DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - An Iowa judge issued an injunction on Tuesday against Record Transfer Services, requiring the California firm to immediately cease operations in the state after state Attorney General Tom Miller filed a suit alleging consumer fraud.
Owned by Neil Camenker of Camarillo, Calif., the company allegedly sent documents that looked like they came from the U.S. government to Iowa homeowners offering to retrieve copies of property records for $83, which is far above the price the homeowners would pay if they obtained the documents themselves at their local county government offices. The documents are also rarely needed by homeowners, Miller claimed.
Camenker also allegedly violated an agreement he signed with the Iowa Consumer Protection Division in 2011. The agreement prohibited Camenker and his companies from similar solicitation of Iowa residents for government records. At the time, Camenker, along with his company State Record Retrieval Board, allegedly were charging Iowa homeowners to retrieve copies of their deed of trusts. As part of the 2011 agreement, any further violations would constitute consumer fraud and result in such consequences as civil penalties.
“The company name has changed since we last dealt with this issue, but it’s the same owner, the same types of documents and the same tactics,” Miller said. “This is a government sound-alike company trying to dupe Iowans into wasting $87 for what they can otherwise get for free or for just a few dollars.”