Fitch Ratings has downgraded the U.S. residential mortgage servicer rating of EverBank Financial in Jacksonville, Fla., despite servicing-operations changes that are expected to improve its performance.

The ratings agency downgraded its residential primary servicer rating to RPS3 from RPS3+, according to a press release Thursday.

EverBank has made some improvements to its servicing operation, which Fitch gave the company some credit for by moving it from "Negative Watch" to "Stable Outlook." However, the ratings agency said it downgraded Everbank's servicer rating because its reforms are still incomplete and it remains under a consent order with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that was issued in August 2013.

EverBank sold its default-servicing platform to Green Tree on June 30. The sale helped shrink EverBank's delinquent-loan servicing portfolio by more than 35%, to approximately 270,000 loans, cutting the overall delinquency rate almost in half, from 11.53% to 5.86%.

Moreover, it plans to retain default management capabilities by merging the remainder of its default operations into its asset management group, and it wants to expand to single-point-of-contact operations.

But issues remain, Fitch said. The realignment within the default-management department, and the sale of the nonperforming loans, are still works in progress. And changes that will likely improve EverBank's servicing performance, including certain updates to its new monitoring process platform, are still ongoing.

"The servicer will continue experiencing deficiencies in certain areas of its operation until it finalizes its platform changes," Fitch said.

As of July 31, the $19.8 billion-asset EverBank was servicing $44.6 billion in unpaid balances from residential mortgage loans and $2.3 billion in securitized, prime, nonagency loans.

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