Some Credit, Please, To Massachusetts Investigators

Your article on activist Bruce Marks seriously distorts the efforts that were necessary to achieve the more than $50 million in settlements for victims of lending abuses in Massachusetts ("I want to be the banks' worst nightmare," Finance, Feb. 1).

The five bank settlements you list in a table in your article as "Marks hits his targets" (implying that each was accomplished by his activism) were actually the byproduct of 15 months of work by more than 30 lawyers and investigators in the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General.

Bruce Marks is not a signatory to a single agreement you list as his accomplishments. And your article failedto make even a single mention of these extensive law-enforcement activities.Community activism by Marks and others plays an important role in our urban community. Your article erroneously suggests, however, that activism by Marks was the driving force in remedying the mortgage scams in Massachusetts. In fact, aggressive, professional law enforcement was the key ingredient. Victims of scams in other urban areas and their representatives should not be fooled by your article into thinking otherwise. Rather, they should contact their local law-enforcement officials for help in seeking the justice they so richly deserve.

Scott Harshbarger

Attorney General

Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Editor's note: Although Marks is one of the activists who helped bring the issue of unfair lending to public attention, the table with the story should not have attributed settlement of the specific cases to Marks.

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