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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Quicken Loans/United Wholesale drama continues

Also, Sen. John McCain dies, Powell talks rates and Warren Buffett slashes beach house price

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at the news that made its way across HousingWire’s weekend desk, with more coverage to come later this week on larger issues.

Senator John McCain died Saturday at 81 after a year-long battle with brain cancer. The two-time Republican presidential candidate was a noted conservative known as a maverick in the Senate for speaking his mind. The former naval officer and Vietnam prisoner of war passed away in his home in Sedona, Arizona.

"We are Americans first, Americans last, Americans always,” McCain famously said in a 2004 speech. “Let us argue our differences. But remember we are not enemies, but comrades in a war against a real enemy, and take courage from the knowledge that our military superiority is matched only by the superiority of our ideals, and our unconquerable love for them."

In other news, if you haven’t had a chance to keep up with the drama on HousingWire this week, there’s a bit of a situation happening between Quicken Loans and United Wholesale Mortgage.

We've given a platform to both sides, and it’s been a virtual he-said, she-said all week with both companies hurling some pretty rough insults. Here’s a recap:

It all started two weeks ago when C2 Financial announced it was cutting ties with Quicken Loans because the lender was not sending C2 customers back to C2 when they requested a refi.

In response, Quicken Loans accused the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts of masterminding the whole thing in an attempt to wage a smear campaign.

“You can be sure we will expose their shady schemes to the marketplace,” Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner promised HousingWire.

Dum dum dum.

And so that’s what it set out to do, sending us surveillance footage this week allegedly showing UWM employees papering the area outside its Detroit and Pheonix offices with flyers bashing Quicken Loans.

Quicken Loans then served up proof that AIME is not an independent entity, but is being quietly overseen by the marketing department at UWM.

UWM did not admit or deny that the security footage was legit, saying only that it encourages its employees to “spread the word that an independent mortgage broker is the best option” on a grassroots level.

As for the assertion that it is the driving force behind AIME, UWM said it extends its support to various industry associations, ending its statement with this gem:

“We hope Quicken Loans…will reflect on their practices and make adjustments to treat brokers like true partners and not just as a lead source for future retail growth.”


The drama has sparked a real debate among HousingWire readers this week. Our inbox has been flooded with readers weighing in on the big-lender-versus-independent-broker debate in what we’ve come to call the “Battle for the Borrower.”

It seems the battle will rage on, as sources tell us there’s more dirt to come. Stay tuned as HousingWire gives a voice to both sides, and don’t hesitate to reach out and tell us what you think of it all.

Also, in case you missed it, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell defended the Fed’s approach to monetary policy in a speech Friday at the Jackson Hole symposium. 

“I see the current path of gradually raising interest rates as the FOMC's approach to taking seriously both of these risks,” Powell said in his opening remarks, referring to the risks of moving to slow and risking a destabilizing overheating versus moving too fast and shortening the expansion.

An article Sunday by Reuters said Powell has demonstrated that he will rely more on data-informed judgment and less on the models and theoretical values that have shaped Fed policy in recent years.

“In doing so he may be laying the groundwork for a longer-than-expected rate-increase cycle, as discussion intensifies among policymakers about what level of borrowing costs is appropriate in an economy that is nearly back to full health,” Reuters said.

Finally, could “the Oracle of Omaha” have overestimated his own property value? The Internet is ablaze this weekend with the fact that Warren Buffett dropped the price of his beach house for sale in Laguna Beach, California.

The 3,600-square-footBuffett house Emerald Bay property boasts six bedrooms and beach views – and pedestrian gray carpet and white laminate countertops. Buffett purchased the residence with his late wife in 1971, putting it up for sale in February 2017 for $11 million.

But after the initial buzz, the property failed to sell, languishing on the market for five months longer than the median listing time for similarly priced properties in the area. Now, a vacation home once enjoyed by one of the richest men in the world could be yours for just $7.9 million.

And with that, have a great week everyone!

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