2020 HW Vanguard: Katie Foster

United Wholesale Mortgage, Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer

Katie Foster, Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer, United Wholesale Mortgage

Since joining United Wholesale Mortgage in 2013, Katie Foster has held various leadership positions within underwriting, working up to the senior vice president and head of underwriting. 

In this role, Foster’s leadership and guidance helped the underwriting team break records with the number of loans underwritten and closed within the last 12 months. 

With record-breaking volume, Foster ensured that the elite level of client service and loan quality were maintained by rapidly growing the team. 

In two years, the underwriting team she oversaw grew from 400 employees to more than 1,800. In her underwriting leadership role, Foster focused largely on working with the GSEs to ensure UWM’s underwriters and sales teams were up to date on all guideline changes—achieving optimal accuracy and operational efficiency that led to record-breaking turn times in the lending industry. 

Foster has also worked closely with UWM’s IT team to bring innovative proprietary tools to market that have been difference-makers for mortgage brokers, including One-Click AUS, which gives brokers a side-by-side comparison of DU and LP, allowing them to choose the option that has the best terms for their borrowers; Easy Valuation, which makes the appraisal process faster, easier and less expensive for brokers and their borrowers; and Waiver Pre-Check, which allows brokers to find out instantly if a property is eligible for an appraisal waiver. 

Recently, Foster was promoted to executive vice president and chief risk officer. She now leads a team of more than 200 and oversees all facets of risk for UWM, including quality control, legal, compliance, credit policy and more. 

What has been your secret to success?
The secret to my success is having a yes mentality. Instead of finding excuses to why something won’t work, finding ways to make it work. Removing the option to say no makes every approach a solution-oriented one.

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