ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Washington’s top official on protecting consumers is putting the focus on cracking down on so-called “junk fees” in New Mexico. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra held a private roundtable Thursday with a handful of Albuquerque groups aimed at helping low-income families. Medical debt was one of the big focuses.

The CFPB said around 18% of New Mexicans have some level of debt averaging around $2,700 per person. Often time, regulators find families qualify for debt forgiveness but they’re stuck paying anyway. “We heard from the people who, locally, joined us today, is people across New Mexico and really across the country are getting pummeled with collection actions, including lawsuits and wage garnishments,” said Chopra.

He said the feds are working to collect local stories to take broader action against debt collection.