Bill Erbey: From millionaire to billionaire and back

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No former billionaire had a more precipitous drop in the past year than Bill Erbey, according to Forbes magazine. He had the steepest decline of any member of last year’s Forbes 400 list of richest Americans.

By my calculations, Erbey’s shares in Ocwen Financial Corp. and related mortgage companies were worth nearly $3 billion in late 2013. As of Thursday, that sum had shrunk to $382 million.

Erbey was forced out of Ocwen earlier this year, and the company was compelled to pay $100 million in a settlement with New York regulators.

A former Palm Beach resident who now lives in St. Croix, Erbey built Ocwen, a subprime mortgage servicer, into an international web of companies. Ocwen no longer is technically headquartered in West Palm Beach, but most of its top executives are here.

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