2/12/2013 8:44:00 PM Village teams with state to collect outstanding debt
Ann Gill Editor
The village of Coal City is signing on to the state's new Local Debt Recovery program, a no cost way of collecting past due fees and fines.
Administered by the state comptroller's office, the program allows the state to collect debts for municipalities through revenues and payments the state distributes, such as paychecks and income tax refunds.
"Entering into this program will allow Coal City to collect its debts in a low cost manner rather than requiring attorney filings within the court system or contracting with a specialized collection firm," said Village Administrator Matt Fritz.
The village will submit its list of debtors on a regular basis to the state. Once a debt has been recorded it will remain in the state's database for up to seven years.
If an individual owes multiple units of government, state and federal debts are paid first. Debts to local government units are then paid on a first in, first out basis.
Prior to the comptroller issuing a state payment -tax refund, payroll or retirement check, lottery winning-the debt plus a $15 administrative fee will be deducted.
Debtors are issued a notice of the garnishment and have 60 days to protest the deduction with the comptroller's office. If no protest is filed within that time, the payment is forwarded to the municipality.
Individuals who clear their debt with the village prior to state collection will be removed from the data base.
Village Attorney Parker Johnson noted that several municipalities are taking part in the program.
Fritz said due to the interest in the program he doesn't expect the village's debts to be entered into the system by the time this year's income tax checks are issued.
The state is set to issue payments to local governments on a weekly basis.