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Fines run rampant in New Jersey, agency hired

Jan 08, 2012 Mike Garretson

Unpaid fines of more than $820,000 from 2,513 debtors in Paramus, New Jersey, have led officials to procure help from collections to recoup the debt, the Paramus Patch reports. The debt is a direct result of fines owed by people who pleaded guilty to offenses in court. Overall, the borough is owed more than $1 million, and the $820,000 represents the difference after the collection agency gets its cut. Because the city has had such difficulty finding debtors, it enacted a law that allowed the use of a private collections agency this year after exhausting all other efforts to recoup. The state has already rescinded the debtors' driver's licenses or suspended their vehicles - and, in extreme cases, even issued warrants for their arrests. Elsewhere in the state, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority recently announced its intentions to double the fines for unpaid tolls from $25 to $50, CBS New York reports. More extreme actions - such as suspending registrations, impounding vehicles or filing lawsuits - are also planned against debtors who continue to avoid the fines.