While career politicians were leading Oklahoma down a path towards last place over the past two decades, Kevin Stitt was building his Oklahoma business from scratch, problem solving during the economic crisis in 2008-2010, and becoming an award-winning nationwide company. Kevin Stitt has created hundreds of jobs across nine Oklahoma cities and a total of 1,200 jobs across 41 states. Instead of playing political games, Kevin has had his head down, working hard to expand Oklahoma’s economy while also raising his six children with his wife Sarah.
Over the course of the election, the political establishment has gone after Kevin Stitt, spending more than a $1 million to mislead and misinform voters on his history. Below is a fact check to set the story straight:
Accusation: Kevin Stitt and Gateway Mortgage took “TARP bailout money.”
Truth: Kevin Stitt and Gateway Mortgage did NOT pursue any federal bailouts nor accepted any federal money as part of TARP to sustain the business.
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) was established in 2008 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Gateway did NOT participate in this program or receive capital infusion funds under this program.
“What was put out against Kevin Stitt was just outright fabrication and lies. I was in Congress when the TARP bill passed, and you had to be bank to get TARP money. So that’s the first deceitful thing they said. The second thing was about the HAMP program which was mandated by the federal government, if you in fact did mortgages you had to participate. The bases of [Mick Cornett’s] attack is based on pure deceit, which tells me about character.” – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn on KFAQ’s Pat Campbell Show
“Five Oklahoma banks applied for and received TARP investments in 2009. Four of the five banks have redeemed those equity positions, including interest. TARP money was not available to smaller non-banks, like Gateway Mortgage Company, nor was it available to Kevin Stitt personally. Any allegation to the contrary is false.” – Roger Beverage, CEO of Oklahoma Bankers Association in NewsOK on Aug. 20
Accusation: Kevin Stitt and Gateway were banned from doing business in Georgia.
Truth: Kevin Stitt and Gateway are NOT banned in any state. Kevin Stitt started Gateway in 2000, building it from the ground up. Today, the company operates in 41 states and continues to grow.
In the state of Georgia, a routine audit in 2008 found violations “by staff in the Georgia office” for issuing an “owner occupied” loan to a “non-owner” occupied residency. Kevin Stitt took immediate action to dismiss the employees involved, paid the $2,000 fee to the state, and agreed not to reapply for a license in the state of Georgia. As of June 2018, Gateway and Georgia have agreed that the company can reapply for license at any time.
Since the incident in Georgia, Gateway has grown and received licenses in 25 additional states and the District of Columbia, and remained licensed in 16 other states, due to the company’s solid reputation for transparency with state and federal regulators.
Kevin Stitt directly addressed allegations by career politicians in an article in the Tulsa World that can be read by clicking here. Kevin Stitt also only discusses it at his town hall meetings across the state, which the Oklahoman reported on and can be read by clicking here.
Accusation: Kevin Stitt and Gateway were “kicked out” of multiple states.
Truth: Kevin Stitt and Gateway can do business in all 50 states. Kevin Stitt and Gateway have not been “kicked out” of Illinois, Arkansas, or any other state as paid TVs coming out of Washington, D.C. have stated.
Gateway is a success story, and like any business, it has corrected mistakes and taken action against bad actors. What the attack ads fail to tell you is that Kevin Stitt requires routine internal reviews at Gateway to maintain efficiency and accountability of his 165 field offices’ operations and budgets. These field offices are the equivalent of small businesses across America, and the audits allow him to catch poor business performance in the early stages so that the company can take swift, corrective action. It is time we require this type of transparency, accountability, and efficiency in state government!
Accusation: An article in Forbes from 2010 claims Gateway Mortgage has one of the worst loan default rates nationwide.
TRUTH: Gateway’s loan default rate is significantly lower than their peers and the nationwide average. At the time of the Forbes article, Gateway had just begun originating FHA loans at a very low volume.
Eight of the 10 companies mentioned in the Forbes article went out of business. In total, 364 competitors to Gateway went out of business during the 2008 to 2010 mortgage crisis. Gateway, on the other hand, is a resounding success story. Under Kevin Stitt’s leadership, it emerged from an era where there were significant regulatory changes being made nationwide. The company rapidly adjusted its business model and grew into an award-winning company operating in 41 states with 1,200 employees.