Anthony Casa, the embattled chairman of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts, is taking a leave of absence from his role. It comes in the wake of lewd and sexist videos he sent about a mortgage executive's wife; actions which he now calls “inexcusable.”
In his announcement
, Casa apologizes to Theresa Niemiec and her family. She is the wife of Austin Niemic, executive vice president of Quicken Loans.
No mention is made of how long Casa’s leave will be. His decision comes after Plaza Home Mortgage, Flagstar Bank and Caliber Home Loans each announced that they are suspending their relationships with AIME due to Casa’s comments, according to HousingWire
The California Association of Mortgage Professionals issued a statement
saying more needs to be done besides talks and leaves of absence. "This quote best reflects our position 'We’re not accepting verbal apologies this year, just changed behavior.'" The group added, "We challenge the mortgage industry to not just say they are outraged but to take steps to ensure that everyone in the profession is held to a higher standard and that bullies are removed from positions of power and leadership."
Austin Niemic videos, which contain crude and misogynistic language, claiming Theresa Niemic performed sexual acts on Mat Ishbia, United Wholesale Mortgage president and CEO, while in college. Theresa Niemic and Ishbia did not attend college together and she is significantly younger than him.
Theresa Niemic sued Casa because he would not take the videos down after receiving a request from her attorneys. Casa instead sent mocking texts to Austin Niemic loaded with sexually suggestive emojis.
Casa's first response to the issue came about a week after the cease-and-desist demand when it became known a story was being published about the videos. In an eight-minute message on his Facebook page, which appears to have been taken down. Casa called his videos and texts, “an error in judgment” and “a big mistake.” He described himself as “too vested” in the broker movement and said it has to do with “being from New Jersey” as well as being vocal and competitive.
Casa said Austin Niemic initiated the hostile exchange with a text message of the couple celebrating “a record month or record quarter” at Quicken. Austin Niemic issued his own response
denying he initiated the conversation and said instead it was Casa who commenced it.
AIME said in its statement the association will be managed in Casa’s absence by president Marc Summers and Katie Sweeney, executive vice president of strategy.