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HousingWire Magazine: December 2021/ January 2022

AS WE ENTER A NEW YEAR, let’s look at some of the events that we can look forward to in 2022. But what about what’s next for the housing industry?

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Mortgage

Plaza suspends sponsorship of AIME over chairman’s “misogynistic behavior”

Cannot sponsor organization under current leadership structure

Plaza Home Mortgage announced it is suspending its sponsorship of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts over “harassment and misogynistic behavior” by Chairman Anthony Casa.

Over the July 4 holiday, Casa sent a video to Quicken Loans Vice President Austin Niemiec in which 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.

Now, Plaza is suspending its relationship with the association, saying that while it still supports AIME’s mission and its members, it cannot sponsor the organization under its current leadership.

“As a result of the indefensible behavior of AIME’s chairman, Plaza Home Mortgage has decided to suspend its sponsorship with AIME,” a company spokesperson told HousingWire. “This decision reflects our company’s core values; our respect for our associates, clients and the mortgage community and the need for greater civility in our society. Harassment and misogynistic behavior cannot and will not be tolerated by our company in any form.

“Although Plaza fully supports the mission of AIME and its members, we cannot sponsor the organization under its current leadership structure,” the spokesperson continued. “Plaza continues to be dedicated to the goals of empowering brokers and supporting them with the service and choices they deserve.”

Flagstar Bank and Caliber Home Loans both also announced this week that they are suspending their relationships with AIME due to Casa’s comments.

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