Regulators Look Into Walter Mortgage Practices

Several federal regulators are looking into mortgage practices conducted by Walter Investment Management Corp., the company stated in its third quarter earnings filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The company, which operates as a mortgage originator and servicer for both forward and reverse mortgage loans, has received inquiries from the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General (HUD OIG), the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding its mortgage practices. 

The company received a subpoena from the Department of Housing and Urban Development OIG on October 2, the company stated in the SEC filing, requesting information and documents relating to the curtailment of interest payments on reverse mortgages serviced or sub serviced by RMS.

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“The Company is responding to the subpoena and at this stage does not have sufficient information to make an assessment of the outcome or impact of HUD’s investigation,” the company stated in its most recent 10-Q quarterly earnings filing.

Additionally, Walter is responding to a Civil Investigative Demand from the Federal Trade Commission and CFPB and has provided documents concerning “a wide range of its operations.” 

On October 7, the CFPB notified Walter’s Green Tree subsidiary that the agency’s staff is considering taking action against the company for allege violations of various federal consumer financial laws, the company stated. 

“Because the Company has not been provided with any specific information as to the nature of any alleged violations, the Company does not have sufficient information to make an assessment of the existence, nature, outcome or impact of any such violations,” Walter said in its earnings statement. 

Walter, which acquired both reverse mortgage companies over the course of the last 12 months, has recently restated its commitment to the sector, citing recent product changes as positive developments that will promote the long term sustainability of and opportunity in the reverse mortgage market. In discussing third-quarter earnings, company executives said Walter plans to grow market share in the reverse space by an additional percentage point in the coming year.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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