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10 Sep 2010
U.S. Residential Mortgage Servicer Rating Action
New York, September 10, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has affirmed the servicer quality ("SQ")
rating of SQ2- for Central Mortgage Company ("CMC")
as a Primary Servicer of prime residential mortgage loans. Moody's
rating is based on the company's above average collection abilities,
above average loss mitigation results, above average foreclosure
timeline and REO management, and average servicing stability.
CMC is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Arvest Bank Group,
Inc., a privately-owned bank holding company.
The company is active in the servicing of loans whose mortgage servicing
rights it acquires in the secondary market. CMC acquires loans
through various daily and monthly flow and co-issue alliances with
many lenders selling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan servicing rights.
As of June 30, 2010, the servicing portfolio consisted of
140,305 loans for an unpaid principal balance of approximately $27.3
billion, representing a 10% decline from this time last year.
The servicing operation, headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas,
employed 353 associates as of June 30, 2010, compared to 364
associates in the prior review.
Moody's views CMC's collection abilities to be above average.
During the review, CMC exhibited deterioration in its collection
roll rate metrics and experienced call center metric spikes beyond internal
goals. In an attempt to alleviate the stress on its call center,
CMC migrated the collection activities of 30-59 day delinquent
accounts from the customer service to the collection unit, which
lessened the customer service unit workload and improved the call center
metrics. Moody's will continue to monitor CMC's collection
roll rate metrics.
Moody's views CMC's loss mitigation and timeline abilities
to be above average. Since the prior review CMC has streamlined
its loss mitigation process through technological improvements.
As a result the company exhibited solid cure rates of its seriously delinquent
loan population through modification and short sales. Furthermore,
CMC continued to gain efficiency through the automation of its foreclosure
referral and REO broker interaction process. As the volume of properties
in foreclosure grow, Moody's believes that CMC may find further
efficiencies in utilizing a more automated system for communicating with
attorneys and tracking their progress throughout the foreclosure process.
Moody's views the company's servicing stability as average.
The rating is based on CMC's history of consistent profitability
and the recent increase in viable flow loan contracts. The assessment
is balanced with the company's private ownership structure,
third-party servicing acquisition model, and the increased
volatility in the U.S. mortgage market.
The previous rating action for CMC's SQ rating occurred on July
24, 2009. At that time, Moody's affirmed CMC's rating
of SQ2- as a Primary Servicer of prime loans.
Moody's SQ ratings represent its view of a servicer's ability to prevent
or mitigate asset pool losses across changing markets. The rating
scale ranges from SQ1 (strong) to SQ5 (weak). Where appropriate,
a "+" or "-" modifier will be appended to the relevant rating
to indicate a servicer's relative servicing quality within a particular
category. Moody's servicer ratings are differentiated in the marketplace
by focusing on performance management. SQ ratings for U.S.
residential mortgage servicers incorporate assessments of delinquency
transition rates, foreclosure timeline management, loan cure
rates, recoveries, loan resolution outcomes, and REO
management -- all critical indicators of a servicer's ability
to maximize returns from mortgage portfolios.
Moody's servicer ratings also consider the company's ability to maintain
its focus on high quality servicing in an economic downturn. Servicing
operations can be stressed by increasing the number of delinquent loans
while at the same time increasing the need for liquidity. The SQ
rating reflects our expectation of the impact that the servicing will
have on the on-going credit performance of the portfolio.
For this reason, Moody's monitors SQ ratings based on periodic information
provided by servicers and conducts a formal re-evaluation of its
servicer ratings annually.
MD - Structured Finance
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's affirms Central Mortgage Company's rating of SQ2- as Primary Servicer of prime loans
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
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