FHFA report notes risks of nonbank servicers

|By:, SA News Editor

Noting some nonbank servicers use short-term funding to buy MSRs which may only pay off after a lot of long-term work the Office of Inspector General says the practice can jeopardize not just the companies' operations, but also Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) which guarantee the loans.

The report notes nonbank servicers held 17% of he MSR market at the end of 2013, up from 9% a year earlier, and the boosted share is testing their ability to handle the loans. No particular servicer is named in the report, but those in the industry include Ocwen (OCN -1.9%), Nationstar (NSM -2.6%), Walter Investment (WAC -0.8%), New Residential (NRZ +0.3%), Home Loan Serviing (HLSS +0.9%), and PennyMac Financial Services (PFSI +0.5%).

The report cites one example in which the GSEs found a servicer didn't have sufficient infrastructure to manage its MSRs and also breached minimum capital requirements.

NY's Ben Lawsky, of course, has put the kibbosh on transfers of servicing rights from the banks to the nonbank players until his concerns over servicing practices are satisfied.