Mortgage

Lenders say Anthony Casa’s leave of absence from AIME is not enough

Will not return financial support

Lenders that pulled financial support from the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts say they will not return their support as long as Anthony Casa is associated with the trade organization.

After making and circulating lewd and sexist videos about Quicken Loans Vice President Austin Niemiec’s wife, Anthony Casa faced backlash from the mortgage industry.

Plaza Home MortgageFlagstar Bank and Caliber Home Loans each announced that they were suspending their relationships with AIME due to Casa’s comments.

In response, Casa said he regretted his actions and would be stepping back as the head of AIME.

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 told HousingWire Thursday. “Marc and Katie will proudly, respectfully and with unwavering focus provide support to independent mortgage brokers and the mortgage broker channel.”

But for the lenders that severed ties with AIME, Casa taking a leave of absence is not enough.

“We will continue to withhold all support from AIME as long as Anthony Casa remains associated with the group,” a Caliber spokesperson told HousingWire.

Previously, Caliber expressed that what Casa said in the videos is against everything the company stands for.

“Caliber is committed to the equal and fair treatment of all individuals,” a Caliber spokesperson previously told HousingWire. “We strive to ensure a safe, professional and respectful environment for our customers and our employees, and expect the same from each Caliber business partner who helps families to achieve their dreams. We do not tolerate harassment of any kind in our company or the workplaces of those companies that engage in business with Caliber.”

The company explained that it has always been supportive of the broker community, but it can’t support these actions.

Plaza Home Mortgage agreed that as long as Casa remains formally employed by AIME, it will not support the association.

“As long as he [Casa] is formally employed by the organization, Plaza’s sponsorship will continue to be suspended,” a company spokesperson told HousingWire. “However, as we have already indicated, Plaza continues to support AIME, its mission and its members.”

Plaza said it is open to returning as a sponsor in the future, but not under the current leadership structure.

“Plaza will continue to monitor the situation and is open to reconsidering sponsorship of AIME in the future; however, our sponsorship will depend on leadership structure, as we have indicated before,” the spokesperson continued.

Flagstar did not say if it plans to immediately support AIME in light of Casa’s leave of absence, but said it is open to evaluating its relationship.

“With the news of Mr. Casa’s leave of absence from AIME, we are evaluating our future relationship with the organization,” a Flagstar spokesperson told HousingWire. “Our focus for now is to continue to build relationships and support the broker community as we have for the last 30 years.”

Casa’s decision to take a leave of absence comes after he sent a video to Niemic over the July 4 holiday. In the video, Casa 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.

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