SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Thursday, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas issued an advisory to New Mexicans warning about predatory debt collection practices from companies that use various tactics to prey on New Mexican consumers.
A news release identified such practices as attempting to collect debts that don’t exist, falsely reporting consumers to consumer credit agencies, and generally using threats or intimidation in an attempt to extract money from consumers. Balderas issued the advisory after having recently sued national debt collectors for these practices and after these same companies received millions of dollars in federal Paycheck Protection Program funds.
The AG’s office reminds New Mexicans that they should take precautions if anyone contacts them attempting to collect a debt.
- Only deal with a company you have personally interacted with. If a debt-collector says they represent that company, make them demonstrate proof that they are affiliated.
- Be on the lookout for any communication that is intimidating in nature, including threats to report you or aggressive behavior toward you.
- Be knowledgeable about the amounts you do owe and beware of anyone who tells you that you owe more than that amount.
- Debt-collectors are prohibited from contacting you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless you agree to it.
- They also can’t contact you at work if they’re told you’re not allowed to get calls there.
- If the debt they are trying to collect is old, ask for them to verify that it’s not outside the statutes of limitations.
- Don’t let them force you into paying on something you’re unsure of.
- Be vigilant and do not be afraid to ask questions and ask them to provide information.
Those who feel they have been the victim of predatory debt collection practices are asked to contact the Office of the Attorney General online or by calling 1-844-255-9210.