EVP: Rocket’s “Inflation Buster” Result Of Listening To Clients’ Needs

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As interest rates climb towards seven percent and loan applications fall to their slowest pace since 1997, leaders at Rocket Mortgage say they have a solution and it has a name: Inflation Buster. Rocket’s new Inflation Buster program was announced on Sept. 16. It gives homebuyers a reprieve by reducing their monthly mortgage payment by one percentage point for the first year of their loan, according to a press release. Bill Banfield, EVP of Capital Markets at Rocket Mortgage, sat down for an interview with The Mortgage Note to explain how the program is the result of leaders at the company listening to the needs of their clients. “You, me, everybody is talking about inflation. You can’t…

Rocket Announces Exec Leadership Changes

Rocket’s CFO and General Counsel are both retiring, resulting in changes to its executive leadership, the company announced in a press release. Julie Booth, CFO and Treasurer, will be retiring effective November 15. She has been with Rocket Mortgage for nearly 20 years and has served as CFO since 2005. She will be replaced by Brian Brown, currently Chief Accounting Officer. Prior to Rocket, he consulted with financial services companies at EY. “During her time as CFO, Julie has been a tremendous leader in our organization, helping guide our company through significant growth and expansion, culminating with our IPO in 2020,” said Jay Farner, Rocket Companies Vice Chairman and CEO.  “Even more impressive is the tremendous team Julie has built…

Business Development: Rocket Mortgage Seeking Partners

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The senior vice president of business development at Rocket Mortgage says their partnership with Boston-based Santander Bank is an example of the kind of relationship they hope to cultivate. Tom Dempsey recently sat down for an interview with The Mortgage Note. He said partnering with Rocket Mortgage gives companies access to their technology. “We’re offering partnership models that externalize our models and systems,” Dempsey said. “The key thing is that at Rocket we’ve created a number of partnership models for banks and credit unions.” Dempsey called this a holistic approach to offering customers what they are looking for as lenders pull into and out of markets. On Aug. 5, leaders at Santander Bank and Rocket Mortgage announced…

Rate Drop Advantage Program Launched By Rocket Mortgage

By TYRONE TOWNSEND Leaders at Rocket Mortgage have launched a new program that will cover a sizable portion of closing costs for a refinance transaction if interest rates drop and their customer refinances within three years of purchasing a home.  Applicants with credit scores as low as 580 will be considered, in contrast to other mortgage lenders who need a minimum of 620. Leaders at the company say this offers a choice for potential homebuyers with bad credit.  John Perich, Director of Public Relations of Rocket Central, spoke with the Mortgage Note about the Rate Drop Advantage.   “People might want to buy a house, and if you want to buy a house now, go ahead and get it,” Perich said.…

Ishbia Under Fire After Slamming Rocket Mortgage As The Industry Sees Reductions In Workforce

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage has come under fire after posting online that he is “disappointed” with Rocket Mortgage’s decision to offer buyouts to members of its workforce. Mat Ishbia posted on LinkedIn last week that this should not be necessary for a company that made over $5 billion in profits last year. “These 2,000+ people will struggle to find new jobs, and I think it’s disgusting that they’re thinking short term and are solely focused on cutting a few million per month in costs… this is the wrong thing to do to people,” Ishbia said. Ishbia went on to write that they have not had a single layoff in 35 years at UWM. The post…

Morning Roundup (4/25/2022)– Real House Prices, Rate Hike Impact

Good Morning! Today is Monday, April 25. Emmanuel Macron, the incumbent president of France, won re-election over Marine Le Pen. A man died after setting himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court to protest climate change. Wildfires in Arizona, Nebraska, and New Mexico have killed at least one person and destroyed hundreds of structures. The Mortgage Note Reports Rocket Mortgage Works to End Digital Divide In Detroit: Editor Kimberley Haas reports that leaders at the company have been working with local officials who say there is still much work to be done. Real House Prices: FirstAm’s Real House Price Index jumped up by nearly 31% in February, the fastest growth in the more than 30-year history of the series. Rate Hike Impact: Nathaniel Drake of Fannie’s…

Rocket Mortgage Works To End Digital Divide In Detroit

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Leaders at Rocket Mortgage are working to end the digital divide in Detroit where it is estimated that one-quarter of residents do not have internet access. That number is down from nearly 40% in 2016, according to Dana Afana at Detroit Free Press, but those working on the issue say there is still a long way to go especially considering how important the internet is post-2020. The Changing the Course initiative was established in that year to end the digital divide in Detroit, where Rocket Mortgage is located. Money raised from The Rocket Mortgage Classic, which made history in 2019 as the first PGA TOUR ever held in the city, supports the campaign. The tour raised $1.35…

America’s MoneyLine CEO Fights Back, Calls Out Mat Ishbia And Files Counter-Complaint Against UWM

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The CEO of California-based America’s MoneyLine is fighting back after being slapped with a $2.8 million lawsuit from lending giant United Wholesale Mortgage. In a statement released on Friday morning, Shawn Nevin claimed that UWM uses illegal, anti-competitive practices. At issue is the “All In” policy implemented by UWM CEO Mat Ishbia. Ishbia said in a Facebook Live message last March that brokers who work with Fairway Independent or Rocket Mortgage could no longer work with UWM. “Mat Ishbia’s ‘ultimatum’ is a blatant and desperate attempt to maintain his company’s grip on the throat of mortgage brokers across the country,” Nevin said. “As he works tirelessly to craft a false narrative around being champions of brokers, his…

UWM Embattled on Multiple Fronts Over Treatment of Lenders, Employees

By DARIA BACHMANN United Wholesale Mortgage is facing more public scrutiny as court battles — and backlash from brokers — mount. The second-largest mortgage lender in the nation, UWM has come under criticism over how it treats both its employees and its customers. UWM announced in April 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.  Mortgage industry leaders called the ban “unethical and uncompetitive.” Bob Broeksmit, head of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said at the time, “MBA does not condone activities designed to thwart competition in the mortgage market and limit loan options available to borrowers.” UWM,…

Which City Would Win In The Super Bowl Of Housing Markets?

By KIMBERLEY HAAS It’s Super Bowl weekend and The Mortgage Note is taking a look at which city would win if Los Angeles and Cincinnati’s housing markets were pitted against each other. With sports commentators picking the Rams over the Bengals and the notoriously high-priced homes in the Los Angeles market, such as “The One” on sale now for $295 million, people might assume the California city would be the automatic winner. But that depends on how the two markets are lined up. As Tyler Sullivan says in his recent predictions for CBS Sports, both teams are worthy champions in their respective conferences and the Bengals have been a fantastic Cinderella story with their line-up of young faces. Is the same true for Cincinnati? Let’s look…