United Wholesale Mortgage issues ultimatum, escalates war against Rocket Companies

Mat Ishbia, CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, gave an ultimatum to mortgage brokers on Facebook Live , saying they can either do business with his firm or Detroit-based Rocket Companies, but not both.

The chief executive of Pontiac-based United Wholesale Mortgage dramatically raised the stakes Thursday of his company’s competition with Detroit-based Quicken Loans, telling mortgage brokers that they must choose between the two firms.

While Quicken Loans, the largest component of Dan Gilbert’s Rocket Companies, is the nation’s No. 1 mortgage lender by overall business, it trails UWM in the key category of underwriting loans for independent mortgage brokers.

Of Quickens’ $320 billion in mortgage originations in 2020, just under one-third of that total involved mortgages for brokers, a category of business known as wholesale lending. UWM, ranked by industry publications as the No. 4 overall lender, did $182.5 billion in originations last year — all of it involving brokers.

In a live presentation on Facebook Thursday aimed at mortgage brokers, UWM CEO Mat Ishbia claimed that Rocket Companies and another Wisconsin-based competitor known as Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. are engaging in behaviors that, in his view, inhibit mortgage brokers from growing their share of the overall business.

He did not accuse the companies of any illegal behavior.

Ishbia said he is giving brokers until March 15 to sign an agreement pledging to stop working with Rocket or Fairway. Those who continue working with those two competitors can no longer work with UWM.

Quicken Loans offices at 615 W. Lafayette in downtown Detroit in March 2017.

“So I’m starting today and saying at UWM, we’re not helping those that help them,” Ishbia said. “If you work with them, (you can’t work with UWM any more.”

He added, “So here is the question, ‘Are you all in? Are you in or are you out?’ ”

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Read More: United Wholesale Mortgage issues ultimatum, escalates war against Rocket Companies

2021-03-04 22:11:25

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