The Arkansas Securities Department, in coordination with state and federal government partners, closed a multi-year investigation of Nationstar Mortgage LLC, d/b/a Mr. Cooper, one of the largest mortgage servicers in the nation, the agency announced Monday (Dec. 7).
Significant consumer remediation and penalties were imposed on the company for multiple residential mortgage origination and servicing-related violations of state and federal laws, including impermissible mortgage origination fees and charges; missed tax payments from borrower escrow accounts; failure to terminate private mortgage insurance when conditions were met; mishandling of loan modifications and servicing transfers; and wrongful foreclosures.
These violations affected more than 115,000 consumers nationwide.
In taking action, the Arkansas Securities Department joined with 52 other state regulators, 51 state attorneys general and the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program and her staff provided technical support during the examination resolution process. Additionally, state regulators addressed servicing issues impacting borrowers in bankruptcy in coordination with the United States Trustee Program, a component within the Department of Justice.
The coordinated government agreements assessed four main penalties and organization changes:
-Refunds and other redress approaching $90 million to more than 115,000 consumers in 53 states and jurisdictions;
-Civil monetary penalties and government reimbursement in excess of $6.5 million;
-Enhanced servicing standards for three years; and
-Additional regulatory oversight and corporate disclosure going forward to ensure the company maintains adequate risk and compliance programs
In Arkansas, the order includes redress of $517,292 for 490 consumers and civil penalties totaling $750,000 to be distributed evenly among participating states and jurisdictions.
“This settlement holds Mr. Cooper accountable for harm done to Arkansas homeowners and requires a change in behavior,” said Securities Commissioner Eric Munson. “A home is the largest purchase many people will make in their lifetime, so it is important that mortgage servicing companies know that we are watching.”