OCWEN Background• What is OCWEN?• According to the OCWEN Website, OCWEN’s primary business of “…servicing high-riskloans. Ocwen works with customers in a variety of ways to make their loans worthmore, including purchasing of mortgage servicing rights, sub-servicing, special servicing andstand-by servicing. We can also support companies that wish to utilize our best-in-classtechnology and know-how to support improvements in their ownoperations…”(Ocwen, 2012).• When and why did the company come into existence?• According to the Company’s website, the company has been in existence for over 20 yearswith its diverse practices that allow its users to “…increase(s) borrower acceptance of andcompliance with loan resolutions…”(Ocwen, 2012).• OCWEN was founded in 1988 (EquityBites, 2013).
OCWEN’s Organizational Behavior• Current and proposed leader values• Ethics, Change, Innovation• Personality• Type A versus Type B’s• Appropriate and proven decision-making abilities• Testing for abilities through the wonderlic and the personality index test• Expertise• Dependent on area of work.
OCWEN Today• Executive Offices are based in Atlanta, Georgia (Ocwen, Walter Investment 2012)• Additional offices in West Palm Beach and Orlando, Florida; Houston, Texas; St.Croix, the United States Virgin Islands; and Washington, DC (Ocwen, WalterInvestment 2012)• Call Center operations in India and Uruguay. (Ocwen, Walter Investment 2012)• The Company has numerous offshoots• One such is the AltiSource Residential Corp. based in Atlanta.
OCWEN’S Portfolio of Services• Handling troubled loans• As the economy remains weak, this will only continue to enable OCWEN to be infurther hot water as further loans go into default.• As the company continues to buy underperforming portfolios, they will answer for theerrors of others.
How Does OCWEN Operate?• OCWEN is the collector:• “Mortgage servicers are the housing industrys middlemen, low-profile companies thathandle the day-to-day business of collecting payments, managing paperwork, andinitiating foreclosures” (Kroll, A., Pg.35, 2010).• Some have accused OCWEN in a “federal class-action suit against OCWEN assertsthat it has hiked mortgage payments without fair notice, forced borrowers to buyunnecessary insurance, and intentionally processed payments late”(Kroll, A., Pg.35, 2010).
What is OCWEN’S Current ManagementStyle?• The current management style at OCWEN is a lean management style withlittle creativity allowed and the stiflingly of change.• Contrary to the image portrayed in interviews and orientation.• The company also acquires entities and then cuts large amounts ofemployees after denying layoffs.• Latest company facing layoffs is OneWest Bank in Austin, TX with WARN letters setfor August 31, 2013 for over 700 employees (Hawkins, L., 2013)
How Management Can Change OCWEN?• 1. Listen to the staff on improvement of training and procedures.• Gaps have been found by the State of New York and therefore, measures have beentaken to ensure safeguards are in place.• "Following complaints about OCWENs servicing practices, we conducted a targeted examof OCWENs performance and discovered gaps in the companys compliance," Lawsky saidin news release. "The department is requiring the company to hire a monitor so that we canbe sure that the reforms are implemented and homeowners have a real chance to avoidforeclosure.“ (Browdie, B., 2012).
How Management Can Change OCWEN?• 2. Learn to care about something beyond the profits that managementreceives dividends payouts on a quarterly basis.• Currently the owners each have the largest amount of shares held by anyone makingthem the strongest and most likely to be taken out if the company performs weakly.
How Management Can Change OCWEN?• 3. Listen to the Staff’s feedback in the exit interviews.• The turnover in most departments at OCWEN are quite high due to the longhours, low pay, and unappreciative nature of the management.• Staff members who are salaried are expected to work beyond a 50 hour work week andfrowned upon if they do not work on weekends.• Look at restructuring the bonus structures to be more fair and equal for all employees.• Bonuses are only structured for salaried customer service or for management basedpositions.• Hourly based employees do not qualify for such incentives.
Customers of OCWEN• What happens when their accounts are sold to OCWEN?• Portfolios transferred to OCWEN.• Do they find out in an appropriate manner?• Customer’s may receive a letter that their loan has been transferred.• Predatory Practices• Fees
Two-faces of OCWEN• The company acts as if it cares for its customers, but it instead does not.• According to President and CEO of OCWEN, “As the housing market evolves andcontinues to recover, the exchange of ideas between housing counselors, mortgageindustry decision-makers, regulators and other agency representatives remain criticallyimportant. While we each have a different perspective, we all share the same goal - tohelp preserve homeownership and assist borrowers in distress.” (Ocwen hosts housingadvocates, 2013)• However, homeowners using OCWEN as a servicer provider have logged numerouscomplaints due to their inability to deal with the company.
Complaints Filed onThe Better Business Bureau Website• Complaints lodged on the Better Business Bureau website.• 1952 complaints filed against business• Failure to respond to 1242 complaints filed against business.• 141 complaints filed against business that were not resolved.• OCWEN has failed to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints.• Many of the complaints filed by consumers included, but weren’t limited to (bbb.org, 2013):• Inability to reach the same person at the company in order to discuss their problems and dissatisfaction with what consumers feel areexcessive add-on fees.• Not processing of payments in a timely fashion.• Failure to respond to requests for loan modifications in a timely manner.• The company states that fees associated with each loan are agreed to as part of the loan servicing agreement it has with the owner ofthe loan which may be the loan originator or investors, not the consumer.
Why Are Employees Upset?• Upset about dealings of current shareholders.• Over priced purchase of W. Erbey’s, current chairman of OCWEN, home inSeptember 2012 (Ostrowski, J. , 2012).• $2 million over actual value.• According to Aaron Boyd who is the director of research at the executivecompensation company Equilar, “publicly traded companies increasingly have boughtexecutives homes in recent years. During the housing boom, executives could sellhomes without relying on their employers help…’This has really become an issue overthe past four years, as housing prices have dropped,’"(Ostrowski, J. , 2012).
Comments from Former Employees• Employees were asked by the Glassdoor to rate the company.• Comments ranged from mediocre to downright horrible.• The comments were for issues ranging from management to training and any item inbetween.• One individual related the company to a circus and stated that the turnover was higher than a fastfood restaurant.• Also equated to working in a sweatshop (Ocwen Financial Reviews, 2013).
Who is the Manager that Will ChangeOCWEN?• The type of manager that will change OCWEN is the type of Manager thatcan understand the different cultures it entails.• The company does not only do business within the USA, thus understanding bothAmerican and the foreign cultures where the company does business will help themanager to be a better leader to all employees. (Robbins, S.P. & Judge, T.A. 2009)• Understanding local customs and norms in daily business dealings will allow betterinteraction and the ability to get all employees to work better on projects versus havingto fight to get activities completed. (Robbins, S.P. & Judge, T.A. 2009)
What Happens if OCWEN Doesn’t Change?• Competitors will continue to take over portfolios.• Bayview Loan Servicing• Nationstar• Further Governmental Monitoring.
Closing Thoughts About OCWEN• Don’t grow faster than your employees can carry the brand.• Reward the employees that work with and for you.• Understand that todays workers will be tomorrow’s leaders.
References• Browdie, B. (2012). Ocwen Financial to Get Mortgage Monitor. American Banker, 177(186), 16.• Hawkins, L. (2013, Jun 17). OneWest bank to lay off 725 workers in austin. McClatchy - Tribune Business News. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/1368070426?accountid=38569• Kroll, A. (2010). ALWAYS BE FORECLOSING. Mother Jones, 35(1), 34-35.• Ostrowski, J. (2012, September 13). Mortgage firm Ocwen buys chairmans house for $2 million more than he paid at peak. Palm Beach Post, The (FL).• Robbins, S.P. & Judge, T.A. (2009). Organizational Behavior. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN 13: 978-0-13-60717-3• “Our Company.” (2012). OCWEN. Retrieved from http://www.ocwen.com/our-company• Ocwen Financial chief accountant resigns. (2013). EquityBites (M2).• Ocwen hosts housing advocates, regulators and government agencies to discuss homeownership in the evolving housing market. (2013, Apr 30). NASDAQ OMXsNews Release Distribution Channel. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1346938977?accountid=38569• Ocwen, Walter Investment to complete purchase of Residential Capital. (2012). EquityBites (M2)• BBB. (2013) Retrieved from the web http://www.bbb.org/central-florida/business-reviews/loan-servicing/ocwen-loan-servicing-in-orlando-fl-13002055• Glassdoor. (2013). Retrieved from the web http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Ocwen-Financial-Reviews-E5986.htm