G-Rate sued for gender discrimination, sexual harassment, unpaid comp

Megan McDermott filed the lawsuit against lender and two managers in New Jersey; G-Rate says it is investigating the claims

A former loan officer at Guaranteed Rate (G-Rate) has sued the lender and two managers for allegedly discriminating against her on the basis of gender, failing to compensate her equally to male coworkers with similar performance and subjecting her to sexual harassment. In response, the lender said it’s conducting a detailed investigation into the claims.

Megan McDermott has also alleged that someone at the Chicago-based lender accessed her business Facebook profile without authorization and used her brand and referral network to secure business after her resignation. G-Rate replied to emails as if she was still an employee and sent customers mailers with her name and National Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) number in January and March 2023, she claims.   

McDermott joined G-Rate when the lender acquired Superior Mortgage in 2012, and resigned in November 2022.

In a lawsuit filed in late February in New Jersey, she accused G-Rate, Joseph Moschella and Jon Lamkin of violating New Jersey laws regarding discrimination, equal pay and unfair competition. She also included allegations of breach of contract, misappropriation of likeness and tortious interference with prospective contracts.

McDermott’s attorney Joshua Boyette, a partner at Swartz Swidler LLC, wrote to HousingWire that the case illustrates that even when “the pay appears to be distributed fairly and based on objective criteria, companies can still use practices such as retention bonuses or the unfair allocation of opportunities to perpetuate gender-based pay discrimination.”

Added Boyette: “One reason for the stubborn persistence of pay inequity is that in order to ensure you’re being paid fairly, you first need to know you’re not being paid the same as everyone else — and a company that is willing to engage in pay inequity is also going to be the company least likely to engage in pay transparency.”

A spokesperson for G-Rate said in an emailed response that the company “recently received” a copy of the complaint and will conduct a “detailed investigation.” Any claims made by Megan will be “handled appropriately” and “we look forward to an opportunity to meet with Megan and resolving this matter amicably for all parties,” the spokesperson added.

“We know Megan very well and treasured her 10 years with the company. It is people like Megan that have made Guaranteed Rate the great company that it is today. We love her spirit, infectious energy, and relentless commitment to serving her customers. At no point did we want her to leave the Guaranteed Rate and we would welcome her back with open arms,” the spokesperson wrote.

According to the lawsuit, McDermott was a “high-performing” LO who received “a significant number of inquiries to work for different mortgage” companies from 2020 to 2022, which she believes “would include substantial and significant signing bonuses.”

McDermott claims that she asked the two managers for a retention bonus in January 2022; however, they said no LOs were receiving them. After two months, she became aware that male LOs with a comparable level of success were receiving retention bonuses, while she and other female LOs were not receiving them, the lawsuit alleges.

In response to a new request, Moschella told her that “loan officers had gotten retention bonuses, but that he could not provide her one,” the lawsuit states. The document also says that Moschella’s decision was only based on her “membership in a protected class, her gender.”

Regarding her compensation, McDermott, who was paid on a commission basis only, said G-Rate at various times denied her commission, identifying the mortgages as originated by another employee. 

In addition, when she reached the lender’s top-producers category known as “Chairman’s Circle,” McDermott claimed that her commission should have increased from 72 to 84 basis points on the loan volume, but it did not happen despite the increase being given to male LOs.

According to Scotsman Guide, a verified ranking based on information sent by lenders and mortgage pros, McDermott originated about $113 million in 2020, $109 million in 2021 and $44 million in 2022, when she left G-Rate to join rival CrossCountry Mortgage (CCM). Another source, mortgage tech platform Modex, which collects data from public records nationwide, shows she originated over $95 million in 2020, $93 million in 2021 and $50 million in 2022.

G-Rate produced over $73 billion, $114 billion and $53 billion, respectively, in mortgage volume in 2020, 2021 and 2022, according to Inside Mortgage Finance estimates.

McDermott also brought allegations of sexual harassment against Lamkin, who in 2015 alledgedly described “in graphic and offensive terms Plaintiff’s sexual activity which would have led to pregnancy.” McDermott said she told Moschella about Lamkin’s behavior, but he asked her not to make a formal complaint.

During her tenure at the company, McDermott alleges that Lamkin regularly screamed at her and used gender-based and demeaning slurs, which also happened to other female employees. She complained to Human Resources in 2019 but said the department failed to do anything to investigate his behavior. 

Lamkin and Moschella did not return a request for comment.

McDermott asks for damages and a jury trial. 


  1. Something doesn’t add up here. If McDermott felt she was sexually harassed / was yelled at from 2015-2019 but was a top producer. AND then was sought after from 2019 – 2022, WHY did she stay in a toxic environment? She was w/G-Rate for 10 years. And only when the market gets hard does she decide to speak up? I don’t deny that she may have been treated poorly, but there are 2 sides to every story. 10 years is a long time to stay in that environment – especially if you’re being recruited by other organizations.

  2. Why should one have to choose between their career or having to endure inequality, harassment and a hostile work environment? Shame on GRI for allowing this type of behavior to continue. Speaking from personal knowledge it is a systemic issue at this mortgage company. Megan is not alone I have met women throughout the entire country that have been bullied, berated, treated unfairly even assaulted!!!
    You are right we don’t have the entire story and that will be for the jury to hear out but, I don’t feel anyone should take these claims lightly. Additionally, an attorney is not going to take on a case against GRI especially with GRs financial backing and their litigious nature. I see a brave woman standing up for herself against a giant corporation, good for her it’s about time!!
    In the mortgage industry building one’s business is not easy to do it takes many years and then to just pick up and leave will certainly impact your career. When Megan did get the courage to leave GR impersonated using her name and likeness to mislead customers and take her business.
    This is not the first time I’ve heard of GR continuing to market employees after they leave the company many others have shared with me that this exact scenario has happens when one dares to leave. On LinkedIn a former employee created a video that discussed how GRI was sending false preapproval letters out with his NMLS number there have also been multiple cases against GR for impersonating their employees. I’m sorry this is not a coincidence.

    I circle back to the question as to why anyone should have to choose between their career or being treated fairly and not to not be harassed? Shouldn’t we be asking why wouldn’t the company protect this woman, treat her fairly and have taken her seriously when she complained to HR?
    Discrimination, hostility and harassment have absolutely nothing to do with the market she was harassed during a good market and treated unfairly when the market turned. It sounds like Megan had enough!
    The article also discusses that she did go to HR. While I do not know Megan personally but, from first-hand experience of working for Guaranteed Rate her story is far too consistent with others that I know including myself. Megan is not alone I went to HR for many years, and nothing was ever addressed actually quite the opposite having to endure retaliation. I’ve seen men that were protected, and women were thrown away like trash. The company uses the women of GROW as propaganda to show they are Pro women when it’s just for appearances. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

Load More Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular Articles

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please