Former Rocket VP Launches New Brokerage

A former Rocket Mortgage senior VP is launching his own brokerage firm, Zoom Home Lending.

Michael Saleh worked at Rocket for nearly two decades, starting off as a mortgage banker before becoming Senior Director of Mortgage Banking, Regional VP, and finally a senior VP.

Now he, alongside Henri Houmani and Issa Al-Sheleh (also former Rocket employees), plus Robert Lee Turfe (coming from General Motors), has opened the Livonia, Michigan-based firm.

“After an incredible journey over 19 years, it’s time for me to bid farewell to Rocket Mortgage,” Selah wrote on LinkedIn.

“As I begin this new chapter of my career, I’m excited to explore new opportunities that align with my personal and professional goals. Whether it’s building something extraordinary on my own or collaborating with a team of driven individuals eager to make an impact, I’m ready for the challenge ahead.”

Zoom says it has hired about 20 LOs but hopes to get 100 employees in its first year.

Notably, Zoom Home Lending announced it is working with Rocket rival United Wholesale Mortgage.

“The wholesale channel and partners, such as United Wholesale Mortgage, have embraced us warmly, and the support has been overwhelmingly positive,” Selah said in a press release.

Under UWM’s controversial “All In” broker ultimatum, Zoom would not be allowed to work with Rocket Mortgage or Fairway Independent Mortgage.

The ultimatum has been controversial since it was introduced by UWM CEO Mat Ishbia in March 2021.

“If you work and send loans and send business to Fairway Independent or Rocket Mortgage … If you work with them, you can’t work with UWM anymore, effective immediately,” Ishbia said in a Facebook Live message at the time.

Still, many brokers agreed to work exclusively with UWM, and since then UWM has filed several lawsuits against groups it claims have violated that agreement.

UWM came under fire earlier this year when a report from Hunterbrook Media alleged that brokers who refer more than 99% of their business to UWM referred at least $39 billion in mortgages to UWM, putting these brokers’ “independent” relationships with the lender into question.

A consumer class action lawsuit was filed against UWM on behalf of borrowers.

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