The specialty servicer Ocwen Financial Corp. of West Palm Beach, Fla., posted a third-quarter loss of nearly $9 million on Thursday, citing $33.9 million of charges tied to its purchase of HomEq Servicing Corp.

Ocwen also suffered from $20.1 million in litigation costs.

The third-quarter performance, however, is an improvement over the same period last year when it lost $42 million. In that quarter Ocwen took a $56 million charge when it separated from its Altisource unit, formerly known as Ocwen Solutions.

Pretax income for Ocwen's servicing unit was $5.4 million, down 69% from a year earlier.

After adjusting for one-time charges, income was 121% higher, or $21.6 million, because of growth and unit cost reductions.

The unpaid principal balance of Ocwen's servicing portfolio increased to $76.1 billion, from $40.3 billion, at Sept. 30, 2009.

Ocwen completed 15,928 modifications during the quarter, of which 4,241 were modified through the government's Home Affordable Modification Program, or Hamp.

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