OneWest's Servicer Rating May Be Downgraded on Foreclosures

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OneWest’s Servicer Rating May Be Downgraded on Foreclosures

OneWest’s Servicer Rating May Be Downgraded on Foreclosures

October 28, 2010, 7:50 PM EDT

By Dakin Campbell

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) — OneWest Bank, formed in the aftermath of IndyMac Bancorp’s failure, may have its mortgage- servicing ratings downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited “potential irregularities” in the foreclosure process.

The ratings of IndyMac Mortgage Services, a division of OneWest, may be downgraded if faulty foreclosures increase the time it takes to sell bank-owned homes or boost legal costs, Moody’s said today in a statement. OneWest is resubmitting affidavits in certain cases after a review, Moody’s said.

“Employees signing affidavits may not have had full personal knowledge of every item in the affidavit,” Linda Stesney and Cecilia Lam, analysts at New York-based Moody’s, said in the statement. “Notaries may not always have been physically present at the time of signing.”

Court documents surfaced this year showing employees of the largest U.S. lenders signed paperwork without ensuring accuracy. Attorneys general in all 50 states started a probe into those practices and Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Ally Financial Inc. suspended some foreclosure sales or evictions, pending reviews.

Moody’s assigns a rating of SQ3, or average, to IndyMac as a primary servicer of prime home loans, and SQ3- as a primary servicer of subprime home loans or as a special servicer, or overseer of distressed debt.

IndyMac had a servicing portfolio of more than 565,000 loans with an unpaid balance of $133.5 billion at the end of June, Moody’s said. The company is the ninth-largest U.S. home- loan servicer, according to Barclays Capital Inc

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