The Murfreesboro, Tennessee, city council has approved a contract with debt collection
agency Professional Recovery Management, according to the Murfreesboro Post. The contract will allow the city to go after more than $3 million in unpaid fines and fees, mostly through the city's court system.
The rest of the fines were incurred as a result of unpaid water and sewer bills, as well as bad checks for permits and licenses, according to assistant city manager Jim Crumley. "We've set very specific guidelines of excess of $50 before you can be reported to a credit agency," Crumley told the news source. "They will try to contact the debtor one to three times." The idea to have the private firm report unpaid fees to agencies was unanimously approved by the city's seven council members, although at least one expressed some reservations about the collections tactics that will be used. "I know it's against the law to harass people, but I have a concern with how this firm is going to handle this," said Councilmember Madelyn Scales Harris, according to the newspaper. It will be important for the agency to uphold correct collection practices, especially as some debt collectors have recently been penalized for using illegal techniques such as contacting debtors' friends and family on Facebook, according to FOX Business.