Zillow To Hire 2,000 In 2021

Zillow announced Thursday that it will hire more than 2,000 employees across the country this year, which would increase its workforce by 40 percent. Most of the new roles would be working in the tech, mortgage and loans, and product and software development functions, Zillow said. The new roles would be a mix of field and on-site roles. “While we boldly reimagine how to buy and sell homes for today’s digitally minded customer, Zillow is seizing the opportunity to reimagine how we work,” says Dan Spaulding, chief people officer at Zillow. “Our Distributed Workforce Model is a more inclusive, more personalized, more flexible, more efficient way of working. We are broadening our pipelines to attract more underrepresented talent and are…

Rocket Mortgage, Michigan State Sign Major Deal

Rocket Mortgage and Michigan State announced a “massive expansion” of the mortgage company’s support the Big Ten school’s athletic department, including the basketball, football and hockey programs. Under the five-year deal, Rocket will be the presenting sponsor of the men’s basketball team, which will be known as the “MSU Spartans Presented by Rocket Mortgage.” “Michigan State University is very important to our company. It is the alma mater of our Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert, me and many team members throughout our organization. We are honored to contribute to the university that has prepared so many of us for success,” said Jay Farner, CEO of Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage.  The deal also calls for: Rocket Mortgage branding throughout the Breslin Center…

Farner: Rocket Broker Biz Up Since UWM Edict

Rocket Mortgages CEO Jay Farner said Thursday that United Wholesale Mortgage’s ultimatum to brokers doesn’t appear to be working. Farner, appearing on Fox Business News, said that its broker business is up since UWM CEO Mat Ishbia announced last week that it would no longer work with brokers who do business with Rocket and Fairway Independent Mortgages. “We had a situation a week ago or so where one of our competitors went out and said if mortgage brokers – some of the most important people in the country helping people buy homes – if they did business with us and they did business with our competitor, they would be fined more than $50,000 per transaction,” Farner said. The result? “We are…

Rocket: UWM’s Broker Gambit Driven By ‘Fear’

Declaring “a true partner doesn’t tell you how to run your business,” Rocket Mortgage is firing back at United Wholesale Mortgage in the Great Broker War of 2021. Days after UWM announced it would not do business with brokers who work with Rocket and another company, Rocket accused UWM of restricting brokers’ freedom of choice simply because Rocket is cutting into its market share. “Being a broker embodies the very concept of freedom,” Austin Niemiec, executive vice president at Rocket ProTPO, wrote in a letter to brokers. “Freedom to be a business owner. Freedom to choose lenders. Freedom to choose programs and pricing. Freedom to do what you think is best for your clients. Giving up that freedom means giving…

UWM Broker Ban ‘Bizarre,’ ‘Unethical,’ ‘Anticompetitive’

United Wholesale Management CEO Mat Ishbia is facing significant blowback from industry leaders over his edict that his company will not do business with brokers who work with his competitors. Ishbia announced Thursday that UWM will force brokers to sign an agreement that they will not work with Rocket Mortgage or Fairway Independent Mortgage – or else be banned from work with UWM, the largest wholesale mortgage lender. Critics are calling the edict “bizarre,” “unethical,” “anticompetitive” and antithetical to the whole broker model. One broker said UWM is “butthurt” over Rocket’s deeper foray into the broker market. “We’re not sure this is even legal. It certainly isn’t ethical,” National Association of Mortgage Brokers President Kimber White said. “And it doesn’t…

UWM Declares Broker War On Rocket, Fairway

Mat Ishbia just provided rocket fuel to his war with Rocket Mortgage. The United Wholesale Mortgage CEO announced Thursday that his company will no longer work with brokers who do business with Rocket Mortgage or Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. “Starting today, we are not helping those that help them. If you work and send loans and send business to Fairway Independent or Rocket Mortgage, which by the way is about 25 percent of the brokerage channel works with either of them. … If you work with them, can’t work with UWM any more, effective immediately,” Ishbia said on a Facebook Live. “I can’t stop you, but I’m not going to help you, help the people that are hurting the broker channel.…

loanDepot Reports Q4, 2020 Results

loanDepot on Thursday reported lower quarterly net income for the fourth quarter – but significantly higher earnings for 2020 overall. Fourth quarter revenue declined to by $70.5 million – or 5 percent – to $1.3 billion “due to gain on sale margins returning to a more normalized level.” For the year, revenues climbed to $4.3 billion from $1.3 billion in 2019. loanDepot’s results also showed: Record rate lock volume of $49.7 billion during the fourth quarter and $161 billion for the year. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2020 decreased to $547.2 million from $728.3 million in the prior quarter. For the year, net income totaled $2 billion – up from $34.4 million last year.Loan origination volume for the fourth quarter of 2020 wasa record at $37.4 billion, an increase…

Fannie Mae Reports $11.8B In Net Income

Fannie Mae released its 2020 financial results Friday, reporting $11.8 billion in net income for the year and $4.6 billion in the fourth quarter. Fannie’s net worth climbed to $25.3 billion at the end of the year, up from $14.6 billion at the end of 2019. The company reported providing a record $1.4 trillion in liquidity to single-family and multifamily mortgage markets. That includes 3.4 million refinanced loans amid historically low interest rates. “2020 presented the nation with an historic test and Fannie Mae rose to the challenge, delivering a record $1.4 trillion in mortgage liquidity to meet home purchase, refinancing, and rental housing needs,” Chief Executive Officer Hugh R. Frater said.…

Freddie Mac Reports $7.3B In Net Income

Freddie Mac on Thursday announced net income of $7.3 billion for 2020, up $100 million from the year before as the housing market surged amid pandemic-induced record low interest rates. Freddie Mac also reported: Net worth increased to $16.4 billion, from $9.1 billion at the end of 2019. Net income of $2.9 billion and comprehensive income of $2.5 billion in the fourth quarter, up $400 million and $100 million, respectively, from the prior quarter, driven by a reserve release due primarily to realized house price growth during 4Q 2020. “In 2020, Freddie Mac continued to serve the important role for which it was founded: supporting the housing market in all economic conditions. In the face of extraordinary economic uncertainty caused…