To the editor:
I have read with great interest the editorial on the Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds headlined "Changes to CPA rules should help restore funds as promised" (the Times, Monday, April 30).
The dramatic reduction in Massachusetts state matching funds for the Community Preservation Act is in great part due to unpaid fees on real estate transfers and assignments.
Our Southern District registrar of deeds, John O'Brien, has been the national leader in exposing this fraud in Essex County. He said last year that $22 million are missing from the Salem Deed Registry because the "too big to fail" Wall Street Banks — Bank of America, Chase JPMorgan, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, et. al. — have avoided payment of assignment fees of $75 per transaction, part of which is the $20 which would have gone directly to the Community Preservation Act Trust Fund.
This trust represents the state matching funds for the individual Massachusetts cities and towns. Right now, Southern Essex County's portion of CPA money is estimated to be missing more than $3 million because the banks have never paid these fees.
If you multiply what O'Brien has said is lost in Essex County alone by the state's other 20 deed registries, you come up with a possible $60 million belonging to the CPA Trust Fund for cities and towns which belongs to us.
Our attorney general, Martha Coakley, should be going after this money, now! There is no doubt that O'Brien is right and that the Deed Registries and the CPA are due these funds.
Babcock Road, Rockport