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posted: 9/7/2012 11:43 AM

Calif. man close to settling mortgage fraud charge

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- A California businessman says he is close to resolving federal civil charges that he falsely promised to help at-risk homeowners lower their monthly payments.

Abraham Michael Pessar said that he is in talks to settle the case, the first of its kind brought by the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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The agency last month accused Pessar and Chance Gordon, another businessman, of misleading homeowners about their chances of negotiating lower payments. It said the two charged illegal fees and implied to clients that their business was endorsed by the government.

A lawyer for Gordon disputed the charges and said Pessar was responsible for the illegal contacts with borrowers.

The case is seen by attorneys and businesses as a bellwether of the new agency's approach to enforcing consumer laws.

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