UWM Seeks To Dismiss AML Countersuit Over 'Ultimatum'
Files motion in federal court stating AML failed to prove antitrust claims.
United Wholesale Mortgage LLC (UWM) filed a motion last week in federal court in Michigan seeking to dismiss a counter lawsuit filed against it by America’s Moneyline Inc. (AML).
AML, a high-volume California-based brokerage, filed the counter lawsuit Feb. 25 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, in response to a lawsuit filed by UWM a year earlier that claimed AML violated UWM’s “All-In” initiative.
UWM established the initiative in March 2021, giving brokers an ultimatum that prohibited them from working with UWM if they continued to do business with Rocket Mortgage and Fairway Independent Mortgage. Under the ultimatum, any broker that continued to do business with Rocket or Fairway would face fines of either $5,000 per loan or $50,000, whichever sum was larger.
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UWM claimed in its lawsuit that since signing the “All-In” addendum, AML had submitted 560 loans to Rocket and Fairway.
After UWM filed its lawsuit, AML CEO Shawn Nevin described the ultimatum as “anti-competitive,” and “anti-American” and said it wouldn’t survive judicial scrutiny.
That was followed nearly a year later by AML filing its countersuit against UWM. At the time, Nevin said the countersuit challenges “the legality of the ultimatum, while also calling out illegal business practices by UWM’s leadership.”
He continued, “Time and again we were assured [UWM] would not enforce their loyalty pact if we just signed it. After freezing more than 100 of our loans in their pipeline — harming our clients — we were forced to sign, again with assurances we would be able to use any lender we wanted. That turned out to be just the latest lie from Mat and his team.”
In the motion to dismiss AML’s countersuit, filed April 19, UWM states that AML “fails to state a claim for relief.” It notes that attorneys for both sides held a conference in which “UWM explained the nature of this motion and its legal basis and requested, but did not obtain, concurrence in the relief sought.”
In its motion, UWM states that AML failed to prove its claims that UWM violated any federal or state antitrust laws regarding restraint of trade or “attempted monopolization.” It then states that, because AML is seeking relief under its antitrust claims but failed to prove them, the countersuit should be dismissed.
“This is not an antitrust case,” the motion states. “This case is about one mortgage broker that repeatedly breached the terms of its broker agreement and is now grasping for any rationale to evade liability.”
It adds, “The claims lack any legal merit and should be dismissed.”
The court has not yet ruled on the motion.