Better Home & Finance, the newly-public digital mortgage lender, is embroiled in a lawsuit for allegedly failing to fulfill advertising payment commitments to Meredith Operations Corporation, a digital and print media publisher. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York in March, claims that Better Home & Finance defaulted on payments for two "insertion orders" made between summer and winter of 2022.
According to the legal documents, Better Home & Finance agreed to pay Meredith $2.1 million for placing advertisements across various platforms. Meredith claims that Better still owes $1.86 million. The publisher seeks judgment for breach of contract and demands payment of the outstanding amount, attorney fees, and other associated costs.
Better's promotional material appeared in over 20 media outlets owned by Meredith, including brands like Martha Stewart, Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, and Southern Living, as indicated by the court filings.
In response, Better Home & Finance refuted the allegations in an April court document. To preserve the confidentiality of sensitive information, the court has issued a protective order for both entities involved.
A Better spokesperson said, "While we can't comment on the particulars of active litigation, our answer in the case states that we disagree with Meredith Corporation's position."
In financial news, Better Home & Finance reported a net loss of $135.4 million for the first half of 2023. However, this marks an improvement over the nearly $400 million loss reported for the same period last year, according to its latest 8-K filing with the SEC. The filing revealed that the digital lender handled loan volumes amounting to $1.7 billion across 4,768 loans in the first six months of this year.
According to CEO Vishal Garg, after its recent public debut following a merger with SPAC Aurora Acquisition Corp., Better aims to prioritize profitable ventures and move away from less lucrative channels, including its real estate division. Industry data indicates that Better ranks as the country's 59th largest mortgage lender as of the first quarter of 2023.