State Bar Recommends Disbarment of Attorney Who Preyed on Vulnerable Homeowners, 0117 CABJ, CBJ-January 2017 #03

 
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State Bar Recommends Disbarment of Attorney Who Preyed on Vulnerable Homeowners

No. 2017 #03

California Bar Journal

January, 2017

A lawyer who led a massive loan modification scam that preyed on thousands of struggling homeowners nationwide is facing disbarment by the State Bar of California.

Chance Edward Gordon (bar #198512), 45, currently of Tucson, Ariz., partnered with a non-lawyer to create an illegal loan modification operation based in California that ensnared about 2,300 clients across the country. The operation collected more than $11 million from homeowners before it was shut down by the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau in July 2012 amid numerous complaints that it failed to perform the promised services.

A State Bar Court judge recommended Gordon’s disbarment Nov. 22, which will go into effect if it is approved by the California Supreme Court. Gordon has been ineligible to practice law since November 2012, after the Office of Chief Trial Counsel prevailed on a request that he be enrolled inactive because he presented a substantial threat of harm to clients or the public.

State Bar Court Judge Yvette D. Roland found Gordon culpable of six counts of misconduct including entering into a partnership with a non-attorney, splitting fees with non-attorneys, false advertising, failing to comply with all laws and committing acts involving moral turpitude.

Between 2009 and 2012 Gordon and non-attorney Abraham Michael Pessar ran the operation from a Los Angeles office under various names – including the Gordon Law Firm, Gordon and Associates, National Legal Source and Resource Law Center – claiming to offer assistance with loan modifications and help prevent foreclosure.

The operation used aggressive marketing tactics, including mailers, internet advertising and cold calls to bring in business, and misled potential customers by suggesting it was associated with various government entities, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The operation’s salespeople would also promise substantial reductions in...

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