THE SCAM: Two California businessmen, Abraham Michael Pessar and Chance Gordon, are accused by the government's consumer protection watchdog of falsely promising to help people lower their monthly mortgage payments.
THE PLAN: Pessar says he is talking to officials from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about settling the charges. Gordon contests them and blames Pessar for some of the violations the government alleged.
WHO CARES?: The case is one of only two public enforcement actions by the new agency. Companies, lawyers and advocates are dissecting it for hints about how tough the new regulator will be and what practices it will target.