During the first quarter of the Super Bowl, an ad appeared for "Rocket Mortgage," an app (owned by Quicken Loans) that allows prospective homebuyers to get approved for loans in as little as 8 minutes. The ad shows people buying real estate from their smartphones by tapping a big green button that says "BUY A HOME," then filling that home with sectional couches, blenders, and other home goods.
As this consumerist fantasy plays out, the ad's narrator says: "What if we did for mortgages what the internet did for buying music, plane tickets, and shoes?
Easy-to-get mortgages and lax underwriting standards, of course, were a major cause of the financial crisis of 2008. And Twitter quickly erupted with users calling out Rocket Mortgage for making buying a home sound like a fast, impulsive decision.
Even the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the arm of the U.S. government responsible for protecting citizens from predatory financial institutions, chimed in with a subtweet:
Quicken Loans' official Twitter account quickly got busy reminding users that Rocket Mortgage doesn't actually underwrite mortgages, or decide whether prospective homebuyers are qualified for them; it simply provides tools to make the mortgage application process smoother. And even though the Wall Street Journal has already dispelled some of the myths about Rocket Mortgage, it seems like the company still has some explaining to do.