RICO Expert Talks About UWM Class Action Lawsuit

A lawyer who specializes in racketeering cases says independent mortgage brokers working with United Wholesale Mortgage may have misled clients, but that doesn’t mean the company and its CEO Mat Ishbia will be found liable for violating the RICO Act. In a class action lawsuit filed on April 2 by Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, it is alleged that UWM participated in a pattern of racketeering activity by conspiring with brokers to withhold information from homebuyers while misrepresenting material facts to get these consumers to use the mortgage giant while financing their properties. Jeffrey Grell, who wrote “Grell on RICO: A Practical Guide to the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act,” has taught courses on the subject at the University of…

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…

UWM Makes Major Announcements Including A 0% Down Payment Program

United Wholesale Mortgage rolled out a new 0% down payment program, alongside several other major announcements during its annual broker event this week. The down payment program is geared towards borrowers struggling to save for a down payment. This is one of the biggest challenges facing new buyers struggling under rampant inflation and soaring household debt. “UWM’s 0% Down Purchase program is going to change the game this purchase season,” CEO Mat Ishbia said in a statement. “No other wholesale lender in the country is offering this, meaning independent mortgage brokers now have a significant advantage with consumers and real estate agents. Thousands of borrowers are sitting on the sidelines because they don’t have a down payment – this program…

UWM Reports Positive Q1 Earnings, New Record For Purchases

UWM Holdings Corporation, the parent company of United Wholesale Mortgage, reported positive Q1 2024 results, including a company record for purchase originations. The company saw total loan origination volume jump by 13.1% from last quarter, soaring to $27.6 billion. That’s up 23.76% YOY.  Of that total, purchases accounted for $22.1 billion, a first-quarter record for the company. UWM’s net income was $180.5 million, including a $15.6 million decline in the fair value of MSRs and diluted earnings per share of $0.09. “We continue to see positive results from our strategy and investments. Both volume and margin are strengthening and we delivered increased volume performance relative to the fourth quarter of last year,” Chairman and CEO Mat Ishbia said. “Even more…

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…

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…

Atlantic Mortgage Says UWM’s “All In” Lawsuit Unfounded, Never Signed Addendum

By JARED WHITLEY Leaders at a mortgage broker caught up in litigation over United Wholesale Mortgage’s “All In” ultimatum say they never agreed to be in an exclusive relationship with Mat Ishbia’s company. Lawyers for UWM filed suit against Atlantic Trust Mortgage Corporation in January, claiming they submitted at least 71 mortgages to rivals Rocket Mortgage or Fairway Independent Mortgage, causing about $355,000 in damages. If Atlantic Trust wanted to work with other lenders, they argued, it needed to submit written notice that it was terminating its business with UWM. That is standard under Ishbia’s ultimatum, which has been controversial since it was introduced in March 2021 because it forces brokers to stop sending loans to Rocket and Fairway if…

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.”…