Fitch Upgrades Residential Servicer Ratings for Central Mortgage

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Tuesday, Jul. 21, 2009 11:58 pm  

Fitch Ratings of New York said Tuesday it has upgraded its ratings for Central Mortgage Co. of Little Rock.  

In a news release, Fitch said it took these actions on the U.S. residential mortgage primary servicer ratings:

● Primary servicer rating for prime product upgraded to 'RPS2+' from 'RPS2';

● Primary servicer rating for Alt-A product upgraded to 'RPS2' from 'RPS2-';

● Primary-special servicer rating assigned at 'RSS2'.

The primary ratings upgrades and assignment are based on CMC's experienced and well integrated senior management team, continued investments in systems and technology and its highly developed internal quality control processes and procedures, the release said.

CMC is a subsidiary of Arvest Bank Group Inc. Fitch said it does not rate the credit or financial strength of CMC or its parent. However, Fitch's Financial Institutions Group did review Arvest's financial statements.

CMC is solely engaged in loan servicing by acquisition and does not service loans originated by Arvest Mortgage Co., its sister company. CMC's primary line of business is to acquire mortgage servicing rights for residential mortgage loans of 1-4 family units focusing on mostly prime and Alt-A loans. CMC has continued with its bulk and flow purchases from both the Government Sponsored Enterprises and private investors.

For the period ended Dec. 31, 2008, CMC completed $3.9 billion in flow servicing transfer and acquired $372 million in bulk acquisitions. As March 31, 2009, the servicer had a servicing portfolio of 137,690 loans totaling $27.4 billion.

The servicer continues to enhance its training and employee development programs, the release said.

During the course of the year CMC increased staffing, automated various functionalities and realigned reporting responsibilities within its default management areas. In addition, the servicer added several new positions to its customer service desk and expanded its welcome call campaigns for 100 percent of new loans acquired. The servicer also made several enhancements to its servicing system and increased its customer payment options via the company's website.

Fitch said it believes CMC has a highly developed servicing platform, with the necessary capacity, controls, systems and staff to adequately support its servicing portfolio. However, Fitch said it will continue to monitor CMC's ability to expand its operation while maintaining performance in a rising delinquency environment.

Fitch rates residential mortgage primary, master, and special servicers on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest rating. Within some of the rating levels, it further differentiates ratings by plus (+) and minus (-) as well as the flat rating.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.