Despite Email, UWM Vows To Close All Broker Loans

By Elise Daniel

United Wholesale Mortgage reiterated Friday that it will close loans in process with brokers even if they do not sign an agreement to not work with two competitors by Monday’s UWM-imposed deadline.

The Mortgage Note raised the issue after obtaining an email from a UWM employee to a broker that appeared to indicate otherwise.

“Any loans with Rocket Mortgage must be disclosed on the Addendum if you do choose to accept the terms,” the email said. “The terms are to no longer send business to Rocket Mortgage and to Fairway Independent after you have accepted the addendum.

“The 3/15 part is simply the last day to complete the addendum. If it is not completed by 3/15, all loans in the pipeline with UWM will no longer be accessible.” (emphasis added)

That last part is not accurate, a UWM spokesperson said.

“We are not looking to harm any borrowers,” a UWM spokesperson said via email. “Any broker who has loans in the pipeline will be able to close them.”

Ishbia announced last week 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.

Ishbia charged the two companies with “hurting the wholesale channel.” He accused Wisconsin-based Fairway Independent of “criticizing brokers … and not doing right by the broker channel,” while saying Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage is working with realtors to “circumvent brokers.”

In his announcement, Ishbia said, “You can accept the addendum and say ‘I have some (Rocket, Fairway) loans to close out’ because we don’t want you to not close out the loans. Close out your loans. Take care of your consumers. Even if you decline the addendum … the loans you have with UWM, we’re not going to hurt a consumer. Close every one of those loans with you. We’re here to help and do the right thing.”

UWM’s announcement comes a little more than a month after Rocket announced a new national broker directory on its website – allowing homebuyers and homeowners seeking to refinance to find local independent mortgage brokers to guide them through the process. Part of Rocket Pro TPO, the directory is designed to deepen Rocket Mortgage’s partnership with the broker community.

Rocket said this week that UWM’s decision is driven by “fear” of competition from Rocket, which has gained a larger share of the broker market in recent years. On Thursday, Rocket CEO Jay Farner said its brokerage business is up 40 percent in the last week.