The Technology Podcast: Generative AI Takes Center Stage

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing every aspect of the mortgage industry and as companies create systems that can help from origination to servicing, leaders speak highly of the possibilities ahead when it comes to accuracy, efficiency, and enhanced customer service. At the beginning of the year, leaders at Rocket Pro TPO announced a new AI-powered hotline for brokers. Executive Vice President Mike Fawaz told brokers they can expect more tools to be released over the course of the year. “Know that in 2024, AI and technology and really putting tools at your fingertips is our mission and these are the things we want to be able to deliver to you every single day,” Fawaz said. “And we’re going…

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.…

Rocket Reports Momentum Gains In Q1

Rocket Companies began 2024 with strong momentum, according to CEO Varun Krishna. The parent company of Rocket Mortgage reported a total net revenue of $1.4 billion and adjusted revenue of $1.2 billion. GAAP net income was reported at $291 million, or $0.11 per GAAP diluted earnings per share. Adjusted net income was reported at $84 million, or $0.04 per adjusted diluted earnings per share. The company delivered a first-quarter adjusted EBITDA of $174 million, the highest adjusted EBITDA in two years, according to company leaders. “As an organization, we are driven to execute and win and our determination is absolute. We’re playing both the short and the long game, gaining momentum and achieving success while strategically planning and executing for…

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…

Rocket Rolls Out Enhancement To Rocket Logic

Rocket Mortgage launched a new AI-driven technology for analyzing calls. Rocket Logic – Synopsis can listen to, transcribe, and search client calls, then analyze the sentiment, recording the patterns and preferences of the caller, according to a press release. This innovation allows Rocket to create “bespoke experiences” for both current and potential borrowers. “Rocket Logic unlocked the transformative power of AI to begin streamlining and modernizing the homebuying process. Now, with Rocket Logic – Synopsis, we have harnessed generative AI to create a tool that both anticipates and solves clients’ needs, effectively changing the future of homeownership,” said Varun Krishna, CEO of Rocket Companies and Rocket Mortgage.  The tool is active for calls to Rocket’s client experience teams, including loans…

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…

Rocket Companies Launches AI-Driven Platform

Rocket Mortgage has launched an AI-driven technology platform geared towards streamlining the homebuying process. Rocket Logic processes insights from proprietary data and call transcripts to speed up the lending process for buyers. Buyers upload documents to a secure portal. Rocket Logic then scans and identifies the files, extracts the necessary information, and instantly processes the documents. The company says Rocket Logic can automatically identify about 70% of more than 1.5 million documents received monthly, saving lenders 5,000 hours of work in February 2024 alone. Automation also reduced the number of times team members had to interact with a loan by nearly 25% YOY, decreasing turn times by 25% from August 2022 to February 2024. “Rocket Logic is transforming the homebuying…

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…