Facing a Debt Lawsuit? Here’s how to avoid going to court

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Courts in New Mexico are launching a statewide program in September that uses technology to help people resolve consumer debt lawsuits faster and avoid going to court.

“It’s called online dispute resolution (ODR),” said Barry Massey, public information officer for the New Mexico Courts Administration Office. “We believe it’s faster, cheaper and a more convenient alternative to traditional hearings or trials.”

The type of eligible lawsuits would include a hospital suing for unpaid medical bills or a bank seeking payment in court for credit card debt, he said.

Chief Justice Angie Schneider of New Mexico's 12th Judicial District sees benefits for all parties in the online dispute resolution process.

“There have been approximately 31,000 of these cases filed statewide over a 12-month period from April 2018 to April 2019, in district courts and lower courts,” he said. .

In New Mexico, a plaintiff, the person pursuing a case, files in district court if it is a civil case involving less than $ 10,000, and in district court, if it is This is more, he explained.

“It all depends on the amount of debt in these cases that someone is trying to collect,” he said.

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