McHenry County isn't steaming the stamps off return envelopes yet but this year's budget is tight so officials were pleased Wednesday that a plan to go after unpaid court judgements and costs has netted about $145,000 so far this year.
Assistant State's Attorney Tom Carroll said SA Lou Bianchi and Circuit Clerk Kathy Keefe hired a collection agency to go after circuit court deadbeats when they found "delinquent defendants" had piled up $4 million in fees and fines during the last seven years.
Carroll said besides the $145,000 recovered another $50,000 has been taken off the books. The collection agency found some deadbeats were just dead.
Carroll said the money collected so far is a dollar for dollar recovery. Unlike commercial collections which are usually sold at a discount to their face value, the County retained ownership of the court debt and the collection agency makes its profit from a fee on top to collect it.
A little quick math shows there's still about $3.75 million outstanding, however. "We're still working on it," said Carroll.