Anthony Casa is the Founder and Chairman of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME). Anthony is also President of Garden State Home Loans, Inc., a mortgage broker based out of New Jersey that he founded in 2011 and has developed into one of the top mortgage brokerages in the country based on annual closed loan volume. Prior to founding Garden State Home Loans in 2011, Anthony served in various sales and sales leadership roles in the mortgage industry dating back to 2003.
In 2017, Anthony founded BRAWL, which stands for Brokers Rallying Against Whole-tail Lending. The BRAWL movement brought widespread awareness of unethical lending practices to the mortgage broker community and consumer advocacy groups, which resulted in major changes by lenders throughout the mortgage industry and enforcement action by some of the largest regulatory agencies. Over 10,000 mortgage brokers and independent mortgage professionals have joined in support of the BRAWL movement and to stop the whole-tail lending practices BRAWL is advocating against.
Anthony’s vision for AIME is that it is an organization that champions independent mortgage professionals in a biased and proactive manner. With that in mind, the association is operating with a growth-focused strategy, providing tools and resources to propel the wholesale channel beyond 20% share of the mortgage market by 2020. Anthony is focused on developing a national and state leadership group that is committed to developing a new pipeline of fresh talent coming into the mortgage industry as independent mortgage professionals.
Marc Summers is the President of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME). He is also President of Advantage Mortgage Company of Michigan, a mortgage broker located in Clarkston, Michigan, that has been a broker for 24 years and a staple in its community. Marc entered the broker world in 2001 with Advantage Mortgage as a Loan Officer and worked in various roles in the industry before he returned to Advantage Mortgage and took the reigns as President in 2015. Marc’s hope for AIME is that it gives every independent mortgage broker across the country the chance to finally have a real voice in the industry. He firmly believes that brokers are vital to the mortgage business and that this new association will finally unite independent brokers and mortgage professionals to be stronger than ever as a community, while still maintaining their independence. Marc is focused on cultivating relationships with and between brokers across the nation and providing them with the educational tools, resources and support of a dedicated community that will help gain more market share. Marc and his wife Amanda have three children. In his spare time, he is the Head Coach of the Boys Varsity Basketball team at a local high school.
John Councilman is the Senior Vice President of Legislative and Government Affairs of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME). John is one of the best-known and well-respected individuals in the mortgage industry. His accomplishments are legendary. He started one of the first true secondary-market mortgage brokerages in the state of Maryland in 1985. He was a founding member of that state association. He was successful in rewriting the state's mortgage law, passing loan originator licensing legislation, and authoring its appraisal management law. He was named its first Mortgage Broker of the Year.
On the national stage, much of what we enjoy today was the result of John's work. In the late 1990s, court after federal court was ruling that yield-spread premiums were pre-se illegal. Without some type of breakthrough, wholesalers and brokers would have been required to repay three times all of the premiums they had paid to brokers over the years plus possible criminal action. The legal fees alone on these class-action suits was crippling wholesale lenders. John was successful in getting Robert Ehrlich, a powerful congressman, to introduce the Yield-Spread Moratorium Act that put a hold on these suits until HUD could sort the issue out. After months of deadlock on the issue, John was able to convince the ranking Democrat on HUD/VA appropriations to instruct HUD to issue Statement of Policy 2000.1 that declared yield-spread premiums are not per-se illegal, ending the lawsuits.
John is known to many in the industry as Mr. FHA because of his knowledge and close ties to FHA. In the mid-2000s, FHA's market share had dropped to a mere 2%. Members of Congress were calling for its abolition. Then Commissioner Montgomery called in leaders of the various trade associations who proceeded to convince Congress that FHA was still needed. Had FHA disappeared, the 2008 financial crisis could easily have turned into another Great Depression. John was the co-developer of the Limited 203K program. A long-time goal was accomplished under Commissioner Stevens who agreed to remove the audited net worth requirement for brokers. In 2010, FHA published in the Federal Register that it was lowering the 6% seller contribution which would have been a devastating blow to first-time buyers. In 2012, FHA published Mortgagee Letter 12-03 that would have required borrowers to pay or start making payments on any collection over $1,000. Commissioner Galente listened intently to John's advice and did not reduce the seller contribution and rescinded ML 12-03.
When the National Mortgage Licensing System was developed, it was only to include mortgage brokers. John continually pressed to have all originators in the system but was told by CSBS that would never happen. When the financial crisis hit, John was put in touch Gail Laster, counsel to the House Financial Services Committee, who was drafting legislation called the S.A.F.E. Act. She presented what Barney Frank had in mind. It was a list of acts that would be a felony. John suggested that keeping offenders out of the business would be better than punishing them once they committed a crime. He suggested she look at Maryland's recent loan originator licensing statute he had helped to pass. She did, and the S.A.F.E. Act bears great similarity to the original Maryland law. Not one to pass up an opportunity, John was able to get licensing of lender MLOs in the statute and registration of bank MLOs, what had been called impossible.
Most recently, John's input was heard by the Appraisal Foundation where he sits on the Advisory Council. To eliminate the backlog of qualified appraisers, the Qualifications Board has rolled back the bachelor's degree requirement which will open the door to more who desire to become appraisers. Appraisers will still have to have requisite appraisal education and pass the stringent test.
He is a subject matter expert for the National Mortgage Licensing System and helps to develop and review the questions used in the exams. He is a prolific writer and accomplished public speaker.
When not involved in service to the industry, John still manages AMC Mortgage and is a licensed originator in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida.