Nearly four years after turning in its thrift charter, Ocwen Financial Corp. has reconsidered the merits of federal regulation and has applied to convert to a bank holding company and buy a tiny Texas bank.

With little fanfare, the $2.3 billion-asset Ocwen submitted the application in mid-November to the Federal Reserve Board. Along with bank holding company status, it seeks to buy the $15.1 million-asset Kent County State Bank in Jayton, Tex.

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