In every major city, millions of dollars in parking tickets and ambulatory services go unpaid every year. Consumers may come up with a number of excuses such as, "the ticket wasn't on my window," "the rain washed it away," and even if they're not lying, they still have to pay.
When these unpaid tickets and services pile up, a city can acquire the services of a debt collector to professionally handle thousands of debtors. Rahm Emanuel, a former congressman, mayor and White House chief of staff, is acting as a debt collector for the city of Chicago. Chicago is facing a $635 million deficit, and it is owed nearly $750 million for unpaid parking tickets, water bills and ambulatory services, according to the news source. With Emmanuel's help, the city was able to recover $1 million from local government employees in December and November. Local officials are viewing Emanuel's implementation as a methodical, long-term patch-up. "[Hiring Emanuel] wasn’t a one-time budget fix. This was a new approach to collecting debt," said deputy comptroller for the Department of Finance and Revenue Holly Stutz to Governing. While most companies can't be as lucky to hire a former White House official onto their staff, the services of debt collectors can help a balance sheet turn from red to green. If Chicago ends up obtaining their owed debt, it will have a surplus $110 million, instead of a deficit of $635 million.