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…

Judge Finds UWM Engaged In Unfair Labor Practices

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A National Labor Relations Board judge has found that portions of a mandatory employment agreement between United Wholesale Mortgage and its workers should be rescinded. “Having found that the respondent engaged in certain unfair labor practices, I find that the respondent must be ordered to rescind the unlawful portions of its current employment agreement and print and distribute a revised employee agreement that does not contain the unlawful portions,” Administrative Law Judge Susannah Merritt wrote. Merritt found that leaders at UWM violated federal labor laws because the company’s employment agreement contained overly broad, ambiguous, and/or discriminatory work rules about proprietary and confidential information as well as the return of property and information. Rules about employee communications, including…

UWM Rebrands Consumer-Facing Website To “Mortgage Matchup”

United Wholesale Mortgage is rebranding its consumer-facing website to reflect a more modern approach to connecting consumers and real estate agents with independent mortgage brokers. The website’s name, FindAMortgageBroker.com, will be replaced with Mortgage Matchup. Leaders at UWM say this gives the brand a modern and refreshed identity. The site offers educational materials about the buying and refinancing processes, as well as a searchable database of brokers in their area. UWM’s marketing team conducted the research and concept testing for the rebrand in-house. “We are incredibly excited to further connect consumers and real estate agents with independent mortgage brokers across the country through this rebrand,” said Chief Marketing Officer Sarah DeCiantis.  “The DNA and mission of this website has not…

UWM’s Ishbia Shows Support For Real Estate Agents In Wake Of Legal Actions

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Leaders in lending are talking about the possible ramifications of the legal actions being taken against the National Association of Realtors, including the president and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage. In October, a Missouri jury ordered the association and some of the nation’s biggest real estate brokerages to pay almost $1.8 billion in damages after they found that commissions were artificially inflated to pay agents. Fresh off winning the verdict, attorneys for the plaintiffs filed a new lawsuit that seeks class-action status covering anyone in the country who sold a home in the last five years. NAR’s President Tracy Kasper said in a statement that they will appeal the liability finding, and in the interim, will ask…

Floify Launches Lending Platform For Brokers

POS provider Floify launched a one-stop lending platform for brokers, Floify Broker Edition. The platform is built on the foundation of the Floift POS platform and features rule-based automation to promote efficiency. It also provides a borrower-friendly interface that boosts application pull-through. Floify says brokers can use Broker Edition in place of a traditional loan origination system or add it to their preferred list of products. “Floify Broker Edition is born out of a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by mortgage brokers, which include juggling a burdensome administrative workload, regulatory compliance, and multiple technologies with minimal support,” said Floify President and General Manager Sofia Rossato.  “The platform is designed to make mortgage lending easier and more cost-effective while…

Top Lenders Q3 Earnings Roundup

Earnings for the third quarter of 2023 are out offering a view into how lenders did. Here’s a snapshot of how some of the nation’s top lenders handled this summer. Rocket Mortgage Rocket reported solid earnings with a net revenue boost of 12.8% YOY, though profits remained effectively flat from Q2 at $1.2 billion. Originations totaled $22.2 billion, down 13.2% YOY and also basically the same from last quarter, no big surprise given current market conditions. Its gain on sales margin rose for a third straight quarter, up 2.76%. “I am very proud of our team for delivering strong results against a challenging economic backdrop,” said Varun Krishna, CEO of Rocket Companies. “In today’s climate, innovation is essential. With the…

Ishbia Prepares For Market Rebound

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage says they are investing in technology and hiring new team members in preparation for a turn in rates. Leaders at UWM Holdings Corporation announced their third-quarter results on Wednesday. Total loan origination volume was $29.7 billion, of which $25.9 billion was purchase volume. Net income was reported at $301 million, which includes a $92.9 million increase in the fair value of mortgage servicing rights and diluted earnings at $0.15 per share. This was the second consecutive quarter of profits for UWM despite industry-wide challenges. Mat Ishbia, chairman and CEO of UWMC, said in a statement that the strength of the company and the broker channel is on full display. “While others…

OPINION: Who Is Suzanne Okun?

BY JARED WHITLEY To steal from Detroit rapper Eminem, “Will the real Suzanne Okun please stand up? Please stand up? Please stand up?” Because she’s strangely hard to find. According to a 2019 biography posted in the industry publication Scotsman Guide, Okun was “a successful executive with more than 25 years of success in the financial-marketing and mortgage industries … [with] a proven record of increasing volume while improving efficiencies and encouraging interaction.” But, interestingly, no photo of her appears with her biography, no relevant social media accounts were publicly available, and several phone numbers associated with her were either wrong or no longer in service. While going off the grid is unusual, what industry observers find even more odd…

Continued Employee Complaints Against Ishbia’s UWM Lead to Lawsuit

By JARED WHITLEY Storm clouds continue to hang over some U.S. markets. Four real estate titans have recently lost their Fortune 500 status. There are dire predictions specifically for the commercial real estate sector. Forbes summed up the housing market this week with, “Despite being well into the spring homebuying season, the housing market is still experiencing a winter chill.” But for one company, the bad news is much worse. Two lawsuits have been filed against Michigan-based United Wholesale Mortgage, with former underwriters accusing the company of a variety of misdeeds, including: ·      Retaliation ·      Hostile workplace environment ·      Gender/sexual harassment ·      Failure to pay minimum wages and overtime This is the latest of a long list of accusations against…

OPINION: Mat Ishbia, the King of Flops

By STEPHEN L. MILLER The courtside theatrics of Phoenix Suns owner and sports thespian Mat Ishbia are more proof that the NBA is turning into professional soccer on the hardwood. Soccer is notorious for players who practice the art of the flop: Flailing and falling as if in the throes of injury, only to magically recover once the whistle has been blown in their favor. On Sunday night, however, the Jon Lovitz routine (“I’m an actor!”) made its way from the players to ownership. With just over two minutes to play in the Suns’ eventual win, their guard Josh Okogie fell into the courtside stands while attempting to retrieve a loose ball. The ball found itself in the hands of…