A class action has been commenced in the United States District Court for the District of the U.S. Virgin Islands on behalf of purchasers of Ocwen Financial Corporation (“Ocwen”) (NYSE:OCN) common stock during the period between October 3, 2012 and August 11, 2014 (the “Class Period”). The complaint charges Ocwen and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Ocwen, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the acquisition, servicing and resolution of sub-performing and non-performing residential and commercial mortgage loans in the United States and internationally.
The first of these consolidated shareholder derivative actions, Sokolowski v. Erbey, et al., 14-cv-81601-WPD, was commenced on December 24, 2014 on behalf of nominal defendant Ocwen, a corporation organized under the laws of Florida and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Ocwen is a publicly traded corporation and one of the largest mortgage servicing companies in the United States. Thereafter, two related shareholder derivative actions were filed as follows: Hutt v. Erbey, et al., 15-cv-81709-WPD (the “Hutt action”); and Lowinger v. Erbey, et al., 15-cv-62628-WPD (the “Lowinger action”) asserting substantially similar claims. By Order entered on January 8, 2016, this Court consolidated the three actions for all purposes. Thereafter, by Stipulation and Order entered February 17, 2016, Plaintiff Sokolowski’s counsel was appointed Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs. A Consolidated Verified Shareholder Derivative Complaint was filed on March 8, 2016.
After vigorous pursuit of shareholders’ claims from submission of demand letters, filing of various complaints, consolidation of various actions and Defendants’ filing of various motions to dismiss, the Parties began to explore a possible resolution of the litigation. Significant progress was made, including with respect to discovery as outlined above, but by late August, 2016, the Parties had reached an impasse. A final, additional extension of time to respond to the pending motions to dismiss was requested and obtained and settlement negotiations continued. Additional time was also required to enable Lead Counsel to complete their review of the approximately 600,000 pages of documents produced. During this time, there were numerous communications among the settling parties regarding, inter alia, the quantity and nature of the documents to be produced, the interviews conducted by counsel for the Committee and otherwise.
Finally, the Court ordered the Parties to attend and conduct a settlement conference before Magistrate Judge Snow, which took place on October 13, 2016, at which time an agreement in principle was reached. Thereafter, the Parties formulated and executed a Term Sheet outlining the essential terms of the proposed settlement and the definitive Stipulation that was filed with the Court along with briefing in support of preliminary approval on November 23, 2016. On November 30, 2016, the Court granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement. A final approval hearing will be held before the Honorable Lurana S. Snow at the United States Federal Courthouse, 299 East Broward Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301, on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at 2:00 p.m.