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The Bar Mitzvah Brawl: Quick Dan vs. The Rock

March 31, 2009


The Setting: Birmingham’s Townsend Hall

The Occasion: Some Kid’s Bar Mitzvah on March 21st

The Crowd: 300 people in attendance

The Main Event: Dan Gilbert vs. David Hall


Remember those annoying TV and radio commercials interrupting every Detroit Pistons game and on just about every other channel on TV? David Hall, former Vice President of Rock Financial, a division of Quicken Loans, would come on and discuss the latest unbelievable adjustable mortgage loan, 50 year “smart loan,” 10/30/50 balloon-fixed loan, or some other mishigoss. I listened, wondering should I refinance again and get that 0 % down loan that would allow me to buy a car or new basement or big screen TV?

            I didn’t fall for it but thousands of others did. I used to believe in the power of Rock and believed that David Hall was Rock Financial’s CEO. I didn’t know he was just a partner, vice president, and pitchman who had joined Quicken/Rock in 1985 and rose to become the head spokesperson for the organization, creating a slew of advertisements in both radio and print media. He was responsible for training thousands of bankers over his years at the organization and as a Senior Vice President, had been in a position to benefit greatly from the types of fraudulent loan activities that eventually brought down the subprime mortgage market and eventually the entire United States housing market.

The real rock, of course, behind The Rock was Dan Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans, which owns Rock Financial. Dan fired Hall in December, 2007, supposedly for mortgage fraud. Gilbert’s lawyer, Jeffrey Morganroth, said that Hall was fired for “gross misconduct and breach of fiduciary duty.”

When the two tiny titans met again at the bar mitzvah, you could cut the tension in the air with a circumcision Gomco clamp.

According to Morganroth, representing Quick Dan, The Rock (Hall) attacked first, ready to go public with the Bar Mitzvah brawl if Gilbert didn’t buy out some investments that Hall has in some of Gilbert’s companies. But according to Birmingham Police Chief Richard Patterson, Hall came to the police and filed an assault complaint against Gilbert. Hall’s lawyer, Todd Flood, said, “David Hall did what was appropriate. He’s the victim of a crime and he took the matter to the police.”

No, the rumors aren’t right. Quick Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, didn’t summon Lebron James to his side to pulverize The Rock and Hall didn’t bring his old buddy, Ben Wallace, to attack Quick Dan.

As far as anyone saw, this was a minor skirmish between two business associates who made a lot of money in the good old days of mortgage mischief and who are now singing the blues.

I can only imagine Hall in a new Pistons commercial singing his heart out to Quick Dan Gilbert with Madonna at his side:


“Don’t cry for me, Danny Gilbert.

The truth is I never left you
All through my wild days
My mad existence
I kept my promise
Don’t keep your distance

And as for fortune, and as for fame
I never invited them in
Though it seemed to the world they were all I desired

They are illusions
They are not the solutions they promised to be
The answer was here all the time
I hate you and know you hate me

But don’t cry for me, Danny Gilbert.”

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