Mortgage firm PHH Corp. (PHH) is considering a plan to split and sell its mortgage and auto fleet leasing businesses, according to a Reuters report Monday.

The Mount Laurel, N.J., company has been discussing the option of selling its businesses for the past few months, according to Reuters' sources. PHH even went so far as to approach mortgage servicers Nationstar Mortgage Holdings and Ocwen Financial Corp. to see if either would be interested in buying the mortgage unit, but neither attempt resulted in a deal, according to the sources.

PHH representatives did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment. Representatives at Nationstar and Ocwen also did not immediately respond to calls.

PHH tried to sell itself to General Electric (GE) and the Blackstone Group for $1.8 billion in 2007, with GE buying the auto fleet division and Blackstone acquiring the mortgage unit. But PHH called off the deal in early 2008 when Blackstone could not line up the necessary financing.

 

PHH, one of the largest non-bank mortgage lenders in the U.S., has since experienced a rocky few years. In 2012, it replaced its chief executive and cut back on correspondent lending in an attempt to ease investors' concerns about liquidity.

Last month, activist investor Orange Capital LLC announced that it had acquired a 5% stake in PHH in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Orange Capital sent a letter to PHH president and chief executive Glen Messina urging him to divide the company's units, according to the filing.

 

 

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