Probe of law firm can continue

Judge rules Coakley can investigate office in home foreclosures

State Attorney General Martha Coakley (NOT PAM BONDI) can continue her investigation into the practices of a Newton law firm that specializes in home foreclosures, a Suffolk Superior Court justice has ruled.

Justice Bonnie H. MacLeod denied a motion by Harmon Law Offices to set aside or alter a request for documents in the state’s investigation into allegations of “unfair and deceptive acts’’ related to the firm’s foreclosure and eviction work.

Coakley said the decision confirms her authority to investigate law firms of wrongdoing. “We are investigating this case to ensure that tenants were not unlawfully evicted and that Harmon followed proper procedures before foreclosing on certain homeowners,’’ she said.

 Mark P. Harmon, president of the firm, said he is still reviewing the opinion before determining what action to take.

Coakley’s office began looking at Harmon Law last year in an effort to determine whether it failed to comply with a new Massachusetts law that protects tenants living in foreclosed homes from being evicted. The state also is investigating whether Harmon Law disregarded a court order requiring it to notify the state before initiating foreclosures on homeowners with mortgages that originated with Fremont Investment & Loan, a California firm Coakley sued for predatory lending practices.

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