Teacher gets flood of illegal calls for non-existent debt

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Elisabeth Hernandez teaches elementary school kids in Santa Fe for a living.

The slew of faceless debt collectors who have bombarded Hernandez and her friends, neighbors and colleagues with threatening telephone calls for months on end? They break the law for a living.

And the debt they’re calling to collect on? Hernandez told News 13 it appears to be for a loan she never took out.

To amend the Consumer Credit Protection Act to prohibit abusive practices by debt collectors.

“They called my principal, they called the secretary, they called my counselor — our school counselor — they called the cafeteria,” Hernandez said.

Once, the debt collectors called every extension in the school.

And they did so illegally — in clear violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Here’s a snippet from a voicemail one debt collector left on the telephone of the principal at Hernandez’s school:

“I tried to take care of this matter in a more tactful manner where I would not have to enter into the school with a sheriff’s deputy, um, in front of the children. But I was informed by Mrs. Hernandez that she does not care; serve her wherever she is.”

KRQE News 13 contacted a half-dozen collectors who had been calling Hernandez to get to the bottom of the illegal harassment.

Each of them acknowledged knowing exactly who Hernandez was, but they all denied inundating her with calls.

 

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