A federal judge recommends lawsuit against United Wholesale Mortgage Corp.
Florida-based Okavage Group can still challenge the court report pending review by a senior judge, according to court documents filed this week.
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
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.
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.
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.