Our Customers Are Not `Potential Deadbeats'

In "Nothing sub-prime about these profits" (Finance, Sept. 4), your characterization of our customers as "potential deadbeats" is both callous and offensive. Among our borrowers are laid-off workers, retirees, divorced mothers, and entrepreneurs--the majority of whom are trying in earnest to improve their financial situation. We make money at what we do because we do it well, but that hardly constitutes "a step above loan sharking"--now or ever.

The juxtaposition of my "balance sheet" with that of our customers' only propagates damaging misconceptions about our business, as does the insinuation that Aames wants people to abuse the credit system. Lucky for us, we have worked hard for 42 years to build credibility and overcome the careless arrows slung at our profession.

Gary K. Judis

Chairman and CEO

Aames Financial Corp.

Los Angeles