Anthony Casa, founder of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts, will "leave" the group, according to a statement he has distributed through AIME.
Casa was sued by a professional rival, Austin Niemiec, executive vice president at Quicken Loans, for defamation. Niemiec's wife Theresa Niemiec's complaint states that Casa has made lewd comments about her in a group text exchange.
Kevin Peranio, chief lending officer at Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, and Ramon Walker, broker owner of Mount Diablo Lending, are not involved in the lawsuit, but are said to be involved in the text. PRMG released a statement condemning the comments on Peranio's behalf. Walker could not be reached for comment on the reporting date.
The lawsuit accuses Casa of further antagonism through suggestive emoji text after Niemiec's lawyer sent a letter requesting that his statements be withdrawn. Casa later apologized for the comments in a video posted on LinkedIn.
He made the following statement regarding his decision to withdraw from AIME.
"I sincerely apologize to Theresa Niemiec and her family, as well as to the entire brokerage community and the AIME team, who have been affected by my inexcusable behavior. At the moment I have not been thinking about how my poor judgment would negatively affect light on this lots. "
Casa founded AIME in 2018 and was known to be critical of wholesale lenders who create customer competition for brokers, as Quicken does by offering multiple credit channels. Austin Niemiec works at Quicken in the wholesale loan business.
The Niemiec lawsuit points out that Casa has created a defunct website and Facebook group called Brokers Rallying Against Whole-Tail Lending, the Whole-Tail as "lenders pretending to be wholesale lenders, but brokers that Stealing business by keeping credit and using it for other purposes "for their retail department. "
AIME President Marc Summers and Sweeney made a joint statement regarding the departure of Casa from the mortgage broker organization:
"AIME's work on behalf of the brokerage community will not lose momentum or focus. Our members, the mortgage brokerage community, form the foundation of this association and we will continue to build on the progress and steps that we share as a team.
"AIME is focused on supporting and serving our 40,000 members, promoting the growth of the channel, and engaging in dialogue to have open discussions about how we can grow together."
In a separate Facebook post, Sweeney added, "The industry and its current leaders are doing some hard work to ensure that women are treated with the same respect as our male colleagues."