February 20, 2017

Last week, two Baltimore homeowners who have spoken out against Oaktree Capital’s mortgage practices received notices of eviction.

Joann Rodriguez attempted to negotiate a loan modification with Selene Finance, Oaktree’s mortgage servicer, after suffering a health crisis. She was rejected for a modification. She is now scheduled to be evicted on March 28th.

Paula Smith attempted a trial modification with Selene Finance and was late on her final payment. After being told to re-start the trial rather than make a late payment, she was notified by Selene of its intent to foreclose. She and her children are scheduled to be evicted on March 27th.

Affiliates of Oaktree Capital own both Rodriguez’ and Smith’s mortgages.

Read their stories here: Joann Rodriguez, Paula Smith

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s latest report names Selene Finance as one of the most complained-about mortgage companies in the United States, with a 75% increase in complaints over the last year.

In November 2016, the Baltimore Sun and FundFire, an institutional investor publication from the Financial Times, published the following articles.


Baltimore Sun: Critics say HUD sales of delinquent mortgages are hurting, not helping

By Natalie Sherman

Published: 11/16/16

The federal government has sold thousands of delinquent Maryland mortgages to private investors through a controversial program that critics argue hurts homeowners and contributes to Baltimore’s vacancy problem.

PaulaSmithNow they’re mounting a campaign to try to change the program established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2010 partly to get bad federally insured loans off the government’s books.

Critics say the buyers, who purchased the mortgages at steep discounts off the unpaid balances, aren’t using those discounts to be more flexible with homeowners, as the program also intended.

(Remainder of the article available at The Baltimore Sun here)


FundFire: Oaktree HUD Loans Flap Highlights Wider Investor Scrutiny

By Tom Stabile

Published: 11/16/16

Oaktree Capital Management’s handling of distressed mortgage loans acquired through a federal program has raised questions from a big investor – and underscores new scrutiny fund managers face from more active and sophisticated clients.

The questions over Oaktree’s management of the package of Baltimore-area mortgage loans, first reported in MandateWire, came during a meeting of the Texas Teacher Retirement System (TRS) after a presentation from a Unite Here researcher. The labor union research group has also issued a new report on the matter.

Oaktree manages $878 million for TRS across eight fund and separate account mandates, and the investments in question appear to be in two of the commingled funds, Oaktree Real Estate Opportunities Fund V and Oaktree Real Estate Opportunities Fund VI, which raised capital since 2014. Oaktree and TRS declined to confirm where the loans are held.

(Remainder of the article available at FundFire here)

Our report, Will Oaktree run afoul of HUD requirements on distressed Baltimore mortgages? Remains available here.



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