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…

UWM Accused Of Fraud

United Wholesale Mortgage and its CEO Mat Ishbia are under fire with accusations that the company’s independent brokers aren’t independent after all. A report from Hunterbrook Media makes the claim that at least $39 billion in mortgages were referred to UWM by brokers who refer more than 99% of their business to UWM, throwing these brokers’ relationships with the lender into question. The claims call UWM’s basic setup into question: the idea that it works with independent brokers who shop around for the best deal for homebuyers. Instead, UWM turns its brokers into “loyalists” who choose UWM regardless of price. Hunterbrook estimates that borrowers paid “between hundreds of millions and billions more in closing costs than people whose brokers found…

Atlantic Mortgage Says UWM’s “All In” Lawsuit Unfounded, Never Signed Addendum

By JARED WHITLEY Leaders at a mortgage broker caught up in litigation over United Wholesale Mortgage’s “All In” ultimatum say they never agreed to be in an exclusive relationship with Mat Ishbia’s company. Lawyers for UWM filed suit against Atlantic Trust Mortgage Corporation in January, claiming they submitted at least 71 mortgages to rivals Rocket Mortgage or Fairway Independent Mortgage, causing about $355,000 in damages. If Atlantic Trust wanted to work with other lenders, they argued, it needed to submit written notice that it was terminating its business with UWM. That is standard under Ishbia’s ultimatum, which has been controversial since it was introduced in March 2021 because it forces brokers to stop sending loans to Rocket and Fairway if…

Did UWM Squeeze Fairway Out Of The Wholesale Business?

By JARED WHITLEY Did Mat Ishbia win another battle in the “Broker War?” That appears to be the underlying message from Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, where leaders announced last month they would be shutting down their wholesale platform. Although CEO and Founder Steve Jacobson described the move as a “business shift, nothing more, nothing less,” about 100 people are expected to lose their jobs as a result. “The people who have run Fairway’s Wholesale Department are some of the most talented, humble people in the business and will be a huge value add at their next mortgage home,” Jacobson said in a statement. “We want to thank our entire amazing wholesale team for its dedication and professionalism over the years.”…

UWM Releases 2023 Results, CEO Emphasizes Strength Of Broker Channel

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The chairman and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage says they will continue to assert market dominance in 2024 as the company remains 100% committed to the success of the broker channel. Mat Ishbia spoke during an earnings call on Wednesday after leaders at UWM reported a net loss in 2023 of $69.8 million – inclusive of a $854.1 million decline in fair value of MSRs – and a diluted loss per share of $0.14. In 2022, the company’s net income was $931.9 million. Total loan originations for 2023 were $108.3 billion, of which $93.9 billion was purchase volume. In comparison, originations were at $127.3 billion in 2022. Ishbia started his comments by saying 2023 wasn’t one of…

UWM Introduces Refi Discount Program

United Wholesale Mortgage is making a push for refinances as rates have moderated. Company leaders announced Refi 100 this week, a temporary program allowing its broker partners to offer discounts of 100 basis points for conventional rate-and-term refinances. The discount can be applied to new locks through March 29.  Loans originated by UWM must be at least 365 days from the previous note date to qualify, but no seasoning is required for non-UWM loans. The move comes at the beginning of what may be a good moment for refis, which saw a boost last week as rates moderated. They’re up by 2% and account for 34.2% of total mortgage applications, an increase. In 2023, three million mortgages were originated at…

Judge Finds UWM Engaged In Unfair Labor Practices

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A National Labor Relations Board judge has found that portions of a mandatory employment agreement between United Wholesale Mortgage and its workers should be rescinded. “Having found that the respondent engaged in certain unfair labor practices, I find that the respondent must be ordered to rescind the unlawful portions of its current employment agreement and print and distribute a revised employee agreement that does not contain the unlawful portions,” Administrative Law Judge Susannah Merritt wrote. Merritt found that leaders at UWM violated federal labor laws because the company’s employment agreement contained overly broad, ambiguous, and/or discriminatory work rules about proprietary and confidential information as well as the return of property and information. Rules about employee communications, including…

UWM Rebrands Consumer-Facing Website To “Mortgage Matchup”

United Wholesale Mortgage is rebranding its consumer-facing website to reflect a more modern approach to connecting consumers and real estate agents with independent mortgage brokers. The website’s name, FindAMortgageBroker.com, will be replaced with Mortgage Matchup. Leaders at UWM say this gives the brand a modern and refreshed identity. The site offers educational materials about the buying and refinancing processes, as well as a searchable database of brokers in their area. UWM’s marketing team conducted the research and concept testing for the rebrand in-house. “We are incredibly excited to further connect consumers and real estate agents with independent mortgage brokers across the country through this rebrand,” said Chief Marketing Officer Sarah DeCiantis.  “The DNA and mission of this website has not…

UWM’s Ishbia Shows Support For Real Estate Agents In Wake Of Legal Actions

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Leaders in lending are talking about the possible ramifications of the legal actions being taken against the National Association of Realtors, including the president and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage. In October, a Missouri jury ordered the association and some of the nation’s biggest real estate brokerages to pay almost $1.8 billion in damages after they found that commissions were artificially inflated to pay agents. Fresh off winning the verdict, attorneys for the plaintiffs filed a new lawsuit that seeks class-action status covering anyone in the country who sold a home in the last five years. NAR’s President Tracy Kasper said in a statement that they will appeal the liability finding, and in the interim, will ask…