News & Resources

New Jersey town considers debt collector for court fees

Nov 29, 2011 Mike Garretson

Outstanding court fees may force the city of Demarest, New Jersey, to seek help from a collections agency to recoup money owed, the Northern Valley Suburbanite reports. In all, the city is owed approximately $16,000. In order to expedite the process, municipal court judge Brian K. Bernstein informed elected officials last month about a law that allows municipalities to hire a debt collection agency to recoup unpaid funds after they have failed to do so on their own. The only cost to the town would be incurred during the request for proposal. "I don't think the town loses anything and we collect money," said councilman Steve Verp at a council meeting earlier this month, as quoted by the news source. "It's in our benefit, and I think we should do it." Under the law, the borough is also allowed to charge a premium of up to 22 percent for all monies collected, although Bernstein stated in his letter that he's unsure if Demarest will request the full amount. According to the Quad City Times, court debt is typically deemed delinquent if it's not paid within 30 days, and can range from fines and penalties to forfeited bail, restitution or attorney/public defender fees.