Fortress Investment Group appears to be the winning bidder on a $50 billon package of mortgage servicing rights being peddled by Bank of America, according to industry analysts watching the deal.
At press time, media contacts and investor relations officials for both companies had not returned telephone calls about the matter. (BofA's corporate headquarters was closed on Friday because of Veterans Day, but a telephone number for media relations was accepting calls.)
At least two other firms were looking at the BofA MSRs, including Bayview Financial.
The receivables are collateralized by mortgages originally funded by Countrywide Financial Corp. a few years ago and sold to Freddie Mac. B of A bought CFC in August 2008.
Early in the fall the bank sold a $70 billion package of MSRs to Fannie Mae, which in turn is processing the loans through a subservicing agreement with Green Tree Financial. To date, the GSE, Green Tree, and its parent, the publicly traded Walter Investment Management Group have declined to comment on the sale.
The $50 billion of MSRs being auctioned by B of A is considered “legacy” in nature with high delinquency rates.
The sale by BofA is another step in the bank's plan to reduce its footprint in residential finance and servicing.
Fortress controls Nationstar Mortgage, a subservicer/lender based in Texas.