December 11, 2014 – Fitch Ratings-New York: Fitch Ratings has affirmed Cenlar FSB’s (Cenlar) U.S. residential mortgage servicer rating as follows:
–U.S. residential primary servicer rating for prime product at ‘RPS2′; Outlook Stable;
The affirmation and Stable Outlook reflect Cenlar’s strong process and control environment, and its experienced staff and management team. Additionally, Cenlar has evidenced success in meeting its growth objectives while maintaining performance and quality standards.
The servicer continues to be an active participant in the servicing of new prime RMBS issuances, and since 2013, has been the industry’s most active servicer of securitized RMBS prime transactions, servicing approximately 8,500 loans totaling $6.2 billion. Over the past two years, the servicer has nearly doubled the size of its servicing portfolio to 1.2 million loans serviced and saw full-time equivalent staff growth of 72%, primarily in the transfer operations, customer service, claims, bankruptcy and, tax and insurance departments.
The servicer continues to hire experienced industry professionals in its servicing and management teams while making enhancements to its enterprise risk management structure through increased quality assurance and compliance testing. Cenlar reviews its risk rankings annually, and quality control functions are completed monthly for all major servicing functions. For the period ended Dec. 31, 2013, the servicer’s Regulation AB and USAP annual certifications indicated full compliance with no mater findings. Cenlar also indicated that it is not under any consent or regulatory orders. Fitch believes the continued enhancements will strengthen the servicer’s ability to comply with its regulatory servicing responsibilities.
On Oct. 13, 2014, Cenlar announced that Gregory S. Tornquist, the company’s president and CEO since 2008, was elected as Chairman of the Board of Cenlar FSB and its holding company, Cenlar Capital Corporation (CCC), effective Jan. 1, 2015. He will succeed the current Chairman, Michael W. Young, who led the company from the time of its incorporation in 1984. Upon completion of this transition, Michael Young will continue with Cenlar in the new role of vice chairman of the board of both Cenlar FSB and CCC.
Cenlar operates from four locations in Ewing, NJ and has been in existence since 1958 operating under the name of Larson Mortgage Company (Larson) as a traditional mortgage banking company. In 1984, Larson acquired Centennial Savings and Loan Association and changed its name to Cenlar. Cenlar began focusing on third-party subservicing and primary servicing for various financial entities in 1994. In early 1997, the servicer exited the retail banking and loan origination business and focused exclusively on third-party subservicing and primary servicing for various financial entities.
Cenlar, an operating subsidiary of CCC, is a privately held (employee-owned), federally chartered savings bank. Fitch does not rate the credit or financial strength of Cenlar or its parent CCC. However, Fitch’s financial institutions group reviewed Cenlar’s financial statements to provide an internal assessment, as a company’s financial condition is a component of Fitch’s servicer rating analysis.
As of Sept. 30, 2014, Cenlar serviced 1,270,976 loans totaling $252.1 billion. This is further broken down as 14, 214 non-agency prime RMBS loans totaling $7.3 billion; 1,021,596 GSE loans totaling $189 billion; and 234,448 other loans totaling $54.8 billion being serviced for private investors and a housing authority agency.
Source: Primary Analyst, Michael Laidlaw, Director +1-212-908-0251; Secondary Analyst, Roelof Slump, Managing Director +1-212-908-0705; www.fitchratings.com.