Between $13,000 to $14,000 is expected to be collected by the city of Aberdeen, Ohio, from residents with unpaid court fines, the Ledger Independent reports.
The Aberdeen Police Department (APD) has threatened to sign with an outside debt collection
service to provoke debtors to pay up. The service will primarily target those who have left the area, and take them to civil court in their current state of residence. "I am urging them to call us to avoid the penalties ... if they call before April 15, they can also negotiate a payment plan," said APD chief Clark Gast, as quoted by the news source. "To avoid paying the additional 30 percent, they need to contact us." Gast is referring to the cost of collection that gets tacked on if a person's debt is sent to an agency. The process would also result in a $150 bench warrant penalty. To further drive the point home, Aberdeen is placing warrant blocks on debtors' driver's licenses, which prevents them from renewing or buying tags for their vehicles. The Vindicator reports that the same debt collection service was recently hired by the Ohio city of Niles. The city's municipal court hopes to recover more than $250,000 in delinquent fines dating back to the 1990s.