ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — Free legal advice is just a phone call away. Thanks to a new and free helpline, the state is looking to expand access to legal services.
The “Modest Means Helpline” (505-797-6013 or 888-856-9935) offers legal advice and referrals for people who may not otherwise be able to afford legal advice. Previously, the state has offered resources for low-income New Mexicans. This new helpline is for those making 200% to 500% of the Federal Poverty Level.
That means individuals making up to around $67,000 per year may be able to utilize the helpline. The program is set to help families who are otherwise ineligible for low-income legal services.
“This Helpline provides a convenient way for many New Mexicans to access legal services when they are unable to afford an attorney,” New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon said in a press release. “Help is literally a phone call away for an array of civil legal issues, whether it involves a kinship guardianship for grandparents needing to raise grandchildren or someone facing foreclosure or debt collection.”
The phone line is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. During that time, staff attorneys will be available to answer questions. And for those who need more help than just a simple answer, staff can refer callers to private attorneys who provide free services.
While the new hotline is intended to help fill a gap in existing services, it’s not designed to take all calls. Those who are 55 or older, for example, should instead call the State Bar Foundation’s Legal Resources for the Elderly Program (505-707-6005 or 800-876-6657), regardless of income.
A list of additional legal resources is available online. Click here to access that list.