New Mexico judge orders FastBucks to pay $32M in restitution

(KRQE/File Photo) - twenty dollar bills - cash
(KRQE/File Photo) - twenty dollar bills - cash

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A New Mexico judge is ordering a short-term loan company that operates online and in five states to pay more than $32 million in restitution to customers for unfair and unconscionable business practices.

The state attorney general’s office on Wednesday announced Judge Francis Mathew’s judgment against FastBucks.

Attorney General Hector Balderas says the judgment represents a step toward ending predatory business practices. He also said it will take time to work through the legal process to get customers what they’re owed.

FastBucks did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

In a case filed years ago, prosecutors accused the company of fashioning loans to circumvent the passage in 2007 of legislative reforms aimed at regulating payday loans.

The company had unsuccessfully argued for the loans in question to be recast.

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