Ishbia Beaten Out in Bronco’s Ownership Bid by Walmart Billionaire

Mat Ishbia’s bid to become part-owner of the Denver Broncos got sacked by the deep pockets of Rob Walton, an heir to the legendary Walmart fortune. But that doesn’t mean the hard-charging – and sometimes controversial – Chief Executive at United Wholesale Mortgage is out of the game. “I do love sports and … one day in the future would I want to own a sports team? I would say yes,” Ishbia told Crain’s Detroit Business last year.  Not a surprising stance for a CEO who’s built his brand around his status as a walk-on member of Michigan State University’s 2000 championship basketball team. But his big-dollar backing of men’s MSU athletics may actually hinder Ishbia’s hopes of entering the exclusive…

Work From Home Debate Heats Up Again In Mortgage Industry

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The president of a reverse mortgage company is claiming that Elon Musk’s message to Tesla employees unfairly bashes the benefits of remote work and that since going fully remote in 2020 his company has been voted by its employees as a top place to work. Musk is demanding that Tesla office workers return to in-person work or leave the company. “Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers,” Musk wrote in leaked emails. Although Tesla is an automotive and clean energy company, news of Musk’s demands sparked a new…

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…

Morning Roundup (3/3/2022)– Loan Factory’s Nguyen Says UWM Ultimatum ‘Has Divided Our Community’

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, March 3. Russia has continued to attack major cities in Ukraine, creating a humanitarian crisis. The Jan. 6 committee said there was evidence to conclude that Donald Trump may have committed crimes to try to stay in office. Fitbit is recalling its Ionic smartwatch after reports of overheating batteries. The Mortgage Note Reports Loan Factory’s Nguyen Says UWM Ultimatum ‘Has Divided Our Community’: In a one-on-one interview with The Mortgage Note, Nguyen explains why he chose to stop doing business with Mat Ishbia’s company rather than agree to it’s ‘All In’ ultimatum. Weak App Activity: Mortgage loan application volume fell 0.7% last week, faring slightly better than the prior week’s 13.1% drop but continuing a trend…

NGUYEN: UWM’s Unfair Ultimatum ‘Has Divided Our Community’

By DARIA BACHMANN “As a broker, I believe in choice. A broker is supposed to shop around, look for what’s best for the consumer. I don’t want people to coerce me, I try to have freedom as a broker.” That’s the view of Thuan Nguyen, CEO of Loan Factory, who talked to The Mortgage Note about the impact on his company and customers from United Wholesale Mortgage’s anti-competition ultimatum one year ago. UWM’s controversial CEO Mat Ishbia told brokers like the Loan Factory they had to stop working with Rocket Mortgage and Fairway Independent Mortgage if they wanted to keep offering loans from his company. In recent weeks, Ishbia proved his threats were more than mere bullying. He’s taking legal…

Morning Roundup (3/2/2022)– Luxury Market, NAHB HBGI

Good Morning! Today is Wednesday, March 2. President Biden delivered a pro-democracy State of the Union speech that also touched on Covid-19 and his domestic agenda. At least 136 civilians and about 2,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine. Major League Baseball postponed the start of the season because of a labor disagreement. The Mortgage Note Reports Hot Luxury Market: Demand for luxury housing rose 14.5% YOY in 2021 as the number of affluent individuals worldwide skyrocketed. NAHB HBGI: Single-family growth cooled in Q4 2021 while multifamily growth in high-density areas surged as apartment demand rises, according to NAHB’s HBGI. And in other mortgage and housing news… Labor Shortages: The construction industry needs 650,000 more workers to meet demand in 2022, according to an analysis…

Morning Roundup (2/28/2022)– UWM, Pending Home Sales

Good Morning! Today is Monday, February 28. Russia’s currency plummeted against the dollar due to sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies. More than 350 civilians have died since the invasion began. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a dispute over the E.P.A.’s power to limit greenhouse gases. The Mortgage Note Reports UWM Teams Up Again With Scandal-Plagued Casa: Despite his misogynistic attacks on the wife of a competitor, it appears Anthony Casa is once again in Mat Ishbia’s fold with his new UMortgage business. Pending Home Sales: Pending home sales continued a three-month streak of declines in January, with contract signings down 5.7% to 109.5 in January and 9.5% YOY. NAREB Exec Named: C. Renee Wilson has…

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,…

Morning Roundup (2/11/2022)– Forbearances Down, Rates Up

Good Morning! Today is Friday, February 11. Biden is moving to split $7 billion in frozen Afghan funds between 9/11 victims’ families and humanitarian aid in Afghanistan. Congress passed a bipartisan bill giving survivors of sexual misconduct greater rights to sue. Super Bowl LVI is poised to be the most bet upon game in football history as the legalization of sports betting grows. The Mortgage Note Reports Which City Would Win In The Super Bowl Of Housing Markets?: 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. Black Knight: Forbearance plans fell by 4% last week, slowing as the number of active…

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…