Anthony Casa is stepping back from leadership of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) after receiving widespread condemnation for lewd remarks he made about a competitor’s wife.

On Monday is was revealed that Casa is being sued for defamation for making crude, sexually explicit remarks about Theresa Niemiec, the wife of Quicken Loans executive vice president Austin Niemiec. As of Tuesday, Flagstar Bank and Caliber Home Loans, both sponsors of AIME, had withdrawn their support. Other lenders, including Paramount Residential Mortgage Group (PRMG) and United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) have continued to stand by AIME but have issued statements condemning Casa’s remarks.

On Thursday, Casa released a statement announcing that he would take a “leave of absence” from AIME. The full statement follows:

The last few days since my initial statement, I’ve found myself faced with many tough conversations that I deserve to have to face. I have spent time surrounding myself with industry leaders and some of the strongest women I know, and I understand I’ve crushed the trust that you’ve all had in me. I’m truly sorry. There is no defending or excusing what I did.

My sincere apologies go out to Theresa Niemiec and her family. As well as the entire broker community and the AIME team who have been impacted by my inexcusable behavior. In the moment, I did not think about how my poor judgement would cast a negative light on so many. I am sorry for how my actions have impacted you and I want you to know that my actions moving forward are focused on how I can grow to be a better leader, mentor, father and friend. 

Effective immediately, I will be taking a leave of absence from AIME. The AIME team will be led by our President, Marc Summers and EVP of Strategy, Katie Sweeney. AIME’s mission and focus will not change. Marc and Katie will proudly, respectfully, and with unwavering focus provide support to independent mortgage brokers and the mortgage broker channel.

“The work of AIME on behalf of the broker community will not lose momentum or focus,” the AIME leadership team said in a separate statement. “Our members, the mortgage broker community, are the foundation of this association and we will continue to build on the progress and strides we have made together as a team.

“AIME is focused on supporting and serving our 40,000 members, the growth of the channel and opening the dialogue to have candid conversations about how we can continue to grow together.”