Ocwen to Build Call Center in Bid to Boost Originations





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Ocwen Financial Corp. is building the infrastructure for a call center to originate forward single-family mortgages and help the company ramp up its originations next summer.

“You’re probably not going to see massive increases in volume until… at least the middle of 2015,” said Ocwen executive chairman William Erbey during an earnings call Thursday.

The nonbank servicing company already has a call center for its Liberty Home Equity Solutions reverse mortgage business, where Otto Kumbar has been the chief executive.

Erbey told investors Kumar is now the leader of Ocwen’s origination business and he is in charge of building the new call center. Kumar has worked at General Electric Capital Corp. and he came to Ocwen via its acquisition of Liberty from Genworth Financial.

“He’s putting in place the infrastructure required to be able to safely grow originations,” Erbey told investors and analysts during the third quarter earnings call.

Ocwen originated $1.1 billion in single-family loans during the third quarter and $168 million in reverse mortgages. It reported pre-tax income of $7 million from its lending operations during the quarter.

Ocwen’s heightened focus on originations follows fellow nonbank servicer Walter Investment Management Co.’s acquisition of the Ditech origination brand and operation from GMAC/ResCap last year to bolster its existing Green Tree origination business.

Ocwen’s goal is to generate nearly $2 billion in loans a month. “That’s what Otto is tasked with,” Erbey said. “It’s going to take time to get there because we have to build the infrastructure first.”

Overall, the Atlanta based company reported a $73.5 million loss for 3Q as it set aside $100 million in legal reserves to cover a potential settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services.

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