Liberty Reverse parent Ocwen seeks to rebrand this year

Ocwen Financial Corp., the parent company of top five reverse mortgage lender Liberty Reverse Mortgage and PHH Mortgage Corp., announced on Wednesday that it is undergoing a rebranding effort and will be known as Onity Group Inc. This is according to a company spokesperson and a subsequent announcement issued on Wednesday.

The only entity to be immediately impacted in the initial rebranding stage is Ocwen itself, but a version of the new name is expected to roll out to both Liberty and PHH at some point in 2024. Both companies will eventually be aligned under the name Onity Mortgage, but a timeline was not specified for wider implementation into the subsidiaries outside of “later this year.”

The rebrand is subject to shareholder approval. Should they approve the change, the company will transition to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) symbol “ONIT” from its current symbol “OCN.” Shareholders will vote on the measure at the company’s annual shareholders meeting on May 28, and pending approval, the company will transfer to its new ticker symbol and name in June.

Glen Messina, CEO of PHH/Liberty Reverse Mortgage parent company Ocwen Financial Corporation.
Glen Messina

“We are very excited about rebranding to Onity as it demonstrates our extensive transformation into a  balanced and diversified mortgage company and the confidence we have in our business, our capabilities and  our team,” Glen Messina, the chair, president and CEO of Ocwen, said in a statement.

Messina went on to describe the company having “steadily grown” its mortgage servicing and subservicing portfolios. It has constructed a servicing platform while adding multi-asset originations and asset management capabilities. The company has also established capital-partner relationships and has made a series of technological investments into its platforms, he said.

The company arrived at the new name after what it called “a rigorous research and brand strategy development analysis,” adding it “believes its new name reflects the capabilities of a hard-working team with a can-do attitude and problem-solving culture. Within the name Onity is the phrase ‘on it,’ which conveys action and the promise of dependability, performance and support.”

Included in the wider rebranding effort will be a refresh of the company’s brand voice, which is designed to support “the company’s commitment to getting the job done,” the announcement stated.

“Deeply embedded in our culture is the desire to consistently deliver on our commitments to achieve positive outcomes for all of our stakeholders, and this mindset is central to our mission, values and operating principles,” Messina said. “We understand what our customers want and the important role we have in delivering on their needs. We believe our new brand genuinely represents how we operate and our focus on delivering results consistent with what our customers expect from us.”

Ocwen posted a $64 million loss in 2023 but forecasts a generally positive trajectory for its reverse mortgage origination and servicing businesses, according to a recent earnings report.

As more forward mortgage participants seem to be entering the reverse space of late, Messina said during an earnings call that the company is supporting several forward correspondent clients in joining the reverse mortgage business.

“Because we participate in all segments of the reverse industry from an originations perspective — so direct-to-consumer, wholesale and correspondent — we would expect to benefit the most in our correspondent channel by seeing a growth in forward originators moving into the reverse product space,” he said.

According to Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsement data compiled by Reverse Market Insight (RMI), Liberty is the fourth-largest reverse mortgage lender in the country, endorsing 1,426 loans during the 12-month period ending in February 2024. 

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