Foul Called After UWM Announces Partnership With NBA, WNBA

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Hunterbrook Media and its publisher are sounding the alarm after a promotional partnership between United Wholesale Mortgage and the National Basketball Association was announced. On Thursday, leaders at UWM and NBA Communications issued a press release that said a multiyear U.S. partnership was established between the company’s consumer-facing brand, Mortgage Matchup, the NBA, and the WNBA. This marks the first-ever mortgage partnership for both leagues. As part of the deal, Mortgage Matchup “will collaborate with the leagues on marketing and promotional activities to expand the reach of its platform, raising awareness around the benefits of partnering with a mortgage broker and making it easier for fans to access the resources they need when purchasing or refinancing a…

Agreement Reached In Tribal Land Loan Dispute

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have reached an agreement with Rocket Mortgage after the company allegedly denied a loan to a couple hoping to buy a home on tribal land. According to a press release, the single-family home was located within the boundaries of the Flathead Indian Reservation in St. Ignatius, Montana. Because Rocket denied the couple’s loan application based on race, they were “forced to pay a higher interest rate and accept a loan from another lender on less favorable terms.” Rocket and the banker involved in the complaint deny any violation of the law under the agreement. They do acknowledge their duty to not discriminate under the Fair Housing Act.…

Hunterbrook Hits UWM, UMortgage With Shell Scheme Claims

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Hunterbrook Media is taking a second swing at United Wholesale Mortgage, claiming that an executive there helped a shell company establish Philadelphia-based UMortgage. On April 2, Hunterbrook made waves when they published a report accusing UWM in Pontiac, Michigan, of widespread fraud. They estimated that homebuyers paid “between hundreds of millions and billions more in closing costs” because independent mortgage brokers working with UWM sent more than 99% of their business to the lender. UWM’s CEO Mat Ishbia blew off the report at the time, pinning blame for it on his competitor Rocket Mortgage and its founder and chairman, Dan Gilbert. Rocket Mortgage denied having any involvement with the report. The following week, UWM leaders went after…

Nexval President Talks About Importance Of AI

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The co-founder of a company that provides technology-enabled mortgage services and fintech innovation for the financial industry says artificial intelligence will be an essential tool moving forward. Souren Sarkar, who is the president at Nexval Group in Miami, started his career in the technology space at Bayview Financial in 1996. After rising through the ranks to become the company’s chief technology officer, he pivoted and started companies that focused on mortgage outsourcing with technology, as well as labor outsourcing to India, where he was born. Today, Nexval has several large operations in India and Sarkar says people who work in middle management there all have over 15 years of experience in U.S. mortgage banking. Sarkar said the…

Strategic Partnership Forms For Advanced Compliance Monitoring

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Technology is helping servicers with programs that provide systematic and automated approaches to loan due diligence, leading to partnerships that will enhance market compliance. Third-party subservicer Cornerstone Servicing, headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, announced last month that they are using compliance technology from Bizzy Labs to perform daily exception processing on servicing portfolios. The goal is to reduce errors, provide business risk transparency, and reduce per loan servicing costs. Bizzy Labs is an affiliate of BSI Financial Services in Irving, Texas, and their compliance technology, Libretto, uses a comprehensive library of over 1,000 business rules to identify servicing deadlines and data quality anomalies that could lead to red flags. Toby Wells, the president of Cornerstone Servicing, and Gagan…

Rocket Team Members Explore GenAI During HackWeek

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A total of 1,250 team members at Rocket Companies dove headfirst into the topic of leveraging generative AI during their most recent HackWeek. More than 250 experiments were tackled as these team members explored how technology can streamline the homeownership journey. They ranged from finding solutions for when buyers first start browsing home listings to creating a system that presents payment assistance options to homeowners if they experience hardships. CEO Varun Krishna said in a post on LinkedIn that harnessing the capabilities of GenAI is a major goal for the company and having a week of dedicated time to focus solely on breakthrough innovations was “incredibly valuable.” “It is incredible how many great ideas can come from…

UWM Doubles Down On Claims About Hunterbrook Report

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Leaders at United Wholesale Mortgage are doubling down on accusations that an explosive report released last week by Hunterbrook Media is inaccurate and tied to their main competitor, Rocket Mortgage. Authors of the report, published on April 2, claimed that $39 billion in mortgages were referred to UWM by independent brokers who sent more than 99% of their business to the lender. They estimated that borrowers paid “between hundreds of millions and billions more in closing costs than people whose brokers found them typical loans.” “Litigators and mortgage experts say UWM’s conduct could constitute fraud and run afoul of laws passed after 2008 to protect borrowers,” the report’s introduction said. In a social media post published Tuesday…

UWM And Its CEO Play Blame Game After Bombshell Report, New Lawsuit

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Leaders at United Wholesale Mortgage are lashing out after a bombshell report that was followed up with a consumer class action lawsuit filed on behalf of borrowers. Hunterbrook Media published the report on Tuesday, which claimed that $39 billion in mortgages were referred to UWM by independent brokers who sent more than 99% of their business to the lender. These brokers were supposed to represent homebuyers and shop around for the best deal on their behalf. Instead, they became “loyalists” to UWM, according to the report. Hunterbrook estimated that borrowers paid “between hundreds of millions and billions more in closing costs than people whose brokers found them typical loans.” UWM CEO Mat Ishbia‘s “All In” ultimatum helped…

Clarifire CEO Talks About Automation For Servicers

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The CEO of a workflow automation company says she is trying to help the mortgage industry modernize by making it easy for servicers to adopt technology they can manage from the front end. Jane Mason is the founder of Clarifire in St. Petersburg, Florida. The company uses a Software-as-a-Service model to reduce manual processes and increase efficiencies. Mason said in a recent interview with The Mortgage Note that there has been a seismic shift in the industry over the course of the last four years to accommodate the needs of borrowers but now that the Covid pandemic is over, market conditions point to the rising potential for mortgage delinquencies and defaults, leading to an increase in volume…

CEO Of Knock Talks About Crowdfunding Campaign

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The CEO of a real estate technology company that helps homeowners buy a new house before they sell theirs says an equity crowdfunding campaign they launched last month has been well received. Sean Black, who co-founded Knock with Jamie Glenn and Karan Sakhuja in 2015, said during a recent interview with The Mortgage Note that the timing seems to be right for this venture. Black and Glenn were on the founding team at Trulia, which went public on the NYSE and was acquired by Zillow in 2014 as part of a $3.5 billion stock-for-stock transaction. Back then, individuals couldn’t invest in these companies until they went public. “Crowdfunding regulation has matured quite a bit in the last…