"We buy a very few loans unrelated to the manufactured home business, and Quicken is the one we buy them from," Buffett told Reuters.
Quicken has been selling loans to Vanderbilt for nearly a year in a test program, spokesman Jordan Fylonenko said in an email. The partnership has led to about $20 million in closed loans so far, and Quicken is issuing new loans at a rate that would generate $50 million per year, he said.
Fylonenko declined to discuss the rationale for its program with Vanderbilt.
The purchases account for a small portion of either company's business. Quicken, for instance, generated $78.5 billion of mortgages altogether last year. Still, the arrangement shows that Buffett and Gilbert are looking for creative ways to work together.
Prior to this deal and the Yahoo bid, their only known business relationship was one in which Berkshire provided Quicken insurance for a NCAA basketball contest the lender sponsored in 2014.
Quicken had said it would award $1 billion to anyone who could perfectly guess winning teams throughout the season. The odds of success were minuscule — and no one won — but Quicken received a slew of email addresses and phone numbers for potential customers who entered the contest. It paid Berkshire a premium for providing the insurance.