The nation’s biggest mortgage lender is planning to hire 500 people and is holding a job fair Saturday just days after a Bloomberg News expose of alleged drug use, discrimination and harassment.

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The nation’s biggest mortgage lender, UWM, is planning to hire 500 people and is holding a job fair Saturday, just days after a Bloomberg News expose detailing an alleged “locker room culture” of drug use, racial disparities and sexual harassment at the company.

More than two dozen current and former United Wholesale Mortgage employees interviewed by Bloomberg for an April 12 article described a culture where managers allegedly bullied employees who complained about working conditions, and it was common to encounter drug use at the company’s Pontiac, Michigan offices.

Attorneys for UWM told Bloomberg the company doesn’t tolerate drug use, race-based discrimination or sexual harassment and that managers hadn’t been informed of the troubling behavior and practices described in the article.

In a statement, UWM Chief Marketing Officer Sarah DeCiantis told Bloomberg that any attempt to portray a negative culture was “false and misleading,” and that there was nothing to suggest the story “is anything more than disgruntled individuals or a competitor pushing a false narrative to the media.”

Rising interest rates have been tough on the mortgage industry as a whole, which did booming business refinancing existing borrowers when rates hit historic lows during the pandemic.

Although UWM CEO Mat Ishbia said in March that the company has “never had a layoff in 37 years of business” and “never will,” the company’s headcount shrank by 2,000 workers last year to about 6,000 employees. A UWM spokesperson told Inman that the payroll reduction was due to “natural attrition.”

On the same day Bloomberg’s story broke, the Detroit Free Press published a story detailing UWM’s plans to hire 500 workers over the next three months, noting that “Many executives at metro Detroit mortgage companies began their careers with zero prior experience in the industry and still rose up the ranks.”

The hiring is aimed at growing the company’s total headcount rather than simply replacing workers lost through attrition, a UWM spokesperson told the Free Press.

UWM is hosting walk-in interviews from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 15, on the UWM North Campus, located at 585 South Blvd. E. in Pontiac. Those interested in attending can preregister to avoid lines, or “just show up,” the company said.

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Email Matt Carter

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