A day after news broke that Association of Independent Mortgage Experts Founder and CEO Anthony Casa sent degrading video messages about the wife of a Quicken Loans executive, member companies reacted in very different ways.
Theresa Niemiec, the wife of Quicken Executive Vice President Austin Niemiec, sued Casa for sharing videos via text alleging she had performed sexual favors for United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia in college. (Mrs. Niemiec was 11 years old during Ishbia’s senior year at Michigan State.)
The videos – and full background on the story – can be seen here. (Warning: Very crude and graphic language is included in the videos.)
Here is a recap of reactions Monday to Casa’s actions – ranging from members backing out to UWM expressing support for AIME to a company attempting to explain one of their executive’s role in the whole affair.
PRMG Stands By Exec Linked To Casa’s Lewd Comments
The founder and chief executive officer of Paramount Residential Mortgage Group condemned the “unprofessional, inappropriate and unacceptable behavior” by Casa. At the same time, however, PRMG CEO Paul Rozo stood by his company’s chief lending officer, Kevin Peranio, who recorded himself on video reacting to Casa’s video about Theresa Niemiec, the wife of Quicken Loans Executive Vice President Austin Niemiec.
“Mr. Peranio was in disbelief that Mr. Casa would make the public comment he did and made his own video comment as a response to display his shock,” PRMG said in a statement.
You can see Peranio’s reaction in this video, which he sent to Casa, according to the Niemiec lawsuit:
“As PRMG’s Founder and CEO and speaking on behalf of my partners and entire organization, I was disturbed by the contents of the complaint filed against Mr. Casa. None of this is acceptable behavior,” Rozo said. “The statements and videos made by Anthony Casa about the spouse of an industry executive are unprofessional, inappropriate, and unacceptable. PRMG and Kevin Peranio stand with the victim in this case, Mrs. Niemiec, as no woman should be subjected to such behavior in or out of the workplace. It is sad to see that this type of behavior continues in our industry and society.
“PRMG is committed to doing our part, both internally and externally, to help eliminate gender inequality and harassment. PRMG has and will continue to remain actively involved in diversity and inclusion focused organizations including PRMG’s very own Women’s Advisory Counsel, NAHREP, NAREB, NAMMBA, AREAA and support their efforts as we have always done.”
Rozo added, “PRMG as an organization will continue to monitor this set of circumstances and evaluate with careful consideration the most appropriate path forward.”
Niemiec Responds To Casa With A Video Of His Own
Austin Niemiec posted a video response to Casa, in which he provides background on the exchange between the two and calls Casa’s actions “disgusting.”
UWM Still Supports AIME
United Wholesale Mortgage – a major funder of AIME – told HousingWire that they will continue to support the organization and said “Anthony Casa is separate from AIME,” even though Casa founded and runs the organization.
“UWM stands behind AIME and the mortgage broker channel,” a spokesperson for United Wholesale Mortgage told HousingWire. “What AIME has done for the mortgage broker channel over the last two and a half years has provided independent mortgage brokers with a voice, a community, and advocacy beyond anything that has ever existed in the broker channel, even at its peak. As we have always said, anything that helps brokers grow and thrive, we will support.”
The spokesperson did condemn Casa’s actions, but said UWM and AIME will continue to grow their partnership.
“UWM does not support the disturbing comments made by Anthony Casa or condone this type of behavior,” they said. “Sending those messages was an extreme lapse in judgement as Anthony Casa stated in his public apology. Anthony Casa is separate from AIME. UWM and AIME will continue to be partners and we will continue to stay focused on giving independent mortgage brokers access to the tools, technology, and resources to help them be successful.”
Flagstar cuts ties with AIME
HousingWire reported that Flagstar Bank will no longer be associated with AIME.
“We want to respond to the recent statements highlighted in the news by the chairman of AIME,” a spokesperson for Flagstar told HousingWire. “While we strongly support the broker community and the vision and purpose of AIME, we do not in any way support the recent public words and behavior of its chairman.”
“As a company, Flagstar Bank is committed to treating its employees with respect and creating an environment that is free of the kind of harassment, abusive language and personal attacks made by the chairman of AIME. We expect no less of our business partners. That is why we are taking the step of suspending all relationships with the organization at this time. Again, this action does not reflect on AIME as an organization.”
On LinkedIn, business development specialist Nicole Hendrickson shared her thoughts on the dozens of supportive comments in response to Casa’s public apology Sunday.
Here is your daily reminder to #supportwomen
In a public apology yesterday, the chairman of a sizable company spoke about how he made a few lewd remarks about a rival VP’s wife, and how sorry he was. The support flooded in immediately, many praising him for his honesty and many more insulting the woman for her choice to seek legal action due to the defamation of her character.
One such comment to the chairman said “I’m so sorry you have to go through this situation. I truly hope you come out of this on top.”
It’s worth noting that the remarks this chairman made included “’Love to meet your wife. It’s amazing that that’s the girl who (crude sexual remark) in college. Way to marry up.” Several videos with similarly vile remarks were then publicly shared.
In the aftermath, the chairman has seen himself uplifted and supported by most everyone in his network. The affected woman, who again, was talked about in misogynistic and crude ways, was written off as judgmental and too easily offended.
Stories like these are especially common on LinkedIn, where the internalized misogyny of the working world is dragged into the light and sadly, normalized. So again, here is your reminder to #supportwomen.
You can see the responses to Casa’s video here.