Remote Work In Lending: Are UWM Employees Being Unreasonable?

By KIMBERLEY HAAS United Wholesale Mortgage turned heads in the industry last week when it was reported that health officials are investigating the company after receiving complaints about how they are handling COVID, which lead some people to ask why employees in lending are expected to be in their offices to begin with. Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration Director Bart Pickelman confirmed to The Mortgage Note Wednesday that his agency has received 50 complaints against UWM since November 1, 2021.  “MIOSHA currently has one open investigation and other investigations that are currently progressing through the appeals process. MIOSHA cannot provide information on an open investigation,” Pickelman said. A former employee told Fox 2 in Detroit that people who work…

UWM Under Investigation in Wake of COVID Complaints

Michigan-based United Wholesale Mortgage is under scrutiny from both state and county health officials in the wake of complaints about the company’s handling of COVID-19, a Detroit TV station is reporting. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) Director Bart Pickelman confirmed to The Mortgage Note Wednesday that his agency has received 50 complaints against UWM since November 1, 2021.  “MIOSHA currently has one open investigation and other investigations that are currently progressing through the appeals process. MIOSHA cannot provide information on an open investigation,” Pickelman said. And the Oakland County Health Department has also received numerous complaints about UWM, leaving health officials concerned amid the county’s soaring infection rate.“The test positivity rate in Oakland County is 25.5%. It’s the highest it’s ever…

Criticism Continues as UWM’s Ishbia Increases Commitment to MSU Athletes

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Mat Ishbia is helping to privately fund a new contract for the Michigan State University football coach, who was the punchline of many jokes on social media last weekend after his team lost to Ohio State in a blowout game. The Detroit News confirmed from a source close to negotiations last week that coach Mel Tucker and officials at Michigan State University were closing in on a new 10-year, $95 million contract that would make him one of the highest-paid coaches in college football. That agreement was made possible by financial commitments from Ishbia and Shift Digital CEO Steve St. Andre. After the embarrassing 56-7 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Sports Illustrated reported some Michigan…

Morning Roundup (11/1/2021)– Rocket Partners With Salesforce, New Construction Prices Out Most Americans

Good Morning! Today is Monday, November 1. World leaders are gathering in Glasgow for a climate summit. American Airlines scrubbed more than 1,900 flights over the weekend, the latest in a series of cancellations to disrupt travelers’ plans. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tested positive for Covid-19. And in mortgage and housing news… Rocket Mortgage Partners With Salesforce: Rocket Mortgage announced a new partnership with Salesforce in a bid to expand its market share. 60% Of Households Priced Out Of New Construction: Prices for newly-constructed homes outpaced median income, pricing out most Americans, according to a study from real estate tech firm Knock. Haunting History: Halloween may be over, but it’s never a bad time to find out how many …

UWM Backpedals On Crypto ‘Stunt’

Over the summer, United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) created a “bang” in the marketplace with the news it would begin accepting cryptocurrency for mortgage payments. But now it appears the initiative may be reduced to a whimper. “We’ve evaluated the feasibility, and we’re looking forward to being the first mortgage company in America to accept cryptocurrency to satisfy mortgage payments,” CEO Mat Ishbia told investors in August. Among the currencies on the list: Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Ethereum. But just two months later, Ishbia announced that UWM has processed just six such mortgage payments thus far, and it will not be widely accepting the experimental currencies after all. “Due to the current combination of incremental costs and regulatory uncertainty in the Crypto…

He’s Back! Anthony Casa To Share AIME Stage With Katie Sweeney At UWM-Sponsored Event 

11 months, 16 days.  That’s how long it took former Association of Independent Mortgage Experts boss Anthony Casa to get back into AIME’s good graces after resigning in the wake of his lewd and misogynistic video texts about the wife of a rival.  Casa, who took a leave of absence in July and officially stepped down in October, will participate in a panel discussion Friday at AIME’s annual Fuse conference – billed as the “largest nationwide gathering of independent mortgage professionals” – at the swanky Bellagio in Las Vegas. The panel will be moderated by Casa’s successor, AIME CEO Katie Sweeney. United Wholesale Mortgage – a longtime backer of AIME and Casa – is the title sponsor of the conference. …

UWM Launches In-House Appraisal Service

United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) is launching an in-house appraisal service, giving its brokers an alternative to appraisal management companies (AMC) starting October 1. The program gives UWM the ability to handle the appraisal on its own by contracting directly with appraisers. UWM CEO Mat Ishbia said AMCs are “middlemen” that cause unnecessary delays in the lending process. “We understand how important it is for independent mortgage brokers to get a fast and efficient appraisal on their borrowers’ home,” Ishbia said. “This new team will be using state of the art technology, making it faster and easier, so brokers and borrowers can get the elite client service they deserve and expect from UWM.” AMCs are regulated by state agencies and are required…

Morning Roundup (9/9/2021)- Rates Don’t Budge, Ishbia’s Player Funds Spark Controversy

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, September 9. Elizabeth Holmes’ trial starts today; she’s accused of defrauding investors and patients through her blood-testing company Theranos. Job openings in the US have leveled off after breaking records over the summer. Eighty percent of gas and oil production on the Gulf coast is still down after Hurricane Ida. And in mortgage and housing news…Rates Don’t Budge: Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey found that mortgage rates held steady another week, up just .01% from last week to 2.88%. Feminists, Former Employees Cry Foul Over Ishbia’s Big-Dollar MSU Player Stipends: UWM’s Mat Ishbia is paying $6,000/year in stipends to MSU football and basketball players — but only the men. Women’s advocates see sexism,…

Experts Question UWM’s Decision to Accept ‘Volatile’ Bitcoin for Mortgage Payments

United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia made headlines with the announcement his company—one of the largest lenders in the U.S.—plans to start accepting Bitcoin as payment for mortgages later this year. “That’s something that we’ve been working on,” Ishbia said, “and we’re excited that hopefully, in Q3, we can actually execute on that before anyone in the country because we are a leader in technology and innovation.” Ishbia’s announcement puts his company on the front line of the debate over the potential dangers of novel techno-currencies like Bitcoin. Bitcoin is among the class of financial products known as “cryptocurrencies,” digital currency systems developed and traded using a variety of computational and security networks. The process of developing and obtaining cryptocurrencies can…

UWM Reports Record Earnings

United Wholesale Mortgage’s parent company announced financial results for the first time since going public last month, reporting large increases for the quarter and 2020 over the year before. UWM Holdings Corporation reported net income of $1.37 billion for the fourth quarter and full-year net income of $3.38 billion – increases of 821 percent and 715 percent over 2019, respectively. UWM also announced: Originations of $54.7 billion in loan volume, a 71 percent increase from the 4Q19 $31.9 billion loan volume, bringing UWM’s full year 2020 production to $182.5 billion, which is 69 percent higher than UWM’s prior record production for 2019 of $107.8 billion.Total gain margin of 305 bps in 4Q20 compared to 110 bps in 4Q19.Increased UWM’s equity…