Deval Patrick, who is vowing to fight for the underdog as he begins his run for the Democratic nomination for governor, last fall joined the board of directors of a large national mortgage company that has been criticized by state regulators and advocates for the poor for what they say are unfair lending practices aimed at low-income people and members of minority groups.
The company, Ameriquest Capital Corp. of Orange County, Calif., acknowledged last month that authorities in 25 states were questioning the company about lending practices by its subsidiary, Ameriquest Mortgage. Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly's office said Massachusetts is one of those 25 states.
In a statement to the Globe, Patrick said he joined the company's board to help Ameriquest deal with the allegations of predatory lending and to put in place policies that will protect low-income consumers.
[...]"These are serious charges that I believe the company is taking seriously," Patrick said. "In fact, the company is using the situation as an opportunity to raise the bar for the entire industry."
"The measure of a good company is not whether it always gets it right, but how it responds when things go wrong," Patrick said. "I see my role in every company I have been associated with as trying to make it better. Sometimes problem solvers, if they're serious, get their hands dirty. That is exactly the kind of leadership we need in Massachusetts today."