Credit company collecting red light camera fines under fire

Posted at: 04/18/2013 6:25 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A credit collection agency is working to collect debts on unpaid fines from the Albuquerque Red Light Camera program, but there are questions about how the agency is representing itself.

Redflex owned and operated the cameras, but once the program ended, Redflex contracted with Creditwatch Services to collected unpaid debts.

Creditwatch Services issued a press release Thursday stating the company is working on behalf of the City of Albuquerque to recoup the fines. Additionally, the release states that the City Charter mandates collection of unpaid civil debt. 

"No, that's wrong,” said Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis. “They work for Redflex and they are not working on behalf of the City of Albuquerque and that should be made very clear."

Lewis said the collection company is being less than honest with the public about who it is really working for.

"The City of Albuquerque gave the exclusive right to be able to collect on past due bills to Redflex,” said Lewis. “This is entirely up to Redflex and Creditwatch."

KOB Eyewitness News 4 took Lewis’s concerns back to Creditwatch Services. By phone, a spokesperson for the company pointed to a contract that allows the city to take a percentage of the collected fine as it’s basis for its statements.

Once KOB 4 began questioning how Creditwatch Services represents itself, an attorney working for the City of Albuquerque contacted the collection company demanding it change some of the language on its media release.