Industry Watch: Wells Fargo closes correspondent division, Rocket to give free credit reports and more

Wells Fargo is shuttering its correspondent lending business, characterizing the move in a press release as part of “strategic plans to create a more focused home lending business aimed at serving bank customers.” The plan, according to a statement by Wells Fargo CEO of consumer lending Kleber Santos, involves “the decision to continue to reduce risk in the mortgage business by reducing its size and narrowing its focus.” Beyond exiting its correspondent business and reducing its servicing portfolio, the company also announced several moves aimed at improving lending toward minority borrowers, including “optimizing the retail team to focus [on] underserved communities” and deploying more mortgage consultants in minority areas.

Rocket Pro TPO, the wholesale mortgage division of Rocket Companies, announced the Fee Freedom Initiative, in which the lender will provide free credit reports for brokers when they close loans through Rocket. The move is intended to stem substantially rising credit-report costs, which could result in brokers passing credit-report fees onto borrowers.

United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) announced a new program called Control Your Price, in which originators have access to 125 basis points that can be used on any loans they lock with UWM. Using up to 40 basis points per loan, originators now have the ability to modify pricing on conventional, government and nonagency loans with UWM, up to $1 million.

Defy Mortgage, a new national mortgage lender offering lending solutions for borrowers with nontraditional income streams and asset types, announced its national launch. With the rise of the gig economy, the nascent lender says that it “takes a holistic approach to evaluating a homebuyer’s entire asset portfolio, including cryptocurrency and bitcoin,” a press release stated. And according to co-founder and CEO Todd Orlando, Defy is “the best resource for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs to secure a mortgage loan supported by various forms of collateral.”


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