Jul 25, 2013 Philip Burgess
In light of Detroit's recent bankruptcy, some cities may rightfully be concerned about their own fiscal viability. Santa Monica, Calif., is one city taking steps toward solvency by hiring debt collection agency NCO Financial. The Santa Monica Mirror recently reported that the city will pay the firm $200,000 during its two-year contract.
While Santa Monica previously employed an agency to collect unpaid parking citations and library fees, this is the first time that the city will use debt collectors to recover delinquent permit fees, police service expenses, fire inspections and additional funds owed. NCO is tasked with collecting from businesses and individuals alike.
"The Finance Department [require] the use of collection agency services to assist with the collection of these delinquent debts," city staff said to the source.
NCO will also collect a 22 to 30 percent fee from the revenue it gathers, with more problematic cases netting NCO a larger share of profit. The Santa Monica Mirror noted that agency's relationship with city is but one of the many it maintains throughout California.
"[NCO delivers] a high degree of customer service," said one city staff member to the news provider.
The Santa Monica Lookout recently highlighted that before hiring NCO, the city only had one employee dedicated to recovering delinquent fees not related to parking or the library. This staff member will continue to perform debt collection duties along with NCO Financial.