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Quicken Loans Corporation is a retail home mortgage lending firm in the US. Quicken Loans Inc. is comprised of the Quicken Loans and Rock Financial, and Title Source, a settlement service provider. Quicken Loans closed $18 billion in residential mortgage loans in 2006. The company employs about 4,000 workers and is headquartered in Livonia, Michigan. Image File history File links Ql_logo_w_home. . This article is about the year. . Livonia is a city located in the northwest part of Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. . Daniel (Dan) Gilbert is the Chairman and Founder of Quicken Loans Inc. . This article is about the legal mechanism used to secure property in favor of a creditor. . This article is about work. . A website (alternatively, Web site or web site) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that is hosted on one or several Web server(s), usually accessible via the Internet, cell phone or a LAN. A Web page is a document, typically written in HTML. This article is about the legal mechanism used to secure property in favor of a creditor. . Livonia is a city located in the northwest part of Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. .
Quicken Loans, originally Rock Financial Corporation, was founded in 1985 by Dan Gilbert and Ron Berman and soon became one of the largest independent mortgage companies in the country. In May 1998, Gilbert took Rock Financial public, launching a successful IPO underwritten by Bear Stearns and Prudential Securities. Daniel (Dan) Gilbert is the Chairman and Founder of Quicken Loans Inc. . Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. . The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. .
In December 1999, Intuit Inc. (makers of QuickBooks, TurboTax, and Quicken) purchased Rock Financial for a sum of $532M. The company was renamed Quicken Loans. In June 2002, Gilbert led a small group of private investors in purchasing the Quicken Loans subsidiary back from Intuit for just $64M.  Intuit Inc. . For the hotel reservation service, click Quikbook QuickBooks is an accounting software product developed by Intuit, Inc. . Intuit Logo Intuit, Inc. . Intuit Logo Intuit, Inc. .
On November 12, 2007, Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert announced a development agreement with the city to move the company headquarters to downtown Detroit, consolidating suburban offices, a move considered to be a high importance to city planners to reestablish the historic downtown.  The construction sites reserved for development by the agreement include the location of the former Statler on Grand Circus Park and the former Hudson's location.  Daniel (Dan) Gilbert is the Chairman and Founder of Quicken Loans Inc. . Grand Circus Park in Detroit, Michigan Grand Circus Park is an open space in downtown Detroit, Michigan that connects the theatre district with its financial center. .
While Quicken Loans has not had the massive layoffs of other companies in the industry, the company has seen a drop in employment levels due to attrition. Quicken Loans states that they have lost about 160 people over the past few months. Quicken Loans currently has a hiring freeze (no information on when the freeze took place) and an attrition level of about 36 percent per year. They did not hire new staff in September and October of 2007. 
In August of 2007 the entire mortgage industry faced a crisis in obtaining new credit from banking institutions and hedge funds. In response to that Quicken Loans stopped doing all: 
- Second Mortgages
- Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC)
- Alt-A Products
- Deferred Interest Loans
Gilbert is quoted as saying that Quicken is active in closing "plain vanilla loans".
Quicken Loans Inc. is currently the defendant in a major class action lawsuit. This was filed against the company on behalf of employees who worked as loan consultants for any Quicken office within the past three years. The suit alleges that Quicken is in violation of the Fair Labor Act for failing to pay the plaintiffs overtime for working beyond a 40-hour work week.  The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA, ch. .
- ^ "The 400 richest Americans", Forbes Magazine, 2007-8-24. Retrieved on 2007-8-24.
- ^ Howes, Daniel (November 12, 2007).Quicken moving to downtown Detroit.The Detroit News. Retrieved on November 12, 2007.
- ^ Loc. cit.
- ^ "Gilbert: Housing slump hits Quicken", The Detroit News, 2007-10-15. Retrieved on 2007-10-15.
- ^ "Gilbert: Mortgage squeeze could be blessing for Quicken", The Detroit Free Press, 2007-8-16. Retrieved on 2007-8-16.
- ^ Dybis, Karen (February 10), "Former Quicken Loans workers file suit", The Detroit News , <http://www.detnews.com/2005/business/0502/10/C01-85672.htm9gt;
Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. . is the 288th day of the year (289th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. .
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Categories: Companies based in Michigan | Companies established in 1985 | Financial services companies of the United States | Mortgage lenders
Mortgage Mess: Why Quicken Loans May Not Be as Squeaky Clean as It Claims
Last Updated Feb 8, 2011 7:45 PM EST
Quicken founder and chairman Dan Gilbert, owner of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, has sought to distance his company from the actions of notorious predatory lenders such as Ameriquest and Countrywide. Quicken has also capitalized on that image, touting its high ranking in consumer surveys, top grade from the Better Business Bureau and repeated listing by Fortune as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." Yet allegations by former employees and customers bear a disturbing resemblance to the reckless, often illegal lending that marked the years leading up the housing crash. Hudson writes:
They accuse the company of using high-pressure salesmanship to target elderly and vulnerable homeowners, as well as misleading borrowers about their loans, and falsifying property appraisals and other information to push through bad deals.
A group of ex-employees, meanwhile, have gone to federal court to accuse Quicken of abusing workers and customers alike. In court papers, former salespeople claim Quicken executives managed by bullying and intimidation, pressuring them to falsify borrowers' incomes on loan applications and to push overpriced deals on desperate or unwary homeowners.
In the Michigan suit, former employees are seeking overtime pay they say Quicken owes them. Documents in the case also claim that the company encouraged some borrowers to overstate their income. [Note: Business software maker Intuit (INTU) bought Quicken, then called Rock Financial, from Gilbert in 1999. He and other investors repurchased the company from Intuit in 2002. Quicken is today privately held, while Intuit continues to market Quicken personal finance tools.]
As Hudson recently documented in his book, The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America -- and Spawned a Global Crisis, aggressive sales tactics were a hallmark of the abusive lending that led to the housing crash. Quicken uses similar methods, said a former loan salesman at the company in a sworn statement. He claimed managers pressured salespeople to boost their commissions by "locking the customer into a higher interest rate, even if they qualified for a lower rate, and rolling hidden fees into the loan."
Another feature of the subprime bubble was lenders' widespread use of adjustable rate mortgages, often pressed on financially gullible borrowers who were unaware of the risks. Gilbert has stated that Quicken avoided riskier lending, telling The Plain Dealer in 2009 that "We never did these kinds of loans that really started this mess, the subprime loans."
But at least one court ruling and litigation by homeowners against Quicken cast doubt on whether the company has been as responsible in its lending as Gilbert maintains. Last year, a West Virginia court found Quicken guilty of fraud for misleading a mortgage borrower, gouging her on fees and wrongly inflating the value of her home. Hudson notes that the judge overseeing the case described the company's conduct in the case as "unconscionable."
Meanwhile, multiple borrower lawsuits against the company center on its issuance of ARMs. One Ohio County, W.Va., resident, Janyce Duncan, filed a complaint after Quicken in 2005 put her into a $109,000 interest-only loan and a $27,000 home equity credit line. (On its Web site, Quicken says it doesn't currently offer interest-only products because of "market conditions.") The company and a third-party appraisal firm inflated the value of her house by nearly $40,000, she alleged. Duncan's lawyer said she later tried to sell the home, but failed because the property's value was worth less than what she owed on her loans.
Another borrower accused Quicken of not explaining the terms of a balloon loan, which she couldn't afford. Although the homeowner claimed to have expressed concern about the cost of the mortgage, a Quicken loan officer allegedly told her that "the affordability of the monthly payment was not an important consideration" because the company could refinance the loan in a few months at a lower interest rate. As in the Duncan case, the company was also accused of arranging a bogus appraisal on her home, overstating its worth by more than $135,000.
A former Quicken loan consultant supports the sense that such borrowers were ill-served, claiming that supervisors pressured her to sell ARMs to customers who would have been better off using another product. Hudson says:
She recalled selling a loan to a customer who had cancer and needed cash to pay medical bills: "I could have offered him a home equity line of credit to pay these bills but, instead, I sold him an interest-only ARM that re-financed his entire mortgage. This was not the best Quicken loan product for him, but this was the one that made the company the most money." Quicken: Overtime case a "farce"
In a statement, Quicken vice president of communications Paula Silver said the overtime suit kicking off in Michigan this week has "no merit." She added:
This lawsuit was initiated by an out-of-state law firm from Minnesota which has filed hundreds of these suits threatening they will convince a court to rely on a 1930s wage law intended to protect blue-collar factory workers, to also apply to highly compensated white-collar professionals in an effort to coerce settlements from job-producing companies.
Detroiters and the rest of the country will see through this farce during this case. We look forward to righting this wrong.
In a voicemail, Silver further sought to discredit Hudson's story by dismissing the Center for Public Integrity as a "not very credible source." (Without turning this into a pissing contest, it's worth noting that Hudson, a former WSJ reporter who has covered the lending industry for nearly two decades, is a decorated investigative journalist. His credentials are impeccable, and within media circles the CPI is highly respected as a nonpartisan source of investigative reportage.)
The bigger issue is whether Quicken deserves its sterling reputation, or whether this standing masks questionable activities by the company. The West Virginia suits are several years old -- it's possible the company has since cleaned up its act. But the company's blanket dismissal of the CPI story doesn't exactly suggest a company pushing to confront internal problems or improve its lending standards. Rather, Quicken has said such allegations are isolated and sought to pin the blame on rogue employees.
As Hudson notes, it's fair to say that Quicken is no Ameriquest, Countrywide or FAMCO. Complaints against Quicken are far less numerous than they were against these other players, firms that helped write the book on predatory lending. But neither does its conduct seem as irreproachable as the company contends.
Thumbnail from Flickr user Joka2000; image from Wikimedia Commons, CC 2.5