Loans

Judge says broker’s UWM ‘all-in’ complaint should be dismissed



A federal judge recommends lawsuit against United Wholesale Mortgage Corp. “Everyone Participates” Initiative was abandoned, showing that the broker did not support the lender’s claim that the statute was anti-competitive.

Florida-based Okavage Group can still challenge the court report pending review by a senior judge, according to court documents filed this week. Shortly after UWM announced It is one of five outstanding claims against the wholesale addendum in 2021, which critics see as an “ultimatum.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Laura Lothman Lambert sided with UWM, writing Monday that she did not believe there was a conspiracy among agents surrounding All-In. UWM in March 2021 asked brokers to agree not to do business with wholesale rivals Rocket Mortgage and Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. and claimed it received overwhelming support from partners.

The magistrate said: “Plaintiffs have failed to allege any factual allegation reasonably alleging the likelihood of a genuine adverse effect on competition and therefore have failed to allege a sufficient link between the ultimatum and harm to competition in the mortgage market as a whole or within the wholesale retail mortgage market. contact.”

UWM praised Lambert’s decision in a statement Wednesday. The Okavage Group, helmed by Lone Broker Dan O’Kavage, and his attorney did not respond to requests for comment.

Lambert’s 49-page report and recommendations describe a “hub and spoke” conspiracy model and argue that widespread broker support for UWM does not meet that legal standard.An amended lawsuit filed last year references Ishbia’s comments in 2023 Subsequently, 11,500 of the 12,000 brokers agreed to continue choosing UWM over its competitors. Association of Independent Mortgage Professionals Support for the initiative was also expressed.

The Okavage Group also failed to provide evidence that going all-in increased the cost of mortgages, particularly wholesale mortgages, the judge wrote. However, Lambert’s comments about wholesale competition are worth noting given Fairway’s situation. Recently exited the wholesale pipeline.

But the recommendation appears to have been written before Fairway’s decision became public.

“Plaintiffs do not argue that Rocket and Fairway were ever eliminated or that they no longer participate in the wholesale mortgage market. Therefore, Defendants’ allegations are speculative at best,” the judge wrote.

Fairway said last week that its exit was simply a transfer of operations, which are very small compared to UWM or Rocket. Tell Nationwide Mortgage News in 2021 While UWM lost talent, it also gained publicity and interest from other brokers.

The Ocavage Group has 14 days from receipt of the latest report to file a written objection to Lambert’s filing. The report will ultimately be reviewed by U.S. District Judge Wendy W. Berger in Jacksonville, Middle District of Florida.

UWM is Sue four partners Loans were sold to Fairway and Rocket, two of the cases filed within the past three months. Another lender, Mid Valley Funding, confirmed it agreed to settle and pay UWM $40,000 last June.





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