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Quicken Loans Inc.'s biggest quarter to date means more jobs in Detroit.

The 34-year-old privately held mortgage lender is the country's largest retail home mortgage lender by loan volume. It said this week it is hiring 1,300 people mostly for its downtown headquarters after reporting a record $32 billion in home loan originations for the second quarter. The hiring expands Quicken founder and chairman Dan Gilbert's workforce from 17,000 in the city and comes as competition in the home loan market builds up.

"We're always hiring hundreds of people a month," said Mike Malloy, Quicken's chief people officer said. "With our record-breaking quarter, we're accelerating that. About 85-90% of those jobs are in Detroit."

Low interest rates helped boost home loans in the second quarter, as major banks and lenders reported upticks in originations for the three-month window. The No. 2 lender in the country, Pontiac-based United Wholesale Mortgage, said Thursday it originated $28.3 billion in mortgages, its highest to date.

United Wholesale only works with mortgage brokers, the agents who search out lenders and rates for their clients. It, too, is expanding rapidly, so far hiring nearly 1,400 people in Pontiac and expects to bring on another 900 before the end of the year. It currently employs about 4,100 people.

"It's all about the people," said Mat Ishbia, CEO of United Shore Financial Services Inc., United Wholesale's parent. "We need our broker channel to grow, and we need to educate more consumers to grow. If you do right by your consumers, by your employees, by brokers, it'll happen; we'll be No. 1 whether that happens next month, this year or next year."

Quicken is unbothered.

"We're focused on our clients, making sure our clients have the best possible experience, and we're focused on the city of Detroit and our mission in the city of Detroit to work all other stakeholders on the mission of the city of Detroit," Malloy said. "What our competitors do is not what we worry about."

Despite being the industry leader, Quicken still only holds an approximately 6% market share. Gilbert has said through technology, the company can grow that percentage.

It may be working: In May, Quicken had its highest closed loan volume for home purchases in the history of the company, whose largest business is refinancing. More than two-thirds of home shoppers using Rocket Mortgage, Quicken's fully online mortgage process, used it to buy a home. Three-quarters of them were first-time buyers, the company said.

Quicken also originated more than $10 billion in loans in a single month for the first time in April. It did so again in May and June, which is when the company closed its largest mortgage volume of $11 billion.

To keep on that trajectory, Quicken is looking for some 200 people in technology roles, including software engineers and data scientists. It also is hiring mortgage bankers, Quicken Loans Mortgage Services account executives, underwriters, paid interns and other workers.

"We see great trajectory for even more growth because of our amazing team members and great technology that enables us to serve our clients," Malloy said. "We see that growth continuing by hiring all these team members to refer more clients."

Quicken's historic quarter comes despite Chairman Dan Gilbert having a stroke in May. The 57-year-old Franklin billionaire remained in the hospital for 24 days and then went to an in-patient rehabilitation center for further recovery, according to the company.

Since 2010, Gilbert, founder and chairman of Rock Ventures LLC, the umbrella entity for his portfolio of business and real estate investments, has invested more than $5.6 billion in acquiring and developing more than 100 commercial properties in the city if Detroit.

Quicken also said last month it agreed to pay $32.5 million to resolve a false claims lawsuit under which the federal government accused the company of making Federal Housing Administration loans that didn't meet standards. Quicken did not admit guilt and continues to offer FHA loans.

In addition to Detroit, Quicken is hiring at its offices in Cleveland, Ohio; Phoenix, Arizona; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Job seekers can go to MyRocketCareer.com to apply.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

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