Freddie Mac's decision to hire specialist firms such as Ocwen Financial Corp. to work out seriously delinquent mortgages is another sign that servicers are being overwhelmed by the volume of defaults.

The government-sponsored enterprise said Tuesday that it will turn over to Ocwen roughly 5,000 low-documentation loans that are at least 60 days delinquent. Freddie said these alternative-A loans represent a fraction of its total single-family loan portfolio but accounted for half of its seriously delinquent mortgages.

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