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Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage affiliate restructures marketing team, imposes layoffs 

Rocket Central eliminated about 20 positions in the first week of 2023

With a challenging year ahead, the professional services company affiliated with Rocket Mortgage has decided to restructure the marketing team in the first week of 2023, resulting in about 20 jobs cut, according to former employees. 

“After nearly 13 years with Rocket Mortgage, I was relieved of my duties on Friday as part of restructuring during these tough market conditions,” Tony Saia, former director of marketing channel strategy, wrote on social media on Monday morning. 

Ashley Craig, a former product marketer, also wrote, “Starting out 2023, I did not expect to be part of a layoff at Rocket Mortgage after spending 7 years of my career there.”  

Aaron Emerson, a Rocket spokesperson, confirmed the layoffs at Rocket Central, a professional services firm under the Rocket Companies umbrella. 

“Late last week, the Rocket Central Marketing team announced a reorganization,” he said. “As part of that process, less than 20 positions were eliminated.” 

Rocket Mortgage, like all mortgage lenders, was hurt by surging mortgage rates in 2022. Its refinancing volume, which brought the company to record heights in 2020 and 2021, plummeted. Rocket Mortgage produced $25.6 billion in overall origination volume in the third quarter of 2022, 71% lower than $88 billion in the same period in 2021. 

Despite its efforts to originate more purchase loans, Rocket Companies, the parent company, lost $166 million in the third quarter of 2022 and lost its position as the largest mortgage lender in America, with rival United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) ascending to the top spot. 

To adjust its workforce to a slower mortgage market, Rocket enacted two voluntary buyout programs in April and August

The mortgage tech platform Modex shows that Rocket Mortgage, as of December had about 5,700 active loan officers and 1,720 branches. 

Remaining employees, particularly mortgage bankers, reportedly faced intense pressure to bring in business. Several former bankers at the company filed a class-action-seeking lawsuit that claims the lender failed to fully compensate their overtime wages. The company denies the allegations and called the lawsuit a “desperate move.” 

To attract more business, Rocket is providing up to $7,500 in credits for first-time homebuyers to use toward their mortgage costs as it looks to court customers in underserved communities in select major cities. 

Rocket Companies has been focusing on capturing more users on its platform. It has rolled out temporary rate buydowns like an “Inflation Buster” program as well as Rocket Rewards, a loyalty program that distributes points toward financial transactions across the Rocket platform for potential homebuyers. 

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