MortgageOriginationPeople Movers

Michael Saleh leaves Rocket to launch brokerage firm Zoom Home Lending

Zoom Home Lending currently has about 20 loan officers but targets 100 in its first business year

Michael Saleh, a former senior vice president of Rocket Mortgage who spent about two decades at the company, has transitioned from the retail lending channel to wholesale by launching independent brokerage firm Zoom Home Lending.

Saleh opened the Livonia, Michigan-based firm alongside Henri Houmani and Issa Al-Sheleh, who previously worked for Rocket and migrated to the wholesale channel two years ago. Another Zoom co-founder is Robert Lee Turfe, who comes from General Motors and leads areas such as marketing and human resources. 

“I was a mortgage banker, was promoted to President’s Club, worked my way up to director of mortgage banking, senior director, regional vice president and, most recently, senior vice president,” Saleh told HousingWire.

“Rocket went public and the times have changed. It’s been a little of an adjustment that I needed to make. This new chapter gives me the freedom and flexibility to run my business without any red tape,” he added. 

Saleh said he left Rocket in “amicable fashion.” A spokesperson for the company didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. 

Top leadership at Rocket is undergoing change. Last year, Jay Farner and Bob Walters announced their retirements, with the company naming former Intuit and PayPal executive Varun Krishna as CEO. 

Saleh said he was leading between 250 and 300 people when he left Rocket in mid-May. His team at Zoom Home Lending currently has about 20 loan officers, but he is targeting 100 in the company’s first year of business. Each LO is closing 12 loans per month with an eventual goal of 15 to 20.

“The LOs that we are bringing on board are those who are from other brokerages, people who want to start a new career, folks who maybe were in the business in the past, got out of the business due to lack of leadership and decided to jump back into the mortgage industry,” Saleh said. 

According to Saleh, Zoom Home Lending is licensed in several states and works with real estate agents for leads. It offers conventional loans and government-backed loans through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs.

Zoom Home Lending estimates that it will achieve $100 million in mortgage origination volume in its first month of operation, with $65 million already in process.

In the wholesale channel, Saleh aims to offer borrowers “more opportunities to reinvest their savings” through a more competitive interest rate. 

For now, Zoom is shopping around with different lenders but is working primarily with Rocket rival United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), which Saleh said offers “very competitive pricing and a support system.”

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