UWM cuts out title insurer with updated TRAC+ program, rolls out 0% down purchase initiative

United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) has launched a new service to handle all the title work for its brokers on refinancings. As a result, brokers no longer need to deal with a title company or settlement agent to close a refi. 

The top U.S. mortgage lender announced the service on Thursday during an annual meeting with its broker partners in Pontiac, Michigan. It said TRAC+ will allow the lender to “manage title review, closing, and disbursement.”

“As a result, a broker will no longer need to work with a title company or settlement agent for title work, balancing fees, scheduling the closing, or any related communication when they use TRAC+,” the company said in a prepared statement. 

The first version of TRAC, launched in October 2022, is still available at a $1,600 flat fee plus a settlement agent fee of up to $500. In the first iteration of TRAC, brokers choose a settlement agent to handle the closing, balancing fees, scheduling the closing, and other communication. Meanwhile, UWM, the largest lender in America, handles title review. It’s available to conventional loans only in purchase and refinance transactions. 

With the new option, TRAC+, UWM charges a $1,850 flat fee, with no settlement agent fee, since the lender will handle all the title work. The product is available on conventional, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (V.A.) loans but only for refinances. 

UWM’s TRAC+ announcement comes as the federal government pushes title insurance alternatives designed to save consumers money. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now accept out attorney opinion letters and their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, recently rolled out a new pilot program to waive lender title requirements on refinancings.

0% down

During UWM Live!, the wholesale lender also announced a new program where qualified borrowers receive 3% in down payment assistance loan up to $15,000. The loan will not accrue interest and will not require a monthly payment.

“UWM’s 0% Down Purchase program is going to change the game this purchase season,” said Mat Ishbia, president and CEO at UWM. “No other wholesale lender in the country is offering this, meaning independent mortgage brokers now have a significant advantage with consumers and real estate agents. Thousands of borrowers are sitting on the sidelines because they don’t have a downpayment – this program removes that barrier.” 

Borrowers must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income for the address of the property they are buying or one borrower is a first-time homebuyer. The qualifying borrower will then receive a 3% down payment assistance loan, up to $15,000, in the form of a second lien loan.

Borrowers must pay the second lien loan by the end of the loan term but have flexibility in when and how often they make payments.

AI CHAT

During UWM Live!, the company also announced ChatUWM, an AI-powered search engine that provides instant responses to clients, including guidelines, matrices, lender tools, and technology. ChatUWM is based on the company’s knowledge base, “The Search.” 

UWM also announced during the event that its brand, Mortgage Matchup, is the official mortgage partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). 

Mortgage Matchup offers a searchable database of brokers and educational materials about the homebuying and refinancing process. It will receive media exposure across the leagues’ platforms. 

Sarah DeCiantis, chief marketing officer at UWM, said in a prepared statement, “We aim to tap into the immense and diverse fan base of these two leagues to create authentic connections,” with the end goal of “empowering borrowers and drawing attention to the value and importance of having a mortgage broker.” 

Mat Ishbia, chairman and CEO of UWM, acquired the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury. The deal became public in December 2022, but the executive received the NBA blessing in February 2023. The transaction valued the Suns and Mercury at about $4 billion. 

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