Redfin Furloughs Agents, Cuts Salaries

Redfin announced that 41 percent of its agents are leaving the company, with some leaving the company for good and most furloughed through the summer. The company also it is cancelling bonuses and temporarily cutting headquarter salary by 10 to 15 percent. “We decided on this large-scale furlough because fewer people are buying and selling homes, but another factor was the federal government’s $600 weekly contribution to each person’s unemployment insurance,” CEO Glenn Kelman said. “Of the field folks leaving, we estimate about 75 percent live in states that will allow them to earn more from unemployment insurance than from Redfin.” Kelman said employees who build the technology and programs behind the brokerage are staying on, with “a small number…

Free Press Silent About UWM Leadership Coach’s Past

The Detroit Free Press wrote a glowing article last week about United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia and his hiring of former Michigan State basketball teammates: Twenty years ago, Ishbia was a walk-on third-string point guard for the Spartans, the human victory cigar on a team that won the 2000 NCAA tournament. Now, he’s the CEO and president of United Shore, a company that has grown from 12 employees to 5,800 in just 17 years. Ishbia has hired five former MSU teammates to work with him, in part because they are his friends — he gets them in the door; it’s up to them to do something with it. But also because they speak the same language and share the same experiences. Those teammates are Adam…

Troubled WVa Bank First To Fail In Coronavirus Era

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced the first failure of a bank during the coronavirus pandemic, though the bank was struggling before economic challenges began. The West Virginia Division of Financial Institutions closed The First State Bank in Barboursville, West Virginia on Friday. MVB Bank of Fairmount acquired all of the bank’s deposit accounts. FDIC said The First State Bank had approximately $152.4 million in total assets and $139.5 million in total deposits as of Dec. 31. In addition to assuming all of the deposits, MVB Bank agreed to purchase approximately $147.2 million of The First State Bank’s assets. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for now. Earlier this year, DepositAccounts.com had given the bank an “F” for its financial…

UWM Customers Struggle With Relief; Company Adds 2nd Income Verification

United Wholesale Mortgage announced that it is conducting a second verification of income and employment step late in the loan process in the face of rising unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, existing customers are getting increasingly frustrated with the company and vocal on social media with the company’s lack of responsiveness as they seek to adjust their mortgages during economic hardship. “With everything going on right now, it’s just really imperative that we’re verifying that income and employment have not changed the day we’re sending them the money,” said Eric Mojica, UWM’s vice president of sales. Mojica said UWM does two verification of employment checks now, one earlier in the process and one just before closing to…

UWM Appears To Avoid FHA Loans, Refinancing Opportunities

United Wholesale Mortgage President and CEO Matt Ishbia said his company is purposely avoiding mortgages that serve lower and some middle-income Americans. “We are always on the higher credit score buckets at UWM and the lower rates at UWM. … We want lower rates, best quality borrowers, close them fast, get them to give you three referrals, and let’s keep dominating,” Ishbia said in an interview last week with the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME). Ishbia made the comments from his office at a time when brokers are working to adjust the way they do business amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the brokers with whom UWM does business have complained on social media and elsewhere that UWM is…

iBuyer Fallout: Zillow Pauses Home Buying

Zillow announced Monday that it is suspending buying homes as part of its iBuyer program across the country amid orders to end all non-essential businesses. The company will continue to market and sell homes through Zillow Offers, but will pause making offers to sellers to “protect the safety and health of its employees, customers and partners.” “Our top priority is ensuring the safety and health of our employees, customers, and partners. Given the concerns for public safety and rapid developments by governments that restrict local real estate activities, we determined it was prudent to pause our home buying to preserve our capital,” Zillow Group CEO Rich Barton said. “We plan to restore Zillow Offers full operations once health concerns pass…

Mortgage Lender CEO Says “Everyone’s Winning Right Now” Amid Pandemic

On the same day the government announced 281,000 Americans filed jobless claims last week amid the coronavirus pandemic, United Wholesale Mortgage President and Chief Executive Officer Mat Ishbia declared “Everyone’s winning right now” in the mortgage market. Ishbia, in an interview with Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME), lashed out at critics Thursday for spreading “crazy rumors, crazy things” about his business, saying “things here at UWM have never been better.” “I’m sure my competitors and other people in the industry, retail people, would love for UWM to not be strong and love for something to be behind the veil besides that UWM is going to be here for the long term helping brokers dominate,” Ishbia said. See also: Ishbia says UWM avoids…

8 Largest Banks To Access Funds From Fed’s Discount Window

The largest U.S. banks announced Monday night they plan to access the Federal Reserve’s “discount window” to help financial institutions navigate the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “While Forum member institutions individually have substantial liquidity and multiple sources of funding, they believe it is important to lead by demonstrating the value of the Federal Reserve’s discount window facility and to encourage its use by other financial institutions,” according to a news release from the Financial Services Forum. The Forum is made up of the chief executive officers of the eight largest banks. The Fed’s discount window supports the flow of credit to households and businesses by allowing banks to borrow money from the Fed on a short-term basis to meet…

CFPB Sues Fifth Third Bank Over Fake Accounts; Bank “Rejects Allegations”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Monday a lawsuit against Fifth Third Bank for allegedly creating fake accounts on customers’ behalf to artificially inflate sales numbers. Fifth Third officials said in a news release that it “rejects” the allegations in the lawsuit. The CFPB said that for several years Fifth Third created accounts without consumers’ knowledge. For several years, the CFPB says, Fifth Third employees created fake credit card accounts, improperly transferred money into fraudulently opened accounts, enrolled customers in unauthorized online-banking services, and activated unauthorized lines of credit on consumers’ accounts. “Fifth Third Bank respects and values the important role that the CFPB plays in protecting consumers but believes that the civil suit filed today is unnecessary and unwarranted.…

Two Wells Fargo Board Members Resign In Wake Of Fake Account Scandal

Two Wells Fargo board members – including the board chairwoman – resigned their positions following a highly critical report from a U.S. house committee, alleging the board was slow to address the bank’s fake account scandal. Elizabeth A. Duke, the board chair, and James H. Quigley resigned their positions effective Sunday, Wells Fargo announced in a news release Monday. Charles H. Noski, a former chief financial officer of Bank of America, will serve as the new board chairman. Last month, Wells Fargo reached a $3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice, which found the bank’s employees created fake accounts to meet the bank’s “onerous sales goals.” This included using customers’ identities without their consent to open checking, savings, debit card, credit…