Mortgage Companies Accused of ‘Theft by Corporate America’ as Employees Face Demands to Repay Sign-On Bonuses

Mortgage Companies Accused of ‘Theft by Corporate America’ as Employees Face Demands to Repay Sign-On Bonuses

Some employees are being asked to repay millions of dollars in sign-on bonuses paid out during the height of the mortgage “boom” in 2021. Here’s the whole story. 

Record Boom for the Mortgage Industry

In 2021, the mortgage industry experienced a “record boom.” Interest rates were low, and people took advantage by refinancing their mortgage or buying a new home. 

Additional Workers Were Hired

Mortgage lenders originated $4.51 trillion in mortgage loans in 2021, and many lenders had to hire additional staff to keep up with the “boom” in business. 

Sign-On Bonuses Offered

One mortgage company, Guaranteed Rate, offered sign-on bonuses to new employees who started working for them when mortgage rates were low and business was booming. 

Former Employees Asked to Repay the Sign-On Bonus

Since business has slowed down, Guaranteed Rate has asked some employees to repay their sign-on bonus. 

$100,000 Sign-On Bonus

David Siegel was hired by an affiliate of Guaranteed Rate in 2021. He received a sign-on bonus of over $100,000 when he started.

Fired One Month Shy of Two Years

Siegel said he was fired one month before the date the company could no longer ask for the sign-on bonus to be repaid. He said they “demanded” the money back as soon as he was fired.

Claw Back the Payments

Siegel said, “It seems like they realize they aren’t making money in their mortgage business, so the way to get income is to claw back the payments.”

Everyone Required to Repay

Guaranteed Rate told “hundreds of other former employees” that they would also need to repay their sign-on bonuses. 

Not Apologetic

The general counsel for Guaranteed Rate released a statement that said, “We are not going to be apologetic about exercising our legal rights to recover our money.”

The company said they would “continue to enforce [their] agreements.”

Loans to Be Forgiven After Two Years

The sign-on bonuses were structured as loans that would be forgiven after two years as long as the employee remained hired and met specific performance goals. 

Sizeable Sign-On Bonuses

Many employees left big mortgage companies to secure a sizeable sign-on bonus from Guaranteed Rate.

Employees Were Given the Money Upfront

According to one report, many bankers were given “hundreds of thousands of dollars upfront” when they went to work for Guaranteed Rate. 

Some People Received Over $1 Million Bonuses

The highest sign-on bonus paid out by Guaranteed Rate was over $1 million, and a few of the “highest performing” bankers received this amount. 

The Employees Who Didn’t Stay the Full Two Years

Some employees left Guaranteed Rate on their own before the two-year contract ended. However, others were fired and immediately asked to repay the sign-on bonus.

Other Companies Are in Trouble, Too

Guaranteed Rate isn’t the only mortgage lender trying to recoup funds from sign-on bonuses.

Nations Lending and Cross-Country Mortgage are other mortgage companies requiring former employees to repay their “six-figure” sign-on bonuses. 

Get a Highly Skilled Attorney

Some critics think these employees should hire a “highly skilled attorney” to fight for them in court. 

“Cutthroat” Industry

Another person called the sign-on bonus repayment “theft by corporate America.” Someone else called the mortgage industry “cutthroat” and said it was “managed by thieves.”

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Texas School District Faces Backlash Over ‘The Whiteness Project’ Lesson Plan, Amidst Accusations of Promoting Racism and Self-Hate in Students

Texas School District Faces Backlash Over ‘The Whiteness Project’ Lesson Plan, Amidst Accusations of Promoting Racism and Self-Hate in Students

One school district in Texas faces scrutiny after a lesson plan titled “The Whiteness Project: Millennials” went viral. Here’s the whole story. 

A Picture of the Assignment Went Viral

An account named “Libs of TikTok” posted pictures on the social media platform X of an assignment that students were given to complete. The title of the assignment was “The Whiteness Project: Millennials.”

The Whiteness Project

Students were instructed to watch a video on the Whiteness Project’s website and then answer a number of questions “in complete and full sentences.” 

Complete Alone or With a Partner

The students were allowed to complete the assignment “with a partner or on [their] own.”

Privileges of Whiteness 

One question on the assignment read, “What privileges does Connor talk about having because of his whiteness?” Another question asked how Connor’s life might “be different” if he were “a person of color.”

Suit Up and Show Up

In the video, a man named Connor claimed that he “would be in jail if [he] was not white.” The man claimed he was arrested “more than 20 times” but never served jail time because he would “get a lawyer, suit up, and show up.”

Talking About Whiteness

The first part of the assignment mentioned the “importance of talking about whiteness.” 

Colorblindness: The New Racism

The second part of the assignment was about “Colorblindness: The New Racism.” One of the questions asked how “colorblindness” was a “form of white privilege.” 

What Is Colorblindness?

Colorblindness is a racial ideology that suggests “the best way to end discrimination is by treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity.”

White Privilege Experience 

Students were also asked to “free write” two paragraphs about their “own experience with whiteness and white privilege.” 

Texas Banned Critical Race Theory 

Texas passed a law prohibiting public schools in the state from teaching critical race theory to students.

The School District “Promptly Addressed the Matter”

The school district released a statement saying one teacher “independently identified and shared the activity with a class of students.” The school district also said they “promptly addressed the matter with the teacher.”

Teacher Should Be Fired

One person on X was shocked that some schools were “still trying to get away with this toxicity.” This person said, “The teacher should be fired and shouldn’t teach again.”

Broken Education System

“Homeschooling is the only solution,” said one person. He thinks America’s “broken and obsolete public education system” can’t be fixed. 

Homeschool or Private School

On Libs of TikTok’s post on X, many comments suggested homeschooling. One person said parents “carefully vet a private school or opt to home school.”

Against the Law

One woman spoke out, saying, “This is against the law, not to mention RACIST. They are teaching these kids to be racist.”

Fostering Racism

One person said, “Imagine making kids apologize for how they were born.” Someone else agreed, saying, “This is how you foster racism.”

Focus on the Basics

According to many people, public schools should focus on the basics such as “math, science, and history.” One comment read, “Pushing any kid to feel bad for their skin color is backward. Real education doesn’t demonize.” 

We Are All Equal

One person said they were “tired of the racism and teaching kids to hate themselves.” Their comment said, “We are all equal. Period. End of story.”

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High-Profile Democrat Switches Allegiance, Joins Republican Party in Surprise Political Move

High-Profile Democrat Switches Allegiance, Joins Republican Party in Surprise Political Move

A Democrat mayor in Dallas, Texas, is changing his political party affiliation because he’s not happy with the way Democrats are handling issues in America. Here’s the whole story. 

Democrat Mayor Becoming a Republican

The political tables are turning in Dallas, Texas, where Democratic Mayor Eric Johnson says he’s “changing [his] party affiliation.” Johnson served as a Democrat in the Texas Legislature for nine years before Dallas elected him as the city’s mayor in 2019.

Leaving Office as a Republican

Johnson says that when his career ends in 2027, he will “leave office as a Republican.” By switching from Democrat to Republican, Johnson made Dallas the largest city in the country to be led by a Republican mayor.

Mayor Publishes Article

Mayor Eric Johnson wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal announcing his political party affiliation switch. In the title, he said, “America’s Cities Need Republicans, and I’m Becoming One.”

American Cities “In Disarray”

In the newspaper column, Johnson listed the reasons for wanting to switch his political party affiliation. One main reason was that cities in America were “in disarray.”

According to Johnson, Democratic leaders haven’t made public safety a priority. 

Bring Back Law and Order

Johnson said that America’s future depends on mayors across the nation “championing law and order and practicing fiscal conservatism.”

He called on local leaders to bring “law and order” back to their cities while lowering taxes for their residents.

His “Approach Is Working”

Mayor Johnson has been popular among the residents of Dallas. When he was reelected for a second term as mayor, he won with 98% of the votes. He said his priority as mayor has been to make Dallas “safer, stronger, and more vibrant” and that his “approach is working.”

Not Surprising and Not Unwelcome

The announcement came with support and criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. Leaders of the Texas Democratic Party said that Johnson’s announcement was “neither surprising nor unwelcome.” 

The Voters Deserved to Know the Truth

They feel he “wasn’t honest” when he ran for reelection and that those who voted for him deserved to know the truth before they reelected him, not now. 

Abandoning His Values

Kardal Coleman, Dallas County Democratic Party Chair, claimed Johnson had “turned his back” on the voters in Dallas “who trusted that he would uphold Democratic values.”

Coleman called Johnson’s political party affiliation switch “an embarrassment” to the community. He claimed Johnson was “abandoning his values” along with the people of Dallas.

Texas Governor Welcomes Johnson

Texas Governor Greg Abbott was pleased to welcome Johnson to the Republican Party, saying, “He’s pro-law enforcement and won’t tolerate leftist agendas.” In a tweet online, Abbott said, “Texas is getting more Red every day.”

Dastardly and Underhanded

One person called the mayor’s move while still in office “dastardly and underhanded.” Someone else said, “Politicians should not be allowed to switch parties while in office.”

“Concerning Trend”

Online, someone who describes himself as a “political commentator” talked about this “concerning trend” in America where politicians campaign as Democrats but switch to Republicans once they are in office.

He said this behavior is “unfair and corrupt.”

Not the First to Switch Parties

In recent years, several American politicians have switched from the Democrat Party to the GOP, including Joseph Pannullo, the mayor of East Hanover, New Jersey.

“Left-Wing Ideology” Destroying America

A commenter on the video said, “You can’t blame him. The Democrats have completely destroyed America with…crazy left-wing ideology.”

Dallas Resident Loves Johnson

A person who lives in Dallas praised Johnson, saying, “He has done a great job making it a better place versus other Dem cities.”

Leaders “Thrilled” to Work With Mayor Johnson

Jennifer Stoddard Hajdu, Dallas County Republican Party Chair, was “thrilled” about the mayor’s decision to join the Republican Party and said, “We look forward to working with Mayor Johnson to protect our individual freedoms and our citizens.”

Future Plans for Johnson

In the op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, Johnson said, “I was never a favorite of the Democratic caucus, and the feeling was mutual.”

His political party affiliation switch has some wondering if Johnson plans to run for a higher political office after his term as mayor is complete in 2027.

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Biden Commemorates Disabilities Act Anniversary Amid Criticism Over Accessibility at Press Events

Biden Commemorates Disabilities Act Anniversary Amid Criticism Over Accessibility at Press Events

On the same day that President Biden spoke at an event honoring and celebrating the Americans with Disabilities Act, there was no handicapped seating available at a White House press conference. Here’s the whole story. 

Americans With Disabilities Act

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The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. The ADA “prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities” regarding “employment, transportation, public accommodations,” and other areas.

Biden Honors ADA

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President Joe Biden declared October 2023 as “National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” according to a statement released by the White House.

President Biden spoke at an event honoring the Americans with Disabilities Act on the South Lawn of the White House.

Event Held Where ADA Was Signed Into Law

legal

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jirapong Manustrong

In a post on X, the White House said the event was held “in the exact same spot” President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law.

Biden Administration Protecting Americans With Disabilities

Image Credit: Shutterstock / White House Photography

Biden spoke about what his administration has done to protect the rights of Americans with disabilities.

He said the ADA is a “source of opportunity, meaningful inclusion, participation, respect, and…dignity” for people living with disabilities.

ADA Is Empowering

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One person posted online, saying, “The ADA has made a significant difference in the lives of millions of Americans with disabilities.”

This person also said the ADA helped “create a more inclusive and accessible society” while “empowering people with disabilities to live full and productive lives.”

No Handicapped Seating

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On the same day Biden celebrated the Americans with Disabilities Act, journalists at a press conference questioned White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on why there was no seating for disabled journalists.

Concerns Were Ignored

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The reporter spoke up during the press conference and said, “Karine, about disability, there’s no seat in this room for disabled journalists.”

Jean-Pierre ignored the journalist’s comment and moved on to another question.

Press Secretary Leaves the Podium

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Despite being ignored, the reporter repeated his statement, saying, “This room has no seat for a handicapped journalist.”

After the second comment from the reporter, the press conference ended, and Jean-Pierre left the podium.

Comment Goes Unaddressed

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While the press secretary was walking away, another reporter said, “Thank you for asking that,” but the comment was still not addressed.

Disappointing

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One person commented online, saying, “It would be very disappointing if that didn’t get fixed today.”

Poor Judgment

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White House Press Secretary Jean-Pierre received backlash from critics online for not addressing the reason there was no handicapped seating at the press conference.

One person said it was “very poor judgment on her part.”

Without Error

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Another person said that if Jean-Pierre had “just acknowledged the oversight, admitted the mistake, and promised to fix it for future briefings,” it would have been the “end of the discussion.”

Instead, she ignored the question and “moved on like everything they do is without error.”

Arrogant and Out of Touch

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Someone else commented, “Instead of owning up to a mistake, [Jean-Pierre] blew it off, which gives off the vibe of being arrogant and out of touch.”

Dishonest

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Some even called for Jean-Pierre’s removal, saying, “She is the most dishonest press secretary that has ever been in the White House.”

Biden Receives Support

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In an online post, Biden said, “When we passed…the Americans with Disabilities Act, we committed to building an America for all Americans.”

Some people supported the president’s efforts and commented, saying “thank you” for his “great work.”

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President Biden Ponders TikTok Engagement Amid New Ban on the App for Government Devices

President Biden Ponders TikTok Engagement Amid New Ban on the App for Government Devices

Months after banning TikTok on government-issued devices, Biden’s re-election campaign is considering joining the popular social media app to reach young voters. Here’s the whole story. 

TikTok Banned From Government-Issued Devices

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In February 2023, the Biden administration required all federal employees to remove TikTok and any other app from its parent company, ByteDance, from all government-issued devices. 

Defending Our Nation’s Digital Infrastructure

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When the decision was made, Chris DeRusha, a federal chief information security officer, released a statement, saying, “The Biden-Harris administration has invested heavily in defending our nation’s digital infrastructure.”

Foreign Adversaries

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DeRusha also said the Biden-Harris administration was committed to “curbing foreign adversaries’ access to Americans’ data” by removing TikTok from federal devices. 

Protect Americans’ Security and Privacy

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The Biden administration removed TikTok from federal devices to “[protect] the American people’s security and privacy.”

Biden Wants to Join TikTok

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Biden prohibited government employees from using TikTok, but now his re-election campaign is considering joining the popular social media app.

Explain This One

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A comment online said, “I can’t wait to see KJP explain this one away after Biden banned TikTok from federal devices.”

Reaching Young Voters

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A report posted online said, “Scoop: Biden’s re-election campaign has privately been weighing whether to join TikTok to help reach more young voters.”

This Is Not Scoop

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The senior advisor on the Joe Biden 2024 presidential campaign, TJ Ducklo, replied to the post, saying, “Lol this is not scoop.”

Campaigns Talk About a Bunch of Stuff

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Ducklo said, “Campaigns talk about a bunch of stuff and some we do and a bunch we don’t.”  Ducklo told his followers, “If we have news to share, we’ll let yall know!”

Parents Defending Education Founder Speaks Out

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The founder and president of Parents Defending Education, Nikki Neily, posted online, saying, “Two days ago: Young people on TikTok are proudly spreading Osama Bin Laden’s infamous ‘Letter to America’ that blames America for 9/11 and calls for the destruction of Israel.”

Biden Joining TikTok to “Reach More Voters”

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Neily’s post continued, saying, “Today: Biden campaign is considering joining TikTok to ‘reach more voters.’”

Biden Buying Votes

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One person online called TikTok “the propaganda machine from China,” and said Biden is only considering joining the app to “[buy] votes.”

Jeopardizing Americans’ Safety

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The same person said, “How many different ways can this administration jeopardize our safety?”

Corruption at Its Finest

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Another person commented, saying, “Corruption at its finest. If Joe likes China so much, he should move there.”

Biden Can’t Relate to Anyone Under 30

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One comment said, “Biden is 80-years-old. [There’s] no way he can relate to anyone 30 and under.” This person said it feels “forced” when he tries to relate to younger people.

America Can’t Survive Four More Years of Biden

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Many people said, “America can’t survive another four years of Biden-Harris.” One person wasn’t even sure America would “make it through 2024.”

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