JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second-largest servicer of U.S. mortgages, is buying the right to handle $45 billion of home loans from Ocwen Financial Corp., according to a person familiar with the transaction.
Ocwen said March 2 that it had signed a letter of intent to sell a rights portfolio of that size to a firm it didn't identify. The 277,000 underlying debts are performing loans owned by Fannie Mae, and Ocwen said it expects to complete the transaction by midyear and hand off the servicing during the second half. JPMorgan is the buyer, according to the person, who asked for anonymity to discuss private talks.
The deal would bring JPMorgan's portfolio for overseeing billing, collections and foreclosures on U.S. mortgages to nearly $1 trillion, a threshold it last exceeded in the fourth quarter of 2013. Its $948.8 billion loan-servicing portfolio as of Dec. 31 trailed only Wells Fargo & Co.'s $1.75 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
JPMorgan bought contracts on $70 billion of mortgages from MetLife Inc. in November 2012 as the insurer sought to reduce regulatory oversight. Since then, the New York-based bank has surpassed Bank of America Corp. as the nation's No. 2 servicer.
Spokesmen from JPMorgan, Ocwen and Fannie Mae declined to comment. Inside Mortgage Finance cited industry advisers earlier Tuesday saying JPMorgan may be the buyer.
Ocwen Chief Executive Officer Ronald Faris is shrinking the company amid regulatory scrutiny and complaints from consumers and bond investors. A December settlement with Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, prevents the firm from acquiring more servicing rights until it improves its processes.
The firm agreed to sell servicing on $9.8 billion of loans to Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. last month. That disposal and the sale of the $45 billion portfolio will generate about $550 million of proceeds over the next six months, Atlanta-based Ocwen said March 2.
JPMorgan has said its servicing portfolio is worth about 98 basis points of the third-party loans it oversaw on Dec. 31, down from 107 basis points on Sept. 30. Its average annual revenue on those loans was about 35 basis points, the bank said. A basis point is equal to 0.01 percentage point.