One On One With Rocket Pro TPO Austin Niemiec

Rocket Pro TPO’s executive vice president recently turned heads with an opinion piece claiming United Wholesale Mortgage represents a massive threat to America’s mortgage brokers and their future independence. In the piece called “America’s Mortgage Brokers Face an Unprecedented Threat to their Independence,” Austin Niemiec said leaders at UWM have reduced broker optionality by contractually forcing their brokers to choose between Rocket Mortgage and UWM, enforcing that same “ultimatum” contract to eliminate a UWM broker from brokering to Fairway Independent Mortgage, and engaging in a price war to eliminate the competition. “If Mat Ishbia and UWM were truly committed to the real kind of competition that benefits brokers and their clients, he wouldn’t use his lawyers to take away brokers’ options, and he wouldn’t celebrate the demise of other…

UWM’s Ishbia Offers Stipends To Female Athletes A Year After Men’s Program

Last year, United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia raised eyebrows when he promised generous stipends to 133 Michigan State University men’s basketball and football players.  Ishbia paid each player, regardless of position, $500 per month in exchange for marketing UWM on their social media pages. NCAA athletes had long been banned from receiving such payments while playing college sports. But the conference changed its player compensation rules last year to allow student-athletes to sign endorsement deals on their own Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL). MSU players will receive a $500 monthly payment for a total of $6,000 over the year, regardless of position. While fans of MSU’s men’s sports cheered the move, Ishbia faced backlash from critics over the exclusion…

UWM Pays $2.7M to Settle Overtime Lawsuit

United Wholesale Mortgage has ended one of its ongoing legal battles by paying $2.7 million to settle a lawsuit claiming the company unfairly treated its employees, including forcing them to work overtime without pay. In a letter to employees, UWM executive vice president Allen Beydoun claimed the company did nothing wrong and workers should not expect the culture inside the nation’s largest wholesale mortgage lender to change.  “While we are extremely confident that our account executives were and are fairly and accurately compensated for the work and time dedicated to their business, UWM chose to stop spending additional time and money with attorneys,” Beydoun wrote. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, the arbitrator made no ruling on…

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…

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,…

UWM Sues Brokerage In Effort to Enforce Its ‘Anti-American’ Restrictions on Lenders

Shawn Nevin, CEO of California-based America’s MoneyLine (AML), is the target of a $2.8 million lawsuit from lending giant United Wholesale Mortgage, and he has one word to describe it: “Anti-American.” At issue is UWM’s controversial “All In” policy, implemented by CEO Mat Ishbia last year. “If you work and send loans and send business to Fairway Independent or Rocket Mortgage … you can’t work with UWM anymore, effective immediately,” Ishbia said in a Facebook Live message last March. His policy sparked a lawsuit from mortgage brokers that is still working its way through the legal system. UWM claims in its lawsuit that AML has sent 560 loans to Fairway and Rocket, in violation of the “All In” agreement. Nevin responded…

Morning Roundup (2/7/2022)– CA Broker Calls Out UWM, loanDepot’s Long-Term Strategy

Good Morning! Today is Monday, February 7. The White House said a Ukraine invasion could come “any day now.” The Dutch speedskater Ireen Wüst became the first person to win individual golds at five Olympics. New Jersey’s Democratic governor will lift the state’s school mask mandate. The Mortgage Note Reports CA Broker Calls Out UWM: Jason Vondrak of Prospect Home Finance announced he has laid off 50 employees and blamed UWM and its CEO, Mat Ishbia. loanDepot CEO Remains Focused On Long-Term Strategy After Mixed 2021 Results: The CEO of loanDepot says they will continue to focus on their long-term strategy to become the most trusted homeowner fulfillment company in the world after the company released their results for 2021,…

CA Mortgage Broker Blames UWM for Mass Layoffs

In a public statement on LinkedIn, Jason Vondrak of Prospect Home Finance announced he has laid off 50 employees from his California-based company, and he laid the blame at the feet of United Wholesale Mortgage and its CEO, Mat Ishbia. “This was one of the hardest decisions of my life, and my heart goes out to all of our team members and their families that this affected,” Vondrak wrote. At issue is UWM’s decision last year to force brokers to sign an agreement that they will not work with Rocket Mortgage or Fairway Independent Mortgage – or else be banned from working with UWM, the largest wholesale mortgage lender. At the time, David Stevens, the former CEO of the Mortgage Bankers…

Morning Roundup (1/27/2022)– Behind The Inflation Curve, Loan Apps Down

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, January 27. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring. Neil Young is removing his music from Spotify, saying it has become “the home of life-threatening Covid misinformation.” The U.S. rejected Russia’s demands that NATO retreat from Eastern Europe and bar Ukraine from ever joining, but offered other areas of negotiation. The Mortgage Note Reports Rate Increases Into 2023: At least one economist says the Federal Reserve is already behind the inflation curve, and the mortgage industry should expect interest rate increases into 2023. Down, Up, Then Back Down: Mortgage loan application volume fell 7.1% from last week, with refis tumbling 13%, MBA reported. “Appropriate Pricing Policies”: CHLA sent a letter to FHFA Acting Director Sandra…

Morning Roundup (1/10/2022)– UWM In-Office Fight Continues, Fraud Costs Rising

Good Morning! Today is Monday, January 10. A fire in a Bronx apartment building killed at least nineteen people. Russian forces have surrounded Ukraine on three sides as diplomats meet in Geneva for talks. “Power of the Dog” and “Succession” won top honors at the Golden Globes, which did not air this year due to criticism over ethical lapses and a lack of diversity. And in mortgage and housing news… Are UWM Workers Being Unreasonable?: 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…