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Driver beware. Current and former Illinois residents complain that land have resorted to circles, to bother setting a debt collection Agency about unpaid Parking and speeding tickets Dating as far back as the 1980s.
Under the practice, first reported by the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois counties fine collection to a private Agency in order to have farmed to reduce on costs and time.
But many of those contacted by the Agency, credit collection partners, challenge the information in the system is either wrong or outdated — some say that you have already paid for tickets and not just the revenue. Others simply describe the calls as over the top.
“I was left thinking, damn, the state of Illinois is so broke, … you have to track down people to pay the from the 80s, ticket,” Melanie Little, a former Illinois resident who now lives in Florida, told the Chicago Tribune. Little told the newspaper that she was contacted by the company to an unpaid Parking ticket from 1983, when she was 14 years old.
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Representatives for the Illinois Association of Court Clerks and Credit Collection partners to contest the claims of harassment, arguing that they are only doing their job and the people are still responsible for the payment of the fines, no matter how long ago they were issued.
“Just because it is 10 years old or 15 years old, does not mean you do not need to pay for it,” Becky Jansen, vice president of Credit collection partners, told Fox News. “We’re not going to write off old debts, just because people complain. We have been hired by these circles in order to collect the money, and we will do our best for the courts.”
Jansen, The courts added: “the time to gather money or resources, these fines.”
Credit Collection partners collecting debts for nearly half of the counties in Illinois.
Jansen’s assertion was echoed from the Kankakee County Circuit Court Clerk Sandi Cianci, who is the current President of the Illinois Association of office managers.
Cianci said that on top of the original fines, counties charge an additional 30 percent, but with the time, labor, and legal costs in tracking down the people to pay the fines, it was financially more practical for you to hire a third party to do the work.
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“The costs were just too much,” she told Fox News. “And if we get the money, it is dispersed to 50 or 60 different entities, so that sometimes we only get a quarter of any case.”
At least five lawsuits have been filed filed against the debt collection Agency with the Illinois attorney general’s office, together with a series of complaints on social media and with the Better Business Bureau. Annie Thompson, a spokeswoman for the attorney General’s office, said in an E-Mail to Fox News that the state “will continue in the company’s practices.”
Jansen protested that the allegations of aggressive tactics used to collect fines, not to say that credit collection partners use intimidation schemes for the collection of receivables and the company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
The complaints on the Better Business Bureau website, submit false information, in order to remove the error, the debt of the people credit reports.
“The debt has a cost for unpaid fines and court for Macon County, IL., a place I never been,” wrote a person can make a complaint to the BBB. “I’ve also never transport quotes get anywhere.”
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The unnamed person added: “I was advised to have my name removed from their list, and I asked again, how you came to contact me, if I was the person you’re looking for. My question was not answered. In the next few weeks, I got daily calls from this supposed business in my home phone… I am not the person you’re looking for, but I am harassed by these people.”
Janson told Fox News that in the incidents where the information was wrong, the company has fixed the Problem and no one’s credit score negatively affected by collection efforts.
While the practice of outsourcing the collection of unpaid fines is completely legal, experts say districts should exercise caution when we do so, and make sure there are proper control.
“To what extent are the districts with good oversight of debt collection companies?” Rebecca Hendrick, professor of public administration at the University of Illinois in Chicago, told the Tribune. “Even if it is wrong, perhaps someone would be afraid to pay enough.”