MBA: Customers Best Served By ‘Robust, Competitive Market’

So, you might have noticed some interesting recent developments in the mortgage broker world.

Things got interesting last week when United Wholesale Mortgage, Detroit, issued a news release announcing a “trailblazing move” in support of wholesale channel growth. Speaking during the company’s State of the Industry Address, UWM President and CEO Mat Ishbia said as of Mar. 15, mortgage brokers had to make a choice; if they want to work with UWM, they can’t work with two of UWM’s main competition—Quicken Loans and Fairway Independent Wholesale.

“Independent mortgage brokers are leading a seismic shift in the mortgage industry and this does not align with the business model of some retail lenders,” Ishbia said. “That’s why they are attempting to circumvent the mortgage broker in the lending process. As the #1 advocate for independent mortgage brokers, protecting the wholesale channel is part of UWM’s responsibility, which is why we’re asking our partners to go all in with lenders who support them and their growth.”

The ultimatum comes as all three companies have stepped up their product offerings in recent weeks—and amid increased competition among them to recruit and retain mortgage brokers.

In an interview with HousingWire, Rocket Pro TOP Vice President Austin Niemiec said a broker’s competitive advantage is choice and accused UWM of trying to “manipulate” the market.

“I’ve had many brokers call me upset, frankly,” Niemiec told HousingWire. “I’d say they feel disrespected by one of their partners telling them what they can and cannot do.”

Robert Broeksmit, CMB, President & CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, issued the following statement regarding these recent developments:

“Consumers are best served when they have choices created by a robust, competitive market that offers a multitude of loan prices, products and service levels.  Our mortgage market is extraordinarily competitive, with thousands of lenders, multiple delivery channels and varying business models. MBA does not condone activities designed to thwart competition in the mortgage market and limit loan options available to borrowers.”