Thursday, April 29, 2010

McHenry County Cracks Down On Judicial Deadbeats

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.

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