Quicken Loans, the new mortgage machine


Sitting on the edge of his office chair, the Motor City skyline steel gray in the late afternoon November sun, Mr. Gilbert said his company had been unjustly attacked. “You want to know what this case is about?” he said. “Someone probably put up a whiteboard and said, ‘Here are the top 10 FHA lenders, now get them bills no matter if they did anything wrong.'”

In court documents, Quicken argues that it has the lowest failure rates in the FHA program. It estimates the government will reap $ 5.7 billion in net insurance premium income on loans granted from 2007 to 2013 after all claims are paid.

A spokesman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where the FHA program is at the heart of the Quicken trial, declined to discuss the lawsuit.

Late last year, Donald J. Trump appointed a former Quicken Loans lobbyist, Shawn Krause, to his HUD transition team. A Trump spokeswoman did not respond to an email asking about possible conflicts of interest. In a statement sent via email, Quicken Loans said the fact that Ms. Krause had come from the country’s largest FHA lender “is a good sign of the positive influence she is and will have on HUD”.

In the years since the financial crisis, Quicken has emerged as a leader in the country’s shadow banking system, a network of non-bank financial institutions that has gained significant ground over its more regulated banking peers in lending home loans to Americans. Increased regulation and falling profits have brought the country’s banks to a standstill.

Non-banks like Quicken have filled that void. Today, Quicken is the country’s second largest private mortgage lender, behind Wells Fargo, but ahead of banking giants like JP Morgan, Bank of America and Citigroup, according to Mortgage Daily.

Regarded by many as a visionary leader, Mr. Gilbert often takes a combative stance. When Mr. James, the NBA star, announced he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 to join the Miami Heat, Mr. Gilbert – who not only owns a controlling interest in the Cavaliers, but also the Quicken Loans, said Arena operates where they play – wrote a public tirade against “cowardly betrayal” in a letter in Comic Sans font.


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