Florida Company Sues Over UWM’s Broker Ban

A Florida real estate broker filed a federal lawsuit against United Wholesale Mortgage’s parent company and CEO Mat Ishbia over the launching the Broker Wars, in which Ishbia forbade brokers from doing business with two competitors if it wanted to continue to work with UWM. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, alleges UWM issued its ultimatum “in a desperate attempt to stifle competition” and to “mitigate its acknowledged risk of losing market share.” UWM announced in April that it would 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. Ishbia charged the two companies…

Best Places To Work: Rocket, Zillow Make List

Fortune released its Top 100 Places to Work list Monday, with four mortgage/real estate companies making the list – led by Rocket Companies at No. 5. Here are the four companies that made the list (Cisco was No. 1): 5. Rocket Companies 8. Camden Property Trust 22. Bank of America 47. Zillow Group “Everything we do is framed by our culture and by our ISMs. Over the past year, we have been guided by the ISM ‘We’ll Figure it Out’ as we navigated the challenges introduced by the pandemic while still creating the best possible experience for our team members,” said Jay Farner, Rocket Companies’ CEO and Vice Chairman. “When COVID-19 began spreading across the country in the U.S., we rapidly launched…

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%…

Mint App: Get Mortgage Approval In 8 Minutes

Personal finance app Mint and Rocket Mortgage announced an expansion of their partnership Tuesday that allows Mint users to get approved to purchase home entirely digitally in as few as eight minutes. Mint, owned by Intuit, allows borrowers to. complete the entire process within the app and is designed to simplify time-consuming and confusing mortgage processes. “This continuation of Mint’s partnership with Rocket Mortgage builds on our efforts to break down barriers and give buyers an advantage in the competitive market,” said Varun Krishna, senior vice president and head of Mint for Intuit Consumer Group. “The first-of-its-kind simplified digital mortgage experience inside the Mint app is a game changer for homebuyers. Mint users can now lock-in the best rate and…

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.…

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…

Rocket Mortgage, Michigan State Sign Major Deal

Rocket Mortgage and Michigan State announced a “massive expansion” of the mortgage company’s support the Big Ten school’s athletic department, including the basketball, football and hockey programs. Under the five-year deal, Rocket will be the presenting sponsor of the men’s basketball team, which will be known as the “MSU Spartans Presented by Rocket Mortgage.” “Michigan State University is very important to our company. It is the alma mater of our Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert, me and many team members throughout our organization. We are honored to contribute to the university that has prepared so many of us for success,” said Jay Farner, CEO of Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage.  The deal also calls for: Rocket Mortgage branding throughout the Breslin Center…

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…