Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

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COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2016
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
 
Litigation – Following the HLSS Acquisition (see Note 1 for related defined terms), material potential claims, lawsuits, regulatory inquiries or investigations, and other proceedings, of which New Residential is currently aware, are as follows. New Residential has not accrued losses in connection with these legal contingencies because it does not believe there is a probable and reasonably estimable loss. Furthermore, New Residential cannot reasonably estimate the range of potential loss related to these legal contingencies at this time. However, the ultimate outcome of the proceedings described below may have a material adverse effect on New Residential’s business, financial position or results of operations.

In addition to the matters described below, from time to time, New Residential is or may be involved in various disputes, litigation and regulatory inquiry and investigation matters that arise in the ordinary course of business. Given the inherent unpredictability of these types of proceedings, it is possible that future adverse outcomes could have a material adverse effect on its financial results. New Residential is not aware of any unasserted claims that it believes are material and probable of assertion where the risk of loss is expected to be reasonably possible.

Three putative class action lawsuits have been filed against HLSS and certain of its current and former officers and directors in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entitled: (i) Oliveira v. Home Loan Servicing Solutions, Ltd., et al., No. 15-CV-652 (S.D.N.Y.), filed on January 29, 2015; (ii) Berglan v. Home Loan Servicing Solutions, Ltd., et al., No. 15-CV-947 (S.D.N.Y.), filed on February 9, 2015; and (iii) W. Palm Beach Police Pension Fund v. Home Loan Servicing Solutions, Ltd., et al., No. 15-CV-1063 (S.D.N.Y.), filed on February 13, 2015. On April 2, 2015, these lawsuits were consolidated into a single action, which is referred to as the “Securities Action.” On April 28, 2015, lead plaintiffs, lead counsel and liaison counsel were appointed in the Securities Action. On November 9, 2015, lead plaintiffs filed an amended class action complaint. On January 27, 2016, the Securities Action was transferred to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and given the Index No. 16-CV-60165 (S.D. Fla.).

The Securities Action names as defendants HLSS, former HLSS Chairman William C. Erbey, HLSS Director, President, and Chief Executive Officer John P. Van Vlack, and HLSS Chief Financial Officer James E. Lauter. The Securities Action asserts causes of action under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act based on certain public disclosures made by HLSS relating to its relationship with Ocwen and HLSS’s risk management and internal controls. More specifically, the consolidated class action complaint alleges that a series of statements in HLSS’s disclosures were materially false and misleading, including statements about (i) Ocwen’s servicing capabilities; (ii) HLSS’s contingencies and legal proceedings; (iii) its risk management and internal controls; and (iv) certain related party transactions. The consolidated class action complaint also appears to allege that HLSS’s financial statements for the years ended 2012 and 2013, and the first quarter ended March 30, 2014, were false and misleading based on HLSS’s August 18, 2014 restatement. Lead plaintiffs in the Securities Action also allege that HLSS misled investors by failing to disclose, among other things, information regarding governmental investigations of Ocwen’s business practices. Lead plaintiffs seek money damages under the Exchange Act in an amount to be proven at trial and reasonable costs, expenses, and fees. New Residential intends to vigorously defend the Securities Action and consistent therewith on February 11, 2015, defendants filed motions to dismiss the Securities Action in its entirety.

Three shareholder derivative actions have been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida purportedly on behalf of Ocwen: (i) Sokolowski v. Erbey, et al., No. 14-CV-81601 (S.D. Fla.) (the “Sokolowski Action”); (ii) Hutt v. Erbey, et al., No. 15-CV-81709 (S.D. Fla.) (the “Hutt Action”); and (iii) Lowinger v. Erbey, et al., No. 15-CV-62628 (S.D. Fla.) (the “Lowinger Action”). On November 9, 2015, HLSS filed a motion to dismiss the Sokolowski Action. While that motion was pending, the Hutt Action, which at the time did not name HLSS as a defendant, was transferred from the Northern District of Georgia to the Southern District of Florida and the Lowinger Action, which at the time also did not name HLSS as a defendant, was filed. On January 8, 2016, the court consolidated the three actions and denied HLSS’s motion to dismiss the Sokolowski complaint as moot and without prejudice to re-file a new motion to dismiss following the filing of a consolidated complaint. On March 8, 2016, plaintiffs filed their consolidated complaint. The consolidated complaint alleges, among other things, that certain of Ocwen’s current and former directors and officers, including former HLSS Chairman William C. Erbey, breached their fiduciary duties to Ocwen by, among other things, causing Ocwen to enter into transactions that were harmful to Ocwen. The complaint further alleges that HLSS and others aided and abetted the alleged breaches of fiduciary duty by Mr. Erbey and the other directors and officers of Ocwen who have been named as defendants. The consolidated complaint also asserts causes of action against HLSS and others for unjust enrichment and for contribution. The lawsuit seeks money damages from HLSS in an amount to be proven at trial. New Residential intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit.

One shareholder derivative action has been filed in Florida state court in the Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Palm Beach County, Florida purportedly on behalf of Ocwen: Moncavage v. Faris, et al., No. 2015CA003244 (Fla. Palm Beach Cty. Ct.). The complaint alleges, among other things, that certain current and former Ocwen directors and officers breached their fiduciary duties to Ocwen. The complaint also alleged that HLSS and others aided and abetted the alleged breaches of fiduciary duty. The lawsuit seeks money damages from HLSS in an amount to be proved at trial. On November 9, 2015, the court entered an order staying all proceedings in the case pending further order of the Court. HLSS has not been served. If the litigation proceeds, New Residential intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit.

On March 11, 2015, plaintiff David Rattner filed a shareholder derivative action purportedly on behalf of HLSS entitled Rattner v. Van Vlack, et al., No. 2015CA002833 (Fla. Palm Beach Cty. Ct.) (the “HLSS Derivative Action”). The lawsuit names as defendants HLSS directors John P. Van Vlack, Robert J. McGinnis, Kerry Kennedy, Richard J. Lochrie, and David B. Reiner (collectively, the “Director Defendants”), New Residential Investment Corp., and Hexagon Merger Sub, Ltd. The HLSS Derivative Action alleges that the Director Defendants breached their fiduciary duties of due care, diligence, loyalty, honesty and good faith and the duty to act in the best interests of HLSS under Cayman law and claims that the Director Defendants approved a proposed merger with New Residential Investment Corp. that (i) provided inadequate consideration to HLSS’s shareholders, (ii) included unfair deal protection devices, (iii) and was the result of an inadequate process due to conflicts of interest. On July 8, 2015, the complaint was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice.

New Residential is, from time to time, subject to inquiries by government entities. New Residential currently does not believe any of these inquiries would result in a material adverse effect on New Residential’s business.

Indemnifications – In the normal course of business, New Residential and its subsidiaries enter into contracts that contain a variety of representations and warranties and that provide general indemnifications. New Residential’s maximum exposure under these arrangements is unknown as this would involve future claims that may be made against New Residential that have not yet occurred. However, based on Newcastle’s and its own experience, New Residential expects the risk of material loss to be remote.
 
Capital Commitments — As of March 31, 2016, New Residential had outstanding capital commitments related to investments in the following investment types (also refer to Note 18 for additional capital commitments entered into subsequent to March 31, 2016, if any):

Servicer Advances — New Residential and third-party co-investors agreed to purchase future Servicer Advances related to Non-Agency mortgage loans. The actual amount of future advances purchased will be based on: (a) the credit and prepayment performance of the underlying loans, (b) the amount of advances recoverable prior to liquidation of the related collateral and (c) the percentage of the loans with respect to which no additional advance obligations are made. The actual amount of future advances is subject to significant uncertainty. See Note 6 for information on New Residential’s investments in Servicer Advances.

Residential Mortgage Loans — As part of its investment in residential mortgage loans, New Residential may be required to outlay capital. These capital outflows primarily consist of advance escrow and tax payments, residential maintenance and property disposition fees. The actual amount of these outflows is subject to significant uncertainty. See Note 8 for information on New Residential’s investments in residential mortgage loans.

Environmental Costs — As a residential real estate owner through its REO, New Residential is subject to potential environmental costs. At March 31, 2016, New Residential is not aware of any environmental concerns that would have a material adverse effect on its consolidated financial position or results of operations.

Debt Covenants — New Residential’s debt obligations contain various customary debt covenants (Note 11).
 
Certain Tax-Related Covenants — If New Residential is treated as a successor to Newcastle under applicable U.S. federal income tax rules, and if Newcastle fails to qualify as a REIT, New Residential could be prohibited from electing to be a REIT. Accordingly, Newcastle has (i) represented that it has no knowledge of any fact or circumstance that would cause New Residential to fail to qualify as a REIT, (ii) covenanted to use commercially reasonable efforts to cooperate with New Residential as necessary to enable New Residential to qualify for taxation as a REIT and receive customary legal opinions concerning REIT status, including providing information and representations to New Residential and its tax counsel with respect to the composition of Newcastle’s income and assets, the composition of its stockholders, and its operation as a REIT; and (iii) covenanted to use its reasonable best efforts to maintain its REIT status for each of Newcastle’s taxable years ending on or before December 31, 2014 (unless Newcastle obtains an opinion from a nationally recognized tax counsel or a private letter ruling from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) to the effect that Newcastle’s failure to maintain its REIT status will not cause New Residential to fail to qualify as a REIT under the successor REIT rule referred to above). Additionally, New Residential covenanted to use its reasonable best efforts to qualify for taxation as a REIT for its taxable year ended December 31, 2013.