United Wholesale Mortgage announced that it is conducting a second verification of income and employment step late in the loan process in the face of rising unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
At the same time, existing customers are getting increasingly frustrated with the company and vocal on social media with the company’s lack of responsiveness as they seek to adjust their mortgages during economic hardship.
“With everything going on right now, it’s just really imperative that we’re verifying that income and employment have not changed the day we’re sending them the money,” said Eric Mojica, UWM’s vice president of sales.
Mojica said UWM does two verification of employment checks now, one earlier in the process and one just before closing to ensure employment, income and work hours have not changed. He said UWM is advising brokers to get verifications locked up or else “be candid that this might not go to the closing table.”
In the United States, 10 million people have filed jobless claims in two weeks as governors have issued stay-at-home orders and closed non-essential businesses across the country. The $2 trillion relief bill sought to protect people with existing mortgages, but that doesn’t apply to people trying to lock down a loan.
“We’re doing them again right before closing to make sure that people still have jobs, because people are losing jobs at such an alarming rate right now,” UWM CEO Mat Ishbia told HousingWire. “And so we put an extra process in place, which most people actually appreciate and recognize, but some people probably don’t love it.”
Mortgage rates are at near record lows again this week, though some brokers have said UWM is being highly selective in who it lends to, saying they avoid lower- and middle-income Americans altogether while offering higher costs and rates than other lenders.
“UWM’s prices are higher than others, but they still want purchase business,” said a Michigan real estate broker with more than 20 years in the business who requested anonymity so he could discuss private dealings with the company. “It is close to impossible to send them an FHA loan or any type of refinance. They just want clean easy conventional loans to sell.”
Ishbia said in an interview last month with the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts that UWM does indeed avoid those loans.
“We are always on the higher credit score buckets at UWM and the lower rates at UWM. … We want lower rates, best quality borrowers, close them fast, get them to give you three referrals, and let’s keep dominating,” he said.
Meanwhile, UWM’s existing customers are beginning to feel the crunch and are discovering that their loans may not be eligible for forbearance offered in the $2 trillion relief bill. A common complaint is the company is understaffed to take their calls to discuss options.
These comments all come from UWM’s Facebook page:
“Just called to defer my mortgage since obviously like a lot of Americans my husband and I can’t work, and I was told any deferment would be due in full at the end if the deferment. How does this help? The point is there is no money coming in. We’re not going to all of a sudden make double or triple money when we can work again. Aweful company!”
“DO NOT apply with United Wholesale Mortgage until they work with their existing customers. They are completely failing their customers by not offering anything other than a massive balloon payment at the end of a 3 month deferment. In addition, I cannot get a hold of anyone at UWM for an entire week straight. I sat on hold for 4.6 hours! I left my phone number to be called back 6 days ago with nothing.”
“I have spent 20+ hours over five days on hold to see what your company is doing for COVID-19 payments. I hold for 45 minutes plus each time and then you hang up on me. I’m trying to be responsible about my options and no one will take my call. I signed up online and looked for options. NOTHING.”