Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's office has obtained a temporary injunction and asset freeze against Orlando, Fla.-based collection agencies Vanderbilt & Associates LLC and Buchanan Capital Management LLC.

The companies are accused of calling consumers and claiming to be law enforcement officials, government agencies or county clerk's office employees, tactics used to scare or intimidate consumers into paying debts. According to Bondi, many of the practices targeted non-existent debt or accounts that already had been paid.

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation and the Orlando Police Department helped with the investigation, which began as a civil complaint against the companies. Several trucks loaded with evidence, along with more than $200,000, has been seized as part of the investigation.

The alleged practices are violations of the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act. The Office of the Statewide Prosecutor has agreed to prosecute the case.

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