Rocket launches “Bully Shield”, UWM broker war
Rocket Pro TPO has created a “Bully Shield” for mortgage brokers who violate ultimatum agreements with United Wholesale Mortgage. This is a scathing rebuke to the competitor and its leader. Rocket Pro TPO announced Monday its initiative. It will cover the costs of any UWM litigation and any penalties for brokers who choose to work alongside it or Fairway. “There’s no other word for it – the ultimatum reduces broker incomes, increases the rates clients of brokers will pay, and it is immoral,” Mike Fawaz, executive Vice President of Rocket Pro TPO, said. Fawaz claimed that Mat Ishbia (president and CEO of UWM) gave the ultimatum during a Facebook Live presentation in February 2021. With his aggressive pricing strategies and tactics, the vociferous boss has pushed UWM to new heights in the industry. Fawaz stated that he knows that small brokers don’t have the financial resources to fight UWM in court. “He is the playground bully who takes the lunch money of the smaller kids. There is a bigger child in the playground. Rocket is that bigger child. UWM representatives declined to comment Tuesday. UWM executives were also silent on Tuesday about the issue on social media. They congratulated Ishbia Tuesday for his $4 billion purchase the National Basketball Association’s Phoenix Suns. One California mortgage broker has been sued by the company for $2.8 million in damages resulting from 560 loans it originated with other brokers. Fawaz, who spent two years traveling with brokers, said that nearly all of them did not like the ultimatum and called it “un-American.” Fawaz stated that he hadn’t spoken to Ishbia, but Fawaz said that he had not spoken to Ishbia. However, Jay Farner, Rocket Cos. CEO, resisted the temptation of naming them. Rocket was surpassed by UWM for the first time last year in total origination volume in the third quarter. Both companies have yet not announced the date for their full-year 2022 earnings results. UWM announced a flat $37.35 fee to brokers for tri-merge credit report for up to two borrowers in the face of credit score price rises. Rocket Pro launched a Fee Freedom initiative that allowed brokers to obtain credit reports for no cost. This initiative was credited with attracting “hundreds of brokers” to switch to Rocket Pro TPO. Fawaz declined to speculate about the future of UWM’s ultimatum. He stressed that Rocket welcomes competition and called on Ishbia not to take the ball and run with it, but to play ball. He said, “We’re going compete with integrity.” “We will compete by doing the right things. We’ll compete by remembering that brokers matter, clients matter, and freedom is more important than ever.