Feminists, Former Employees Cry Foul Over Ishbia’s Big-Dollar MSU Player Stipends

United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia makes no secret of his Michigan State mania, reportedly dropping more than $30 million on the school’s athletic program this year alone. But the one-time basketball walk-on’s latest MSU payout has current and former employees crying foul. Ishbia announced his company will be paying a generous stipend to all 133 MSU men’s basketball and football players starting this upcoming school year, the Detroit Free Press reports. The news comes as UWM faces a lawsuit over its treatment of employees and ongoing complaints about working conditions at the Pontiac, Michigan-based company. NCAA athletes had long been banned from receiving such payments while playing college sports. But the conference recently changed its player compensation rules to…

QuoteWizard: American Debt Dropped During The Pandemic

Americans made a dent in their debts during the pandemic, according to a new study from QuoteWizard. Analysts for QuoteWizard, an online lead generation marketplace for insurance, monitored thirty-three debt metrics between February 2020 and October 2020. They found that credit scores improved, people made more payments on their student loans, and the number in debt collection dropped. Nationally there was a 10% decrease in subprime credit scores and a 2% decrease in debt collection. Student loan delinquency and credit card delinquency both fell, by 32% and 31% respectively. “Americans having less debt has broader implications across the whole economy. The better your credit score, the less you are going to pay on everything from auto loans and home mortgages…

Is Housing Market Heading Back to ‘Normal?’

Signs of softening housing markets and a leveling of mortgage interest rates have some industry observers asking if America is heading back to a ‘normal’ home-buying market. “For first-time buyers, more options and favorable financing offer the promise that after a year of frustrating bidding wars, finding the right home may finally be within reach,” George Ratiu, manager of economic research at Realtor.com said this week. “More listings are coming to the market these days, which is alleviating some of the supply crunch that prompted record increases in home prices.” Marco Santarelli, founder of Norada Real Estate Investments, says “new sellers are entering the market at near-normal levels,” in part thanks to cooling home prices. “Median listing prices in several…

Experts Question UWM’s Decision to Accept ‘Volatile’ Bitcoin for Mortgage Payments

United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia made headlines with the announcement his company—one of the largest lenders in the U.S.—plans to start accepting Bitcoin as payment for mortgages later this year. “That’s something that we’ve been working on,” Ishbia said, “and we’re excited that hopefully, in Q3, we can actually execute on that before anyone in the country because we are a leader in technology and innovation.” Ishbia’s announcement puts his company on the front line of the debate over the potential dangers of novel techno-currencies like Bitcoin. Bitcoin is among the class of financial products known as “cryptocurrencies,” digital currency systems developed and traded using a variety of computational and security networks. The process of developing and obtaining cryptocurrencies can…

As Home Prices Remain Sky-High, More Housing Looks to be the Only Answer

Prospective homebuyers looking to find a house that doesn’t break their bank account should be hoping mostly for just one thing — More homes. That’s because the primary driver of sky-high housing prices is a shortage of housing stock. Absent a sharp increase in the number of houses on the market, prices will likely remain elevated indefinitely, even if demand ends up declining. Experts have pointed to a variety of factors that have contributed to the housing shortage. Chief among them has been the residual effects of the 2008 financial crisis, which reportedly derailed the housing industry significantly enough that there are still significantly fewer houses on the market now than if the recession never occurred. Also cited as an…

‘I Control the Margins’: UWM Offers Peek Into Cutthroat Mortgage Industry

“We knew this would happen. We controlled this.” That was the confident, arguably boastful claim of United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishiba this week when discussing his company’s recent quarterly performance and what it means for traders on the stock market. Ishiba was speaking to CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer about UWM’s recent drop in margins and whether the stock market “overvalues” those types of metrics. “I don’t think so,” Ishiba responded. “I don’t really understand why people focus so much on that. We control the margins. The margins didn’t collapse. I control the margins. I dropped the margins to focus on putting a lot of pressure on my competitors, which we did successfully. The top mortgage lender went…

How Private Lenders Work to Provide Targeted Loan Assistance to U.S. Veterans

As the chaos in Afghanistan continues, significant attention is being paid to the veterans returning home from that lengthy war and the challenges they face upon arriving home. Among those challenges is finding adequate housing for themselves and their families. Governments and private charities have developed numerous initiatives to help facilitate easy veteran entry into the housing market, including favorable loan terms and gifts of debt-free newly built housing. Numerous private lenders have also launched programs to help veterans obtain homeownership in a variety of ways. Among them is JP Morgan Chase, one of the largest lenders in the U.S. Company spokeswoman Ashlei Bobo told the Mortgage Note this week that the company partners with the U.S. Department of Veteran…

As Troops Return From Afghanistan, Government, Charities Promote Homeownership for Veterans

The dramatic fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban over the past week has underscored the instability of the region and the difficulties of engaging in a two-decade-long conflict in a foreign country.  It has also highlighted the difficulties faced by many U.S. veterans who have been serving in that country for years—the tremendous challenges of deployment can often be exacerbated by the concurrent difficulties in returning to civilian life.  Among them can be finding housing, whether it’s a rental apartment or a mortgage-financed home. The Disabled Veterans National Foundation notes that, while veteran households tend to have higher homeownership rates than non-veterans, younger veterans have “astonishingly higher cost burdens” than older ones.  “Twenty-first century veterans are far less likely than previous generations…

Amid Low Housing Stock, Are Millennial Homebuyers Driving the Shortage?

One possible explanation for the sharp decrease in housing stock throughout the U.S.? Demographics. Some analysts believe a wave of Millennial homebuyers are at least partially responsible for the severe housing crunch that has sent U.S. home prices skyrocketing and launched a seemingly endless frenzy in which buyers are competing in a cutthroat market for a dwindling supply of homes. Data indicate that Millennials form the largest share of current homebuyers: Older and younger members of that group make up nearly 40 percent of all homebuyers today, according to data from the National Association of Retailers. Millennials still make up the smallest share of U.S. homeowner demographics, but data from Apartment List show that, among major U.S. age groups, their…

How Do Brokers and Realtors Hope to Get Your Attention? By Making You Laugh

You may have been surprised recently to find yourself laughing at real estate listings and mortgage broker commercials. That’s the point. The real estate industry—not a dependably reliable source for gut-busting jokes and gags—has been increasingly turning to comedy to make itself stand out in the hyper-competitive digital market of the 21st century. Rocket Mortgage, for instance, this year deployed a series of commercials featuring veteran comedian Tracy Morgan and other celebrities. The company regularly uses humor in its advertising material, such as one advertisement that featured a ghost looking for “a new home to haunt.” Rocket isn’t the only major real estate company using gags to catch consumers’ attention. Realtor’s “Home for Every Buyer” campaign featured one spot in…