Thursday evening, Association of Independent Mortgage Experts Chairman Anthony Casa announced he will be stepping back as the head of the association following backlash from lewd and sexist videos he sent out.
In a statement to HousingWire, Casa said he regretted the impact his inexcusable behavior had on the broker community. As a result, he announced he will be taking a leave of absence from AIME.
“The last few days since my initial statement, I’ve found myself faced with many tough conversations that I deserve to have to face,” Casa told HousingWire. “I have spent time surrounding myself with industry leaders and some of the strongest women I know, and I understand I’ve crushed the trust that you’ve all had in me. I’m truly sorry. There is no defending or excusing what I did.”
“My sincere apologies go out to Theresa Niemiec and her family,” he continued. “As well as the entire broker community and the AIME team who have been impacted by my inexcusable behavior. In the moment, I did not think about how my poor judgement would cast a negative light on so many. I am sorry for how my actions have impacted you and I want you to know that my actions moving forward are focused on how I can grow to be a better leader, mentor, father and friend.”
“Effective immediately, I will be taking a leave of absence from AIME,” Casa said.
The AIME team will now be led by AIME President Marc Summers and Executive Vice President of Strategy Katie Sweeney.
“AIME’s mission and focus will not change,” Casa said. “Marc and Katie will proudly, respectfully and with unwavering focus provide support to independent mortgage brokers and the mortgage broker channel.”
Casa’s statement that he will be taking a leave of absence suggests that the decision to step back may not be permanent, and leaves the door open for a possible reemergence as head of AIME at a future time.
Over the July 4 holiday, Casa sent a video to Quicken Loans Vice President Austin Niemic, where he made comments of a sexual nature about Niemiec’s wife. These videos were then circulated by Casa to prominent mortgage industry executives, including Paramount Residential Mortgage Group Chief Lending Officer Kevin Peranio and Mount Diablo Lending Broker/Owner Ramon Walker. Niemiec’s wife, Theresa Niemiec, filed a lawsuit against Casa for defamation. Click here to see the lawsuit complaint in full.
The National Association of Mortgage Brokers also came out with a statement against Casa’s remarks, using the hashtag #brokersarebetterthanthis in their communications.
“The work of AIME on the behalf of the broker community will not lose momentum or focus,” Summers and Sweeney said in a joint statement. “Our members, the mortgage broker community, are the foundation of this association and we will continue to build on the progress and strides we have made together as a team. AIME is focused on supporting and serving our 40,000 members, the growth of the channel and opening the dialogue to have candid conversations about how we can continue to grow together.”