Bryan Cohen Aug. 27, 2013, 7:03pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced on Monday that her office obtained a temporary injunction and asset freeze against two companies that allegedly defrauded Florida homeowners out of thousands of dollars.

The Cambridge Land Company LLC, The Hartford Land Trust Company LLC, Robert Vitale and other participants allegedly charged homeowners upfront fees in return for the restoration of equity in the homeowners' homes. The defendants allegedly failed to deliver and kept the upfront fees as part of the mortgage relief scam.

On Monday, the Broward County Circuit Court ordered the defendants to immediately cease operations. The order also froze the defendants' assets.

"We have stopped these companies from preying on Florida's distressed homeowners by stealing their money and making false promises regarding the future of their homes," Bondi said. "My office will continue to protect Florida homeowners from these scams."

The companies allegedly told homeowners they could restore the equity in properties by working with attorneys to make the mortgage unenforceable, enabling them to negotiate a new mortgage at current fair market value. The defendants allegedly advised homeowners to transfer ownership of their property into a company-run land trust. The companies allegedly claimed the land trust would protect the property from foreclosure, when that was not the case.

The injunction bars the defendants from advertising for or providing mortgage relief services to Florida homeowners.


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