Cayman Islands-based Home Loan Services Solutions Ltd.(HLSS) will pay a $1.5 million penalty to settle SEC charges of making material misstatements about its handling of related party transactions and the value of its primary asset. According to the SEC’s order instituting a settled administrative proceeding, HLSS misstated its handling of transactions with related parties. For example, from 2012 to 2014, HLSS stated that to avoid potential conflicts of interest, it required its Chairman (also the Chairman of Ocwen Financial Corp.) to recuse himself from transactions with Ocwen. However, HLSS had no written policies on recusals for related-party transactions and, in fact, HLSS’ Chairman approved many transactions with Ocwen. In addition, according to the SEC’s order, HLSS misstated its net income in 2012, 2013, and the first quarter of 2014, because the methodology used to value its primary asset – billions of dollars of mortgage servicing rights purchased from Ocwen – did not conform to generally accepted accounting principles. SEC
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