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Ocwen and Milwaukee announce plan to prevent foreclosures.

The City of Milwaukee and Ocwen Financial Corporation, West Palm Beach, Florida, agreed to a three-year plan that will feature enhanced outreach by Ocwen to struggling city homeowners who qualify for loan modifications, plus the payment of $225,000 to support the city's STRONG Homes Loan Program. In addition, Ocwen agreed to conduct three face-to-face customer outreach events per year over the next three years to help Ocwen borrowers struggling to make payments.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said, in announcing the three-year deal, "I'm pleased Ocwen shares my commitment to doing everything we can to keep Milwaukee homeowners in their homes. This program will help homeowners who face economic challenges by providing loan modifications as well as low-interest loans to help finance critical repairs to their homes."

The five-part plan agreed to by Ocwen and the city includes: 1) the enhanced outreach to borrowers for loan modifications; 2) the donation of $75,000 per year for three years to the STRONG Homes Loan Program; 3) customer outreach at face-to-face events; 4) consideration of Ocwen-owned property donations for rehabilitation by local families or nonprofits along with contributions to support renovation costs; and 5) a donation by Ocwen of $200,000 over the next three years to various Milwaukee-based nonprofit community groups to help borrowers and reduce city blight.

Commenting on the agreement, Ron Faris, president and chief executive officer of Ocwen, said, "As a nationwide servicer, Ocwen understands the foreclosure crisis is not over and that many geographic areas in the country, including Milwaukee, are still dealing with the aftermath of the mortgage crisis. We understand the problems facing homeowners and communities across America and we look forward to working with the city to offer real solutions and financial support that can help make a difference for homeowners in Milwaukee."

Faris added, "Since 2008, more than 2,000 Milwaukee families have received a modification from Ocwen and over half of those involved a reduction in principal."

Milwaukee's mayor and the Common Council president have been in talks with Ocwen about the agreement since July 2015. The five-point plan was the result of those talks. The city also worked with Ocwen to help increase compliance with city registration ordinances to mitigate issues with vacant "zombie" properties.

Ocwen currently services loans for about 4,100 borrowers in Milwaukee and roughly 80 percent of them are current, according to a press release on the deal. Of that total, roughly 150 of those loans were in foreclosure. Ocwen currently services about 90 real estate-owned (REO) properties in Milwaukee for private investors.

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Title Annotation:NEWS ROOM
Comment:Ocwen and Milwaukee announce plan to prevent foreclosures.(NEWS ROOM)
Publication:Mortgage Banking
Geographic Code:1U3WI
Date:Mar 1, 2016
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