IRVINE, Calif. — Ocwen Federal Bank of West Palm Beach, Fla., said Thursday that it has agreed to buy part of the servicing portfolio of New Century Mortgage Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of New Century Financial Corp.

In announcing the deal, New Century canceled a subservicing arrangement with Fairbanks Capital Corp. that was announced in mid-January and scheduled to close Thursday.

Under its deal, which is scheduled to close this month, Ocwen would get the servicing rights of $4.9 billion of New Century’s securitized loans for up to $20.5 million. It would also buy outstanding servicing advances and an additional $3 billion of mortgage servicing rights from New Century through Dec. 31, 2002, at prices to be set later.

Ocwen would also assume responsibility for all future servicing advance obligations.

“While we have the highest regard for Fairbanks Capital, the offer we received from Ocwen was extremely attractive, and we concluded it would be in the best interests of the company and its stockholders,” stated Robert K. Cole, chairman and chief executive officer of New Century.

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