Foul Called After UWM Announces Partnership With NBA, WNBA

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Hunterbrook Media and its publisher are sounding the alarm after a promotional partnership between United Wholesale Mortgage and the National Basketball Association was announced. On Thursday, leaders at UWM and NBA Communications issued a press release that said a multiyear U.S. partnership was established between the company’s consumer-facing brand, Mortgage Matchup, the NBA, and the WNBA. This marks the first-ever mortgage partnership for both leagues. As part of the deal, Mortgage Matchup “will collaborate with the leagues on marketing and promotional activities to expand the reach of its platform, raising awareness around the benefits of partnering with a mortgage broker and making it easier for fans to access the resources they need when purchasing or refinancing a…

Opinion: Latest UWM Allegations Show Mat Ishbia Puts The ‘I’ In ‘Team’

By JARED WHITLEY Nearly a decade ago, former Michigan State basketball player — and future United Wholesale Mortgage CEO — Mat Ishbia wrote an op-ed for Inc. Magazine, explaining how his business success was an extension of his strategy on the court. Ishbia wrote that his approach is “creating teamwork.” “Be a thumb pointer, not a finger pointer. When adversity strikes, pointing your finger at someone else doesn’t solve anything. Instead, be accountable; point your thumb at yourself and get better,” he wrote a decade ago. But today, critics say, the embattled Ishbia is using lawsuits and market leverage to get his way. Instead of leadership and teamwork, Ishbia’s tactic is a top-down, “my way or the highway” approach to…

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…

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…

A Look Back At Q4 2023 Earnings

Earnings for the fourth quarter of 2023 are out, offering a view into how lenders did in the colder months and the year overall. Here’s a snapshot of how some of the nation’s top lenders handled last winter. Rocket Mortgage Rocket reported depressed earnings, with losses of $233 million quarter-over-quarter and a full-year net loss of $390 million. Its adjusted revenue was $885 million and registered an adjusted net loss of $6 million. Originations totaled $17 billion in Q4. Its gain on sales margin clocked in at 2.63%. “I’m so confident about our future and the collective impact we will make as a team, and the best part is that our journey is just beginning,” Varun Krishna, CEO and director…

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…