Fla. AG announces injunction against debt firms

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced a temporary injunction and asset freeze Friday against two debt collection companies and their owner for allegedly engaging in illegal debt collection schemes. Vanderbilt & Associates LLC, Buchanan Capital Management LLC and Merrill Miller, the companies' owner, allegedly called consumers claiming to be process servers, government agents, law enforcement officials or county clerk's office employees to scare or intimidate consumers into paying debts. In many instances, the alleged practices were meant to target debts that had already been paid, were nonexistent or for which the company did not have a legal right to collect. The allegations are in violation of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act and the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. "We will do everything within our power to protect Floridians from unlawful debt collection practices that often employ scare tactics to manipulate individuals," Bondi said. "My office will continue to partner with the Office of Financial Regulation and the Orlando Police Department to enforce Florida's tough consumer protection laws." The temporary injunction bars the companies and their owners from engaging in unlawful debt collection schemes, using any deceptive or unfair practices in the collection of consumers bets and from future violations of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act and the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

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