Florida-based law firm Parrish & Goodman announced it would represent “a large group of independent mortgage brokers” in a class action lawsuit against United Wholesale Mortgage after President and CEO Mat Ishbia announced last month that brokers had partnered with Rocket Mortgage and Fairway Independent could no longer partner with UWM.
In a press release, Parrish & Goodman allege that a class action lawsuit filed on April 23 was an attempt by independent mortgage brokers to “regain their freedom to choose which lender is best for their American homeowner customers.”
“I joined this lawsuit because, as a mortgage broker, I refuse to let a lender determine what is best
For me, my customers and my business, ”said Dan O’Kavage, President of the O’Kavage Group
based in St. Augustine, Fl. “I want to give my customers … the best possible mortgage available to them. If a lender forces me into an ultimatum that limits my ability to find the ideal loan for them, I will always side with the principle and fight back – just like some of my colleagues. “
The press release describes UWM’s ultimatum as “unlawful” and “unfair”. It is argued that the ultimatum was purposely designed to take advantage of UWM’s dominant market share to limit consumer choice and steer more businesses in their direction. The lawsuit alleges that UWM violated a number of federal and Florida laws and regulations, including the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Florida Antitrust Act.
“UWM is committed to the growth and success of independent mortgage brokers across America. We do not comment on legal matters that are currently pending, ”said a UWM spokesman when reaching for comment on the lawsuit.
Continue reading: Opinion: Is United Wholesale Mortgage’s ultimatum legal?
“United Wholesale Mortgage’s actions are not only completely unethical and the behavior of a school bully is incredibly poorly thought out,” said Robert Goodman, partner at Parrish & Goodman. “In our economy or in our society there is no room for large market players to develop programs to weaken competition. Courts have long considered this conduct to be unlawful and we are confident that they will continue to do so on this matter with United Wholesale Mortgage. “