Mortgage firm Ocwen buys chairman’s house for $2 million more than he paid at peak
In a generous perk for a billionaire businessman, mortgage firm Ocwen Financial Corp. bought Chairman William Erbey’s Atlanta mansion for $2 million more than he paid at the peak of the housing market.
Ocwen (NYSE: OCN) said in a regulatory filing last month that it paid $6.48 million for Erbey’s house in Atlanta so Erbey could move to St. Croix, where Ocwen opened a subsidiary earlier this year. Ocwen collects loan payments from subprime borrowers, some of whom accuse the company of hardball tactics that push them into foreclosure.
“It is really ironic that a company that is a subprime mortgage processor would give a sweet deal to its executive chairman that its own customers couldn’t get,” said Vineeta Anand, chief research analyst at the AFL-CIO’s Office of Investment.
Erbey paid $4.39 million for the 10,452-square-foot house in May 2006, according to property records. Since then, Atlanta home prices have plunged 31 percent, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index.