The Pekin City Council on Monday will consider an intergovernmental agreement with the Illinois Comptroller’s Office to access its Local Debt Recovery Program to collect overdue money for fines owed to the city.
The comptroller’s program collects past due debts to local governments from income tax refunds, lottery winnings and other money that may flow through the office to the person owing the debt. The comptroller’s office will charge a $20 per transaction fee on top of the past due amount to the city, according to the agreement.
“This is just another tool we are using to locate and collect,” said Pekin Police Chief John Dossey. “We are getting more efficient and more effective about how to locate and collect.”
Dossey said the police department also has an agreement with Municipal Collections of America. That company also charges the debtor for the collection — there is no cost to the city.
Included in the program will be any police department related debt owed to the city that is not more than seven years old. Debts cannot be included that resulted in the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of the debtor so long as that warrant is active. Also not included are debts related to liens on personal property or any other interest of the debtor, according to the agreement.
The Illinois Local Debt Recovery Act was passed in 2012. It allows the comptroller to enter agreements with municipalities, school districts, and public universities to collect delinquent debts such as outstanding fines or fees, property code violations parking tickets and other local obligations, according to the comptroller’s website.
The police department will notify the comptroller’s office of the delinquent debt. Once the state collects the money, it is placed into a debt recovery trust fund until the debtor has had the opportunity to contest the collection. The debtor has 60 days to contest. If the debtor does not contest or a hearing officer rules against the debtor, the comptroller pays the money to the city, according to the comptroller’s website.
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