Did Ocwen push a family to the Breaking Point?


Saving your Home starts at this Ocwen Call-Center? Good luck with that.

By J. Guggenheim

Ocwen is a debt-collector that is known to cause an incredible amount of stress and trauma to families who have the misfortune of having Ocwen assigned as their loan servicer.  Ocwen fails to respond to qualified written requests, provides fabricated documents and plays a cat-and-mouse game with people who dare to contest Ocwen has standing to proceed with foreclosure.  People who approach Ocwen for a loan modification document the run-around they experience including lost documents, cancelled modifications that were completed, and other horror stories.

Scott Kologi used a semiautomatic rifle to kill his parents, Steven and Linda Kologi, his 18-year-old sister, Brittany, and 70-year-old Mary Schulz, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said.

The suspect opened fire less than 20 minutes before the family would have rung in the new year at their Long Branch, N.J., home, officials said.

Public records illustrate that the Kologis were dealing with financial hardship in recent years-like millions of Americans who have not recovered from the economic and housing crisis of 2008.  Yet family members and friends say the financial pressures  didn’t allow that to prevent them from being good community members, or doting on their children.

Monmouth County records filed in the clerk’s office show that in early August, the Kologis were notified of a pending foreclosure on their home.

In December, lawyers for Ocwen Loan Services, a company that has been fined millions of dollars for unfair debt collection practices, asked a judge to declare the Kologis in default on a mortgage from 2006, in an effort to proceed with the foreclosure process.

Steven and Linda Kologi purchased the duplex located at 635 and 637 Wall St. in 2002 for $160,000, records show. They had multiple mortgages on the property over the years, documents show and the chain of title, is fragmented and makes no sense after a cursory review.

The couple had filed for bankruptcy in 2009, listing a monthly income mostly from Steven Kologi’s job as a mailman, a job he’d had for a decade.  A 42-page federal bankruptcy filing also shows the family’s level of debt: The couple owed more than $72,000 on credit cards and had a $15,000 lease on a Honda Civic.  The Kologis, like many American families, financed the financial deficiency they faced at month’s end, until it was no longer servicable.

The average American household now holds $15,654 in debt in 2017, according NerdWallet, a consumer finance website.   Steven Kologi stopped working for the U.S. Postal Service and continued to raise three children,  Brittany, Steven Jr. and Scott, according to family friends. Linda Kologi had another son from a previous relationship, 25-year-old Jonathan Ruiz, according to sources.  Anyone with teens knows how costly it is to raise them, and the stress caused when you are unable to meet their needs likely increased household stress.

Brittany Kologi, was a first-year student at Stockton University in Galloway, N.J., and had recently come home for the holidays.  She wrote on her Facebook page last month that she was still adjusting to the changes in her life.

A couple that had financial issues since as long back as 2009 was a family is distress.  When a family is living under extreme financial duress, the family’s mental health and functioning is impaired.  Even when parents are stable and loving, a parent cannot function at full capacity when facing default, debt-collection and is in a constant state of worry to make ends meet.  Even in the most loving of households, debt and financial problems grate on a family’s overall  happiness and security.

On Monday, authorities said one of the children was at the home and escaped the shooting alongside his grandfather.  On Tuesday, officials disclosed that another person, a woman in her 20s described as a family acquaintance, also fled the home during the attack. She was not further identified.

Instagram user steven_kologi posted on Monday, the day after the shooting, he was safe and pledged to be “as great of a parent as my parents were to me.”

“Never once was I without a hot meal or a roof over my head,” he wrote. “They made sure Christmas came every year although they struggled financially. I cannot even describe the type of people they were so just believe me when I say how great they were. As for my sister she was so beautiful and smart.

“Good luck to everyone out there during this new year,” he wrote, “and please please please remember to give the ones you love an extra kiss or I love you,”he wrote.  Perhaps Steven was able to handle the financial uncertainty better than his younger brother.

Ocwen was hit with federal and state lawsuits for allegedly failing borrowers with mistakes, shortcuts and other problems that cost some people their homes over the past few years.

Ocwen Financial Corporation has been accused by state and federal regulators of botching basic functions such as sending accurate monthly mortgage statements, properly crediting borrowers’ payments and handling taxes and insurance, according to a lawsuit filed in a Florida federal court by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The CFPB also accused the company, based in West Palm Beach, Fla., of improperly foreclosing on struggling borrowers, ignoring complaints and selling serving rights to mortgage loans without fully disclosing mistakes the company and its subsidiaries made in borrowers’ records.

In all, Ocwen improperly started foreclosure proceedings on at least 1,000 people, and has “wrongfully held foreclosure sales,” the CFPB charged. The company’s alleged failures also led to lapsed homeowners’ insurance coverage for more than 10,000 borrowers, the regulator said.  How many families must live under the servicing horrors of Ocwen that the Kologi’s likely endured for years?  Although we don’t know the details of why the shooting happened, we know how Ocwen operates and it is enough to cause further injury to a family already struggling to save a home and keep the family together.


12 Responses

  1. Ocwen Loan Servicing, it’s shady employee and its crooked lawyer have been threatening me with the loss of my home I paid off over 13 years ago. Ocwen and it’s shady lawyer are using false documents false principal balance false payment history and other false fees then used its cozy relationship with Altisouce Trustee Services as a weapon against me threatening me with the loss of my home in just days I’d i refuse to sign increased balloon payment loan modification that I never applied for releasing ocwen from liability. All homeowners must never give up. Sadly our justice system is a graveyard for homeowners. Ocwen is running a unorganized crime operation – it’s to big to fail and to big to jail.

  2. neidermeyer, great for you! Ocwen is working as a debt collector, under different rules and trying to claim loss. I have a log with a payment of $10,000.00, looks like that’s what they paid for the “seized note”…criminality. Bet yours are the same/similar. Rooting for you. Getting a competent judge is difficult.

  3. @ Poppy ,,

    Same here ,, OCWEN stepped on a landmine with me… like you I have Federal rulings on my trust that are 180 degrees out of phase with what they are alleging.

  4. Why is my comment from last night not showing up on this feed?

  5. Happy 2018 from Consumer Rights Defenders. To the story line, either a class action or individual suits is the only answer. We pray no other dire consequences happen like those reported here.
    Reach out to us for your litigation assistance at 818.453.3585

  6. […] via Did Ocwen push a family to the Breaking Point? — Livinglies’s Weblog […]

  7. Any such information about Specialized Loan Servicing?

  8. Go, Poppy. Would love to see your dox. Tnx.

  9. I deal with Ocwen…for every employee you deal with, you get a different story. After 10 years, the timing is right to file suit. Until now, the judges have given them a free pass to continue filing the same litigation, with the same facts and the same exact complaint. Now they made the misstep of removing the “alleged modification” and putting us back to the original REMIC and I have “certified copies” from Delaware Bankruptcy Court stating the impossibility of that happening, as the Federal Court paperwork says different. This is the first chance I have had to use paperwork that is very hard to challenge, even for the inept judges in NC…but who knows, they might still try? If so, I will remove the case to Federal Court, that should put legs on it…I would let all here know how things play out and share every document, win or lose, as I am not alone with Ocwen….Craziness.

  10. Sue Ocwen outside of the foreclosure. FDCPA, wire fraud, mail fraud, 1033 U.S.C. Fraud and False Statements.

  11. Oh this is so sad….. and US courts must start getting justice for people who are abused by mortgage servicers.

  12. OCWEN is without a doubt the worst of the worst of the servicers, at least here in California. It is as if they have absolutely no training, controls, or methodology to ensure compliance with the laws. Fortunately, I have found, they are aware of their own staggering incompetence and if you properly sue them in Court, they may settle.

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