks could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations. If the COVID-19 pandemic is prolonged or intensifies due to the emergence of additional viral strains or otherwise, it may lead to a further increase in regulations, which could exacerbate these risks and their adverse impacts.
Governmental bodies have taken regulatory and legal actions against us in the past and may in the future impose regulatory fines or penalties or impose additional requirements or restrictions on our activities that could increase our operating expenses, reduce our revenues or otherwise adversely affect our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, ability to grow and reputation.
We are subject to a number of ongoing federal and state regulatory examinations, consent orders, inquiries, subpoenas, civil investigative demands, requests for information and other actions that could result in further adverse regulatory action against us, including certain matters summarized below. See Note 24 — Regulatory Requirements and Note 26 — Contingencies to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
CFPB
In April 2017, the CFPB filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Southern District of Florida against Ocwen, OMS and OLS alleging violations of federal consumer financial laws relating to our servicing business dating back to 2014. The CFPB’s claims include allegations regarding (1) the adequacy of Ocwen’s servicing system and integrity of Ocwen’s mortgage servicing data, (2) Ocwen’s foreclosure practices and (3) various purported servicer errors with respect to borrower escrow accounts, hazard insurance policies, timely cancellation of private mortgage insurance, and handling of customer complaints. The CFPB alleges violations of unfair, deceptive acts or abusive practices, as well as violations of specific laws or regulations. The CFPB does not claim specific monetary damages, although it does seek consumer relief, disgorgement of allegedly improper gains, and civil money penalties. While we believe we have factual and legal defenses to the CFPB’s allegations and are vigorously defending ourselves, the outcome of the matters raised by the CFPB, whether through negotiated settlements, court rulings or otherwise, could potentially involve monetary fines or penalties or additional restrictions on our business and could have a material adverse impact on our business, reputation, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.
State Licensing and State Attorneys General
Our licensed entities are required to renew their licenses, typically on an annual basis, and to do so they must satisfy the license renewal requirements of each jurisdiction, which generally include financial requirements such as providing audited financial statements or satisfying minimum net worth requirements and non-financial requirements such as satisfactorily completing examinations as to the licensee’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The minimum net worth requirements to which our licensed entities are subject are unique to each state and type of license. We believe our licensed entities were in compliance with all of their minimum net worth requirements at December 31, 2020. However, it is possible that regulators could disagree with our calculations, and one state regulator has disagreed with our calculation for a prior year period; we have discussed the matter with the regulator, including why we believe we were in compliance with the applicable net worth requirements. Failure to satisfy any of the requirements to which our licensed entities are subject could result in a variety of regulatory actions ranging from a fine, a directive requiring a certain step to be taken, a suspension or, ultimately, a revocation of a license, any of which could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition.
In April 2017 and shortly thereafter, mortgage and banking regulatory agencies from 29 states and the District of Columbia took regulatory actions against OLS and certain other Ocwen companies that alleged deficiencies in our compliance with laws
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and regulations relating to our servicing and lending activities. These regulatory actions generally took the form of orders styled as “cease and desist orders” and prohibited a range of actions relating to our lending and servicing activities. We entered into agreements with all 29 states plus the District of Columbia to resolve these regulatory actions. These agreements generally contained the Multi-State Common Settlement Terms.
In addition, Ocwen entered into settlements with certain states, including on October 15, 2020, with the Florida Attorney General and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, on different or additional terms, which include making additional communications with and for borrowers, certain restrictions, certain review, reporting and remediation obligations, and requirements to make certain monetary payments.
We have incurred and will continue to incur, significant costs complying with the terms of these settlements to the extent that legal or other actions are taken against us by regulators or others with respect to matters, they could result in additional costs or other adverse impacts and could have a materially adverse impact on our business, reputation, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.
Certain of the state regulators’ cease and desist orders referenced a confidential supervisory memorandum of understanding (MOU) that we entered into with the MMC and six states relating to a servicing examination from 2013 to 2015. Among other things, the MOU prohibited us from repurchasing stock during the development of a going forward plan and, thereafter, except as permitted by the plan. We submitted a plan in 2016 that contained no stock repurchase restrictions and, therefore, we do not believe we are currently restricted from repurchasing stock. We requested confirmation from the signatories of the MOU that they agree with this interpretation, and received affirmative responses from the MMC and five states, and a response declining to take a legal position from the remaining state.
In January 2018, prior to our acquisition of PHH, PMC entered into a settlement agreement with the MMC and consent orders with certain state attorneys general to resolve and close out findings of an MMC examination of PMC’s legacy mortgage servicing practices. Under the terms of these settlements, PMC agreed to comply with certain servicing standards, to conduct testing of compliance with such servicing standards for a period of three years, and to report to the MMC regarding the same. To the extent PMC does not comply with the terms of the servicing standards, the MMC or state attorneys general could take regulatory action against us, including imposing fines or penalties or otherwise restricting our business activities.
We continue to work with the NY DFS to address matters they continue to raise with us as well as to fulfill our commitments under the 2017 NY Consent Order and PHH acquisition conditional approval. To the extent that we fail to address adequately any concerns raised by the NY DFS or fail to fulfill our commitments to the NY DFS, the NY DFS could take regulatory action against us, including imposing fines or penalties or otherwise restricting our business activities. Any such actions could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition liquidity and results of operations.
Other Matters
On occasion, we engage with agencies of the federal government on various matters, including the Department of Justice, the Office of Inspector General of HUD, SIGTARP and the VA Office of the Inspector General. In addition to the expense of responding to subpoenas and other requests for information from such agencies, in the event that any of these engagements result in allegations of wrongdoing by us, we may incur fines or penalties or significant legal expenses defending ourselves against such allegations.
In recent years, we have also entered into significant settlements with the NY DFS, the CA DBO, and the 2013 Ocwen National Mortgage Settlement. These settlements involved payments of significant monetary amounts, monitoring by third-party firms for which we were financially responsible and other restrictions on our business. For example, we recognized $177.5 million in third-party monitoring costs alone relating to these settlements between 2014 and 2017. While we are not currently subject to active monitorships under these settlements, we remain obligated to comply with the commitments made to our regulators and if we violate those commitments one or more of these entities could take regulatory action against us. Any future settlements or other regulatory actions against us could have a material adverse impact on our business, reputation, operating results, liquidity and financial condition will be adversely affected.
To the extent that an examination or other regulatory engagement results in an alleged failure by us to comply with applicable laws, regulations or licensing requirements, or if allegations are made that we have failed to comply with applicable laws, regulations or licensing requirements or the commitments we have made in connection with our regulatory settlements (whether such allegations are made through administrative actions such as cease and desist orders, through legal proceedings or otherwise) or if other regulatory actions of a similar or different nature are taken in the future against us, this could lead to (i) administrative fines, penalties and litigation, (ii) loss of our licenses and approvals to engage in our servicing and lending businesses, (iii) governmental investigations and enforcement actions, (iv) civil and criminal liability, including class action lawsuits and actions to recover incentive and other payments made by governmental entities, (v) breaches of covenants and representations under our servicing, debt or other agreements, (vi) damage to our reputation, (vii) inability to raise capital or otherwise secure the necessary funding to operate the business, (viii) changes to our operations that may otherwise not occur in
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the normal course, and that could cause us to incur significant costs, and (ix) inability to execute on our business strategy. Any of these outcomes could increase our operating expenses and reduce our revenues, hamper our ability to grow or otherwise materially and adversely affect our business, reputation, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.
Our regulatory settlements and public allegations regarding our business practices by regulators and other third parties may affect other regulators’, rating agencies’, and creditors’ perceptions, which could adversely impact our financial results and ongoing operations.
Our regulatory settlements and public allegations regarding our business practices by regulators and other third parties may affect other regulators’, rating agencies’ and creditors’ perceptions of us. As a result, our ordinary course interactions with regulators may be adversely affected. We may incur additional compliance costs and management time may be diverted from other aspects of our business to address regulatory issues. It is possible that we may incur additional fines or penalties or even that we could lose the licenses and approvals necessary to engage in our servicing and lending businesses. In addition, certain regulators have begun to make observations, recommendations or demands with respect to areas such as corporate governance, safety and soundness and risk and compliance management, which could require us to incur additional expense or which could result in the imposition of additional requirements such as liquidity and capital requirements or restrictions on business conduct such as engaging in stock repurchases. To the extent that rating agencies or creditors perceive us negatively, our servicer or credit ratings could be adversely impacted and our access to funding could be limited.
If regulators allege that we do not comply with the terms of our regulatory settlements, or if we enter into future regulatory settlements, it could significantly impact our ability to maintain and grow our servicing portfolio.
Our servicing portfolio naturally decreases over time as homeowners make regularly scheduled mortgage payments, prepay loans prior to maturity, refinance with a mortgage loan not serviced by us or involuntarily liquidate through foreclosure or other liquidation process. Our ability to maintain or grow the size of our servicing portfolio depends on our ability to acquire the right to service or subservice additional pools of mortgage loans or to originate additional loans for which we retain the MSRs.
Historically, our regulatory settlements significantly impacted our ability to maintain or grow our servicing portfolio because we agreed to certain restrictions that effectively prohibited future bulk acquisitions of residential servicing. While certain of these restrictions have been eased in connection with our resolution of state regulatory matters and acquisition of PHH, we are still restricted in our ability to grow our portfolio under the terms of our agreements with the NY DFS. If we are unable to satisfy the conditions of the regulatory commitments we made to these and other regulators, or if a future regulatory settlement restricts our ability to acquire MSRs, we will be unable to grow or even maintain the size of our servicing portfolio through acquisitions and our business could be materially and adversely affected. Moreover, even when regulatory restrictions are lifted, the reputational damage done by these actions may inhibit our ability to acquire new business.
If we are unable to respond timely and effectively to routine or other regulatory examinations and borrower complaints, our business and financial conditions may be adversely affected.
Regulatory examinations by state and federal regulators are part of our ordinary course business activities. If we are unable to respond effectively to regulatory examinations, our business and financial conditions may be adversely affected. For example, our January 2015 consent order with the CA DBO arose out of an alleged failure to respond adequately to requests from the CA DBO as part of a routine regulatory examination. In addition, we receive various escalated borrower complaints and inquiries from our state and federal regulators and state Attorneys General and are required to respond within the time periods prescribed by such entities. If we fail to respond effectively and timely to regulatory examinations and escalations, legal action could be taken against us by such regulators and, as a result, we may incur fines or penalties or we could lose the licenses and approvals necessary to engage in our servicing and lending businesses. We could also suffer from reputational harm and become subject to private litigation.
Private legal proceedings and related costs alleging failures to comply with applicable laws or regulatory requirements could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to various pending private legal proceedings, including purported class actions, challenging whether certain of our loan servicing practices and other aspects of our business comply with applicable laws and regulatory requirements. For example, we are currently a defendant in various matters alleging that (1) certain fees imposed on borrowers relating to payment processing, payment facilitation, or payment convenience violate state laws similar to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, (2) certain fees we assess on borrowers are marked up improperly in violation of applicable state and federal law, (3) we breached fiduciary duties we purportedly owe to benefit plans due to the discretion we exercise in servicing certain securitized mortgage loans and (4) certain legacy mortgage reinsurance arrangements violated RESPA. In the future, we are likely to become subject to other private legal proceedings alleging failures to comply with applicable laws and regulations, including putative class actions, in the ordinary course of our business. While we do not currently believe that the resolution of the vast majority of the legal proceedings we face will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations, we cannot express a view with respect to all of these proceedings. The outcome of any pending legal matter is never
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certain, and it is possible that adverse results in private legal proceedings could materially and adversely affect our financial results and operations. We have paid significant amounts to settle private legal proceedings in recent periods and paid significant amounts in legal and other costs in connection with defending ourselves in such proceedings. To the extent we are unable to avoid such costs in future periods, our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.
Non-compliance with laws and regulations could lead to termination of servicing agreements or defaults under our debt agreements.
Most of our servicing agreements and debt agreements contain provisions requiring compliance with applicable laws and regulations. While the specific language in these agreements takes many forms and materiality qualifiers are often present, if we fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations, we could be terminated as a servicer and defaults could be triggered under our debt agreements, which could materially and adversely affect our revenues, cash flows, liquidity, business and financial condition. We could also suffer reputational damage and trustees, lenders and other counterparties could cease wanting to do business with us.
If new laws and regulations lengthen foreclosure times or introduce new regulatory requirements regarding foreclosure procedures, our operating costs and liquidity requirements could increase and we could be subject to regulatory action.
When a mortgage loan that we service is in foreclosure, we are generally required to continue to advance delinquent principal and interest to the securitization trust and to make advances for delinquent taxes and insurance and foreclosure costs and the upkeep of vacant property in foreclosure to the extent that we determine that such amounts are recoverable. These servicing advances are generally recovered when the delinquency is resolved or upon liquidation. Regulatory actions that lengthen the foreclosure process will increase the amount of servicing advances that we are required to make, lengthen the time it takes for us to be reimbursed for such advances and increase the costs incurred during the foreclosure process. 
Increased regulatory scrutiny and new laws and procedures could cause us to adopt additional compliance measures and incur additional compliance costs in connection with our foreclosure processes. We may incur legal and other costs responding to regulatory inquiries or any allegation that we improperly foreclosed on a borrower. We could also suffer reputational damage and could be fined or otherwise penalized if we are found to have breached regulatory requirements.
If we fail to comply with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules, our business and operations could be materially and adversely affected and our plans to expand our lending business could be adversely impacted.
The TRID rules include requirements relating to consumer facing disclosure and waiting periods to allow consumers to reconsider committing to loans after receiving required disclosures. If we fail to comply with the TRID rules, we may be unable to sell loans that we originate or purchase, or we may be required to sell such loans at a discount compared to other loans. We also could be subject to repurchase or indemnification claims from purchasers of such loans, including the GSEs. Additionally, loans might stay on our warehouse lines for longer periods before sale, which would increase our liquidity needs, holding costs and interest expense. We could also be subject to regulatory actions or private lawsuits. 
In response to the TRID rules, we have implemented significant modifications and enhancements to our loan production processes and systems, and we continue to devote significant resources to TRID compliance. As regulatory guidance and enforcement and the views of the GSEs and other market participants such as warehouse loan lenders evolve, we may need to modify further our loan production processes and systems in order to adjust to evolution in the regulatory landscape and successfully operate our lending business. In such circumstances, if we are unable to make the necessary adjustments, our business and operations could be adversely affected and we may not be able to execute on our plans to grow our lending business. 
Failure to comply with the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and related CFPB regulations could adversely impact our business.
HMDA requires financial institutions to report certain mortgage data in an effort to provide the regulators and the public with information that will help show whether financial institutions are serving the housing credit needs of the neighborhoods and communities in which they are located. The data points include information related to the loan applicant/borrower (e.g., age, ethnicity, race and credit score), the underwriting process, loan terms and fees, lender credits and interest rate, among others. The scope of the information available to the public could increase fair lending regulatory scrutiny and third-party plaintiff litigation, as the changes will expand the ability of regulators and third parties to compare a particular lender to its peers in an effort to determine differences among lenders in certain demographic borrower populations. We have devoted, and will need to devote, significant resources to establishing systems and processes for complying with HMDA on an ongoing basis. If we are not successful in capturing and reporting the new HMDA data, and analyzing and correcting any adverse patterns, we could be exposed to regulatory actions and private litigation against us, we could suffer reputational damage and we could incur losses, any of which could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
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As a participant in the now ended HAMP program, we are subject to review by SIGTARP, which could adversely affect our business, reputation, and financial condition.
A significant portion of Ocwen’s loan modifications in recent years have been in connection with the now ended HAMP program. SIGTARP has indicated that it is assessing potential unlawful conduct by servicers in the HAMP program. In May 2017, we received a subpoena from SIGTARP requesting various documents and information relating to Ocwen’s participation in the HAMP program, and we have been providing documents and information in response to that subpoena. If SIGTARP were to allege breaches of the HAMP program, such allegations could be referred to the enforcement authorities within the Department of the Treasury or the Department of Justice and if such enforcement authorities elected to take action against Ocwen, it could adversely affect our business, reputation and financial condition, regardless of the outcome of any such enforcement action.
There may be material changes to the laws, regulations, rules or practices applicable to reverse mortgage programs sponsored by HUD and FHA, and securitized by Ginnie Mae, which could materially and adversely affect us and the reverse mortgage industry as a whole.
The reverse mortgage industry is largely dependent upon rules and regulations implemented by HUD, FHA and Ginnie Mae. There can be no guarantee that HUD/FHA will retain Congressional authorization to continue the HECM program, which provides FHA government insurance for qualifying HECM loans, or that they will not make material changes to the laws, regulations, rules or practices applicable to reverse mortgage programs. For example, HUD previously implemented certain lending limits for the HECM program, and added credit-based underwriting criteria designed to assess a borrower’s ability and willingness to satisfy future tax and insurance obligations. In addition, Ginnie Mae’s participation in the reverse mortgage industry may be subject to economic and political changes that cannot be predicted. Any of the aforementioned circumstances could materially and adversely affect the performance of our reverse mortgage business and the value of our common stock.
Regulators continue to be active in the reverse mortgage space, including due to the perceived susceptibility of older borrowers to be influenced by deceptive or misleading marketing activities. Regulators have also focused on appraisal practices because reverse mortgages are largely dependent on collateral valuation. If we fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations relating to the origination of reverse mortgages, we could be subject to adverse regulatory actions, including potential fines, penalties or sanctions, and our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
Violations of predatory lending and/or servicing laws could negatively affect our business.
Various federal, state and local laws have been enacted that are designed to discourage predatory lending and servicing practices. The federal Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 (HOEPA) prohibits inclusion of certain provisions in residential loans that have mortgage rates or origination costs in excess of prescribed levels and requires that borrowers be given certain additional disclosures prior to origination. Some states have enacted, or may enact, similar laws or regulations, which in some cases impose restrictions and requirements greater than are those in HOEPA. In addition, under the anti-predatory lending laws of some states, the origination of certain residential loans, including loans that are not classified as “high cost” loans under HOEPA or other applicable law, must satisfy a net tangible benefits test with respect to the related borrower. A failure by us to comply with these laws, to the extent we originate, service or acquire residential loans that are non-compliant with HOEPA or other predatory lending or servicing laws, could subject us, as an originator or a servicer, or as an assignee, in the case of acquired loans, to monetary penalties and could result in the borrowers rescinding the affected loans. Lawsuits have been brought in various states making claims against originators, servicers and assignees of high cost loans for violations of state law. Named defendants in these cases have included numerous participants within the secondary mortgage market. If we are found to have violated predatory or abusive lending laws, defaults could be declared under our debt or servicing agreements, we could suffer reputational damage, and we could incur losses, any of which could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to comply with FHA underwriting guidelines could adversely impact our business.
We must comply with FHA underwriting guidelines in order to successfully originate FHA loans. If we fail to do so, we may not be able collect on FHA insurance. In addition, we could be subject to allegations of violations of the False Claims Act asserting that we submitted claims for FHA insurance on loans that had not been underwritten in accordance with FHA underwriting guidelines. If we are found to have violated FHA underwriting guidelines, we could face regulatory penalties and damages in litigation, suffer reputational damage, and we could incur losses due to an inability to collect on such insurance, any of which could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to comply with United States and foreign laws and regulations applicable to our global operations could have an adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
As a business with a global workforce, we need to ensure that our activities, including those of our foreign operations, comply with applicable United States and foreign laws and regulations. Various states have implemented regulations which
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specifically restrict the ability to perform certain servicing and originations functions offshore and, from time to time, various state regulators have scrutinized the operations of our foreign subsidiaries. For example, as previously disclosed, in 2016, two of our foreign subsidiaries entered into a Consent Order with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions relating to the activities of those entities in Washington State under the Washington Consumer Loan Act. Our failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could, among other things, result in restrictions on our operations, loss of licenses, fines, penalties or reputational damage and have an adverse effect on our business.
Failure to comply with the S.A.F.E. Act could adversely impact our business.
The Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (the S.A.F.E. Act) requires the individual licensing and registration of those engaged in the business of loan origination. The S.A.F.E. Act is designed to improve accountability on the part of loan originators, combat fraud and enhance consumer protections by encouraging states to establish a national licensing system and minimum qualification requirements for applicants. Thus, Ocwen must ensure proper licensing for all employees who participate in certain specified loan origination activities. Failure to comply with the S.A.F.E. Act licensing requirements could adversely impact Ocwen’s origination business.
Risks Related to Our Financial Performance, Financing Our Business, Liquidity and Net Worth and the Economy
We may be unable to consummate our previously announced transactions with Oaktree.
On February 10, 2021, we announced that we entered an agreement with Oaktree to issue $285 million principal amount of Senior Secured Notes, in two separate tranches. See Note 28 – Subsequent Events. Closing of the first tranche is subject to conditions including, but not limited to, the contemporaneous consummation by us or one of our subsidiaries of an additional debt financing of up to $450 million. Conditions to the closing of the second tranche include, among others, the closing of the MSR joint venture with affiliates of Oaktree, which joint venture transaction is also subject to closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. See Note 25 — Commitments, Oaktree MAV Transaction. Our ability to consummate the additional debt financing, whether on favorable terms or at all, depends on factors outside our control, including market and interest rate conditions, the financial condition of our potential lenders, and perceptions by third parties of Ocwen or our industry, and cannot be guaranteed. Similarly, our receipt of regulatory approvals relating to the MSR joint venture cannot be guaranteed. If we cannot meet the conditions to the issuance and sale of one or both tranches of the Oaktree notes, it could adversely impact our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations. These adverse impacts could be compounded by reputational damage and negative publicity which could result from a failure to close, which could impair our ability to access sources of liquidity on acceptable terms, worsen the perception of Ocwen by counterparties, and materially adversely affect our ability to execute on our business plan.
Our strategic plan to return to profitability may not be successful.
We are facing certain challenges and uncertainties that could have significant adverse effects on our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations. The ability of management to appropriately address these challenges and uncertainties in a timely manner is critical to our ability to operate our business successfully.
Historical losses have significantly eroded stockholders’ equity and weakened our financial condition. We have established a set of key initiatives to achieve our objective of returning to sustainable profitability in the shortest timeframe possible within an appropriate risk and compliance environment. See Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Overview-Business Initiatives.
There can be no assurance that we will successfully execute on these initiatives, or that even if we do execute on these initiatives we will be able to return to profitability. In addition to successful operational execution of our key initiatives, our success will also depend on market conditions and other factors outside of our control, including continued access to capital. If we continue to experience losses, our share price, business, reputation, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
If we are unable to obtain sufficient capital to meet the financing requirements of our business, or if we fail to comply with our debt agreements, our business, financing activities, financial condition and results of operations will be adversely affected.
Our business requires substantial amounts of capital and our financing strategy includes the use of leverage. Accordingly, our ability to finance our operations and repay maturing obligations rests in large part on our ability to continue to borrow money at reasonable rates. If we are unable to maintain adequate financing, or other sources of capital are not available, we could be forced to suspend, curtail or reduce our revenue generating objectives, which could harm our results of operations, liquidity, financial condition and business prospects. Our ability to borrow money is affected by a variety of factors including:
limitations imposed on us by existing debt agreements that contain restrictive covenants that may limit our ability to raise additional debt;
credit market conditions;
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the strength of the lenders from whom we borrow;
lenders’ perceptions of us or our sector;
corporate credit and servicer ratings from rating agencies; and
limitations on borrowing under our MSR and advance facilities and mortgage loan warehouse facilities due to structural features in these facilities and the amount of eligible collateral that is pledged.
In addition, our advance facilities are revolving facilities, and in a typical monthly cycle, we repay a portion of the borrowings under these facilities from collections. During the remittance cycle, which starts in the middle of each month, we depend on our lenders to provide the cash necessary to make the advances that we are required to make as servicer. If one or more of these lenders were to restrict our ability to access these revolving facilities or were to fail, we may not have sufficient funds to meet our obligations. We typically require significantly more liquidity to meet our advance funding obligations than our available cash on hand.
Our advance financing facilities are comprised of (i) revolving notes issued to large financial institutions that generally have a revolving period of 12 months, and (ii) term notes issued to institutional investors with one-, two- and three-year revolving periods. At December 31, 2020, we had $581.3 million outstanding under these facilities. The revolving periods for variable funding notes with a total maximum borrowing capacity of $320.0 million end in June 2021.
In the event we are unable to renew, replace or extend the revolving period of one or more of these advance financing facilities, we would no longer have access to available borrowing capacity and repayment of the outstanding balances on the revolving and term notes must begin at the end of the applicable revolving period and end of the term, respectively. In addition, we use mortgage loan warehouse facilities to fund newly originated loans on a short-term basis until they are sold to secondary market investors, including GSEs or other third-party investors. Currently, our master repurchase and participation agreements for financing new loan originations generally have maximum terms of 364 days, and similar to the revolving notes in the advance financing facilities, they are typically renewed, replaced or extended annually. At December 31, 2020, we had $451.7 million outstanding under these warehouse financing arrangements, all under agreements maturing in 2021.
In 2019, we entered into three separate MSR financing arrangements related to loans we service for (i) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, (ii) Ginnie Mae, and (iii) private investors (PLS MSRs). The Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae facilities were provided through bank commitments and had total capacity of $250.0 million and $125.0 million and borrowed amounts of $210.8 million and $112.0 million, respectively at December 31, 2020. The PLS MSR financing was issued as an amortizing note structure to capital markets investors with an initial principal amount of $100.0 million. The Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae facilities terminate in June 2021 and December 2021, respectively and the PLS MSR facility matures in November 2024. MSR financing structures have become more common in recent years and investor appetite has evolved in both the bank and capital markets. As a result, MSR financing has become a lower cost funding alternative to corporate loans and bonds.  Despite these positive developments, MSR financing is not as readily available as secured match funded facilities for servicing advances and whole loans via warehouse facilities. In addition, MSR financing may require a higher level of issuer scrutiny despite being principally an asset-based financing structure. 
Our MSR financing facilities provide funding based on an advance rate of MSR value that is subject to periodic mark-to-market valuation adjustments. In the normal course, MSR value is expected to decline over time due to run off of the loan balances in our servicing portfolio. As a result, we anticipate having to repay a portion of our MSR debt over a given time period. The requirements to repay MSR debt including those due to unfavorable fair value adjustment may require us to allocate a substantial amount of our available liquidity or future cash flows to meet these requirements. To the extent we are unable to generate sufficient cash flows from operations to meet these requirements, we may be more constrained to invest in our business and fund other obligations, and our business, financing activities, liquidity, financial condition and results of operations will be adversely affected. 
We currently plan to renew, replace or extend all of the above debt agreements consistent with our historical experience. There can be no assurance that we will be able to renew, replace or extend all our debt agreements on appropriate terms or at all and, if we fail to do so, we may not have adequate sources of funding for our business.
Our debt agreements contain various qualitative and quantitative covenants, including financial covenants, covenants to operate in material compliance with applicable laws, monitoring and reporting obligations and restrictions on our ability to engage in various activities, including but not limited to incurring additional debt, paying dividends, repurchasing or redeeming capital stock, transferring assets or making loans, investments or acquisitions. As a result of the covenants to which we are subject, we may be limited in the manner in which we conduct our business and may be limited in our ability to engage in favorable business activities or raise additional capital to finance future operations or satisfy future liquidity needs. In addition, breaches or events that may result in a default under our debt agreements include, among other things, noncompliance with our covenants, nonpayment of principal or interest, material misrepresentations, the occurrence of a material adverse effect or change, insolvency, bankruptcy, certain material judgments and changes of control. Covenants and defaults of this type are commonly found in debt agreements such as ours. Certain of these covenants and defaults are open to subjective interpretation
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and, if our interpretation were contested by a lender, a court may ultimately be required to determine compliance or lack thereof. In addition, our debt agreements generally include cross default provisions such that a default under one agreement could trigger defaults under other agreements. If we fail to comply with our debt agreements and are unable to avoid, remedy or secure a waiver of any resulting default, we may be subject to adverse action by our lenders, including termination of further funding, acceleration of outstanding obligations, enforcement of liens against the assets securing or otherwise supporting our obligations and other legal remedies.
An actual or alleged default under any of our debt agreements, negative ratings action by a rating agency (including as a result of our increased leverage or erosion of net worth), the perception of financial weakness, an adverse action by a regulatory authority or GSE, a lengthening of foreclosure timelines or a general deterioration in the economy that constricts the availability of credit may increase our cost of funds and make it difficult for us to renew existing credit facilities or obtain new lines of credit. Any or all the above could have an adverse effect on our business, financing activities, financial condition and results of operations.
We may be unable to obtain sufficient servicer advance financing necessary to meet the financing requirements of our business, which could adversely affect our liquidity position and result in a loss of servicing rights.
We currently fund a substantial portion of our servicing advance obligations through our servicing advance facilities. Under normal market conditions, mortgage servicers typically have been able to renew or refinance these facilities. However, market conditions or lenders’ perceptions of us at the time of any renewal or refinancing may mean that we are unable to renew or refinance our advance financing facilities or obtain additional facilities on favorable terms or at all.
If we fail to satisfy minimum net worth and liquidity requirements established by regulators, GSEs, Ginnie Mae, lenders, or other counterparties, our business, financing activities, financial condition or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
As a result of our servicing and loan origination activities, we are subject to minimum net worth and liquidity requirements established by state regulators, GSEs, Ginnie Mae, lenders, and other counterparties. We have been incurring losses for the last five years, which has eroded our net worth. In addition, we must structure our business so each subsidiary satisfies the net worth and liquidity requirements applicable to it, which can be challenging.
The minimum net worth and liquidity requirements to which our licensed entities are subject vary by state and type of license. We must also satisfy the minimum net worth and liquidity requirements of the GSEs and Ginnie Mae in order to maintain our approved status with such agencies and the minimum net worth and liquidity requirements set forth in our agreements with our lenders.
Minimum net worth requirements and liquidity are generally calculated using specific adjustments that may require interpretation or judgment. Changes to these adjustments have the potential to significantly affect net worth and liquidity calculations and imperil our ability to satisfy future minimum net worth and liquidity requirements. We believe our licensed entities were in compliance with all of their minimum net worth requirements at December 31, 2020. However, it is possible that regulators could disagree with our calculations, and one state regulator has disagreed with our calculation for a prior year period; we have discussed the matter with the regulator, including why we believe we are in compliance with the applicable net worth requirements. If we fail to satisfy minimum net worth requirements, absent a waiver or other accommodation, we could lose our licenses or have other regulatory action taken against us, we could lose our ability to sell and service loans to or on behalf of the GSEs or Ginnie Mae, or it could trigger a default under our debt agreements. Any of these occurrences could have a material adverse effect on our business, financing activities, financial condition or results of operations.
We use estimates in measuring or determining the fair value of the majority of our assets and liabilities. If our estimates prove to be incorrect, we may be required to write down the value of these assets or write up the value of these liabilities, which could adversely affect our earnings.
Our ability to measure and report our financial position and operating results is influenced by the need to estimate the impact or outcome of future events based on information available at the time of the financial statements. An accounting estimate is considered critical if it requires that management make assumptions about matters that were highly uncertain at the time the accounting estimate was made. If actual results differ from our judgments and assumptions, then it may have an adverse impact on the results of operations and cash flows.
Fair value is estimated based on a hierarchy that maximizes the use of observable inputs and minimizes the use of unobservable inputs. Observable inputs are inputs that reflect the assumptions that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability developed based on market data obtained from sources independent of the reporting entity. Unobservable inputs are inputs that reflect the reporting entity’s own assumptions about the assumptions market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability developed based on the best information available in the circumstances. The fair value hierarchy prioritizes the inputs to valuation techniques into three broad levels whereby the highest priority is given to Level 1 inputs and the lowest to Level 3 inputs.
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At December 31, 2020, 82% and 72% of our consolidated total assets and liabilities are measured at fair value, respectively, on a recurring and nonrecurring basis, 96% and 100% of which are considered Level 3 valuations, including our MSR portfolio. Our largest Level 3 asset and liability carried at fair value on a recurring basis is Loans held for investment - reverse mortgages and the related secured financing. We pool home equity conversion mortgages (reverse mortgages) into Ginnie Mae Home Equity Conversion Mortgage-Backed Securities (HMBS). Because the securitization of reverse mortgage loans do not qualify for sale accounting, we account for these transfers as secured financings and classify the transferred reverse mortgages as Loans held for investment - reverse mortgages and recognize the related Financing liabilities. Holders of HMBS have no recourse against our assets, except for standard representations and warranties and our contractual obligations to service the reverse mortgages and HMBS.
We estimate the fair value of our assets and liabilities utilizing assumptions that we believe are appropriate and are used by market participants. We generally engage third party valuation experts to support our fair value determination for Level 3 assets and liabilities. The methodology used to estimate these values is complex and uses asset- and liability-specific data and market inputs for assumptions including interest and discount rates, collateral status and expected future performance. If these assumptions prove to be inaccurate, if market conditions change or if errors are found in our models, the value of certain of our assets may decrease, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, including through negative impacts on our ability to satisfy minimum net worth and liquidity covenants.
Valuations are highly dependent upon the reasonableness of our assumptions and the predictability of the relationships that drive the results of our valuation methodologies. If changes to interest rates or other factors cause prepayment speeds to increase more than estimated, delinquency and default levels are higher than anticipated or financial market illiquidity is greater than anticipated, we may be required to adjust the value of certain assets or liabilities, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are exposed to liquidity, interest rate and foreign currency exchange risks.
We are exposed to liquidity risk primarily because of the highly variable daily cash requirements to support our servicing business, including the requirement to make advances pursuant to our servicing agreements and the process of collecting and applying recoveries of advances. We are also exposed to liquidity risk due to potential accelerated repayment of our debt depending on the performance of the underlying collateral, including the fair value of MSRs, and certain covenants, among other factors. We are also exposed to liquidity and interest rate risk by our decision to originate and finance mortgage loans and the timing of their subsequent sales into the secondary market. Further, as discussed below, the economic hedges that we have entered into in order to limit MSR fair value change exposure may include instruments that require margin, thereby leading to liquidity distributions should the hedge instrument lose value. In general, we finance our operations through operating cash flows and various other sources of funding, including match funded borrowing agreements, secured lines of credit and repurchase agreements.
We are exposed to interest rate risk to the degree that our interest-bearing liabilities mature or reprice at different speeds, or on different bases, than our interest earning assets or when financed assets are not interest-bearing. Our servicing business is characterized by non-interest earning assets financed by interest-bearing liabilities. Servicing advances are among our more significant non-interest earning assets. At December 31, 2020, we had total advances of $828.2 million. We are also exposed to interest rate risk because a portion of our advance financing and other outstanding debt at December 31, 2020 is at variable rates. Rising interest rates may increase our interest expense. Earnings on float balances partially offset these higher funding costs. At December 31, 2020, we had no interest rate swaps in place to hedge our exposure to rising interest rates in our servicing activities.
Our MSRs, which we carry at fair value, are subject to substantial interest rate risk, primarily because the mortgage loans underlying the servicing rights permit the borrowers to prepay the loans. A decrease in interest rates generally increases prepayment speeds and vice versa. As a result, the valuation assumptions for MSRs are highly correlated to changes across the yield curve. An interest rate decrease could result in an array of fair value changes, the severity of which would depend on several factors, including the magnitude of the change, whether the decrease is across specific rate tenors or a parallel change across the entire yield curve, and impact from market-side adjustments, among others. Beginning in September 2019, we implemented a hedging strategy using economic hedges (derivatives that do not qualify as hedges for accounting purposes) to partially offset the changes in fair value of our MSRs due to interest rate changes. However, as discussed below, there can be no assurance that our hedging strategy will be effective in partially mitigating our exposure to changes in fair value of our MSRs due to interest rate changes.
In our lending business, we are subject to interest rate and price risk on our pipeline (i.e., interest rate loan commitments (IRLCs) and mortgage loans held for sale) from the commitment date up until the date the commitment expires, or the loan is sold into the secondary market. Generally, the fair value of the pipeline will decline in value when interest rates increase and will rise in value when interest rates decrease. Our interest rate exposure on our pipeline had previously been economically hedged with freestanding derivatives such as forward contracts. Beginning in September 2019, this exposure is no longer
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individually hedged, but rather used as an offset to our MSR fair value exposure and managed as part of our MSR hedging strategy described above.
We are exposed to foreign currency exchange rate risk in connection with our investment in non-U.S. dollar currency operations to the extent that our foreign exchange positions remain unhedged. Our operations in the Philippines and India expose us to foreign currency exchange rate risk.
While we have established policies and procedures intended to identify, monitor and manage the risks described above, we cannot assure you that our risk management policies and procedures will be effective. Further, such policies and procedures are not designed to mitigate or eliminate all of the risks we face. As a result, these risks could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our hedging strategy may not be successful in partially mitigating our exposure to interest rate risk.
Our hedging strategy may not be as effective as desired due to the actual performance of an MSR differing from the expected performance. While we actively track the actual performance of our MSRs across rate change environments, there is potential for our economic hedges to underperform. The underperformance may be a result of various factors, including the following: available hedge instruments have a different profile than the underlying asset, the duration of the hedge is different from the MSR, the convexity of the hedge is not proportional to the valuation change of the MSR asset, the counterparty with which we have traded has failed to deliver under the terms of the contract, or we fail to renew the hedge position in a timely or efficient manner.
Unexpected changes in market rates or secondary liquidity may have a materially adverse impact on the cash flow or operating performance of the Company. The expected hedge coverage profiled may not correlate to the asset as desired, resulting in poorer performance than had we not hedged at all. In addition, hedging strategies involve transaction and other costs. We cannot be assured that our hedging strategy and the derivatives that we use will adequately offset the risks of interest rate volatility or that our hedging transactions will not result in or magnify losses.
GSE and Ginnie Mae initiatives and other actions may affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Due to the significant role that the GSEs play in the secondary mortgage market, new initiatives and other actions that they may implement could become prevalent in the mortgage servicing industry generally. To the extent that FHFA and/or the GSEs implement reforms that materially affect the market not only for conventional and/or government-insured loans but also the non-qualifying loan markets, such reforms could have a material adverse effect on the creation of new MSRs, the economics or performance of any MSRs that we acquire, servicing fees that we can charge and costs that we incur to comply with new servicing requirements.
In addition, our ability to generate revenues through mortgage loan sales to institutional investors depends to a significant degree on programs administered by the GSEs, Ginnie Mae, and others that facilitate the issuance of MBS in the secondary market. These entities play a critical role in the residential mortgage industry and we have significant business relationships with many of them. If it is not possible for us to complete the sale or securitization of certain of our mortgage loans due to changes in GSE and Ginnie Mae programs, we may lack liquidity to continue to fund mortgage loans and our revenues and margins on new loan originations would be materially and negatively impacted.
Our plans to acquire MSRs will require approvals and cooperation by the GSEs and Ginnie Mae. Should approval or cooperation be withheld, we would have difficulty meeting our MSR acquisition objectives.
There are various proposals that deal with the future of the GSEs, including with respect to their ownership and role in the mortgage market, as well as proposals to implement GSE reforms relating to borrowers, lenders and investors in the mortgage market. Thus, the long-term future of the GSEs remains uncertain. Any change in the ownership of the GSEs, or in their programs or role within the mortgage market, could materially and adversely affect our business, liquidity, financial position and results of operations.
An economic slowdown or a deterioration of the housing market could increase both interest expense on servicing advances and operating expenses and could cause a reduction in income from, and the value of, our servicing portfolio.
During any period in which a borrower is not making payments, we are required under most of our servicing agreements to advance our own funds to meet contractual principal and interest remittance requirements for investors, pay property taxes and insurance premiums and process foreclosures. We also advance funds to maintain, repair and market real estate properties on behalf of investors. Most of our advances have the highest standing and are “top of the waterfall” so that we are entitled to repayment from respective loan or REO liquidations proceeds before most other claims on these proceeds, and in the majority of cases, advances in excess of respective loan or REO liquidation proceeds may be recovered from pool level proceeds. Consequently, the primary impacts of an increase in advances are generally increased interest expense as we finance a large portion of servicing advance obligations and a decline in the fair value of MSRs as the projected funding cost of existing and future expected servicing advances is a component of the fair value of MSRs. Our liquidity is also negatively impacted because
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we must fund the portion of our advance obligations that is not financed. Our liquidity would be more severely impacted if we were unable to continue to finance a large portion of servicing advance obligations.
Higher delinquencies also decrease the fair value of MSRs and increase our cost to service loans, as loans in default require more intensive effort to bring them current or manage the foreclosure process. An increase in delinquencies may delay the timing of revenue recognition because we recognize servicing fees as earned, which is generally upon collection of payments from borrowers or proceeds from REO liquidations. An increase in delinquencies also generally leads to lower balances in custodial and escrow accounts (float balances) and lower net earnings on custodial and escrow accounts (float earnings). Additionally, an increase in delinquencies in our GSE servicing portfolio will result in lower revenue because we collect servicing fees from GSEs only on performing loans.
Foreclosures are involuntary prepayments resulting in a reduction in UPB. This may also result in declines in the value of our MSRs.
Adverse economic conditions could also negatively impact our lending businesses. For example, declining home prices and increasing loan-to-value ratios may preclude many borrowers from refinancing their existing loans or obtaining new loans.
Any of the foregoing could adversely affect our business, liquidity, financial condition and results of operations.
A significant increase in prepayment speeds could adversely affect our financial results.
Prepayment speed is a significant driver of our business. Prepayment speed is the measurement of how quickly borrowers pay down the UPB of their loans or how quickly loans are otherwise brought current, modified, liquidated or charged off. Prepayment speeds have a significant impact on our servicing fee revenues, our expenses and on the valuation of our MSRs as follows:
Revenue. If prepayment speeds increase, our servicing fees will decline more rapidly than anticipated because of the greater decrease in the UPB on which