Ishbia: UWM “Standing Up For What Is Right”

United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia went on CNBC on Wednesday to assert he is the good guy in the BrokerWars by standing up for brokers and “for what is right.” “I know how different people want to portray it, but the decision was not about doing things exclusively,” Ishbia said on an interview on CNBC. “We basically said ‘Hey mortgage brokers, 12,000 of you guys, if you’re partnering with Rocket, they’re out there doing things – maybe you call it underhandedly, maybe in a gray area, to affect consumers and brokers.’ What we’re saying is, listen I can’t stop them, but if you’re going to work with them, don’t work with us.” UWM announced earlier this month that it will force brokers to…

Report: Broker Wars Driving New Fairway Business

Like Rocket Mortgage, Fairway Independent Mortgage is reporting increased interest from brokers after United Wholesale Mortgage launched the Broker Wars. HousingWire reported today: Since UWM president and CEO Mat Ishbia appeared on Facebook Live on March 4 and announced that brokers could not work with Fairway and Rocket Mortgage and still do business with UWM, Fairway has seen a dramatic uptick in business, according to its CEO, Steve Jacobson. “We typically had one or two inquiries a week for the broker channel,” said Jacobson, who founded the lender in 1996. “We’re up over 100 inquiries since March 4.” Fairway, which did about $3.5 billion in the wholesale channel in 2020 (compared to about $62 billion in retail), lost roughly 5%…

Broker Wars: Behind The Day 1 Numbers

So, who won the Broker Wars on Day 1? Depends on who you ask. The Issue Earlier this month, United Wholesale Mortgage issued an ultimatum to mortgage brokers across the country: Either sign an agreement that forbids them from doing business with Rocket Mortgage and Fairway Independent Lending or lose the ability to do business with UWM, the largest broker mortgage channel in the country. If a broker signs the agreement with UWM and then originate a loan with Rocket or Fairway, they would be subject to a $50,000 fine. The deadline to sign the agreement was Monday. What Happened Monday? The Detroit News reported Tuesday that roughly 65 percent of 4,600 independent mortgage brokers took UWM’s side in the dispute, signing an agreement…

Group Opposes UWM Edict In Broker Wars

A consumer group launched a campaign designed to raise awareness among policymakers about the Broker Wars in an effort to put pressure on United Wholesale Mortgage over their refusal to work with brokers who do business with two competitors. The Consumer Action for a Strong Economy created “Save Broker Choice,” which urges the public to contact state and federal representatives over the broker ban. “The move reduces the number of companies that mortgage brokers are allowed to work with and, in turn, impacts the homeowners, prospective homebuyers, and those looking to refinance who are looking to secure the best interest rates and financing terms,” CASE says on its website. “Simply put, limiting options for brokers will cause consumers to lose out.…

Mortgage Roundup (3/15/21) – The Broker Wars

Good morning! Today is Monday, March 15. The IRS began sending its first round of stimulus checks. Wells Fargo is getting backlash after announcing that its direct deposit customers won’t see stimulus funds in their accounts until March 17. The mayor of Miami Beach says too many people are coming to his town for Spring Break and not wearing masks.  Today is a big day in the Broker Wars of 2021. This is the day United Wholesale Mortgage says brokers can no longer do business with Rocket Mortgage and Fairway Independent Mortgage if they want to continue work with UWM. The Mortgage Note has covered the Broker Wars from the start. Here is a quick refresher on how we got…

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…

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.…