Allegheny County in Pennsylvania will deploy help from collections to recoup criminal fines, fees and restitution payments from its residents by December 30, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. The county incurred approximately 59,000 unpaid debts prior to 2005 that were previously referred to collections agencies. Allegheny officials have not been proactive in finding debtors
, and will once again forward any outstanding fees to an agency after the deadline. The county also plans to collect on all criminal cases prior to 2008 in which a balance is owed and no regular payments are being made. According to the news source, the agency hired by the county intends to add a 25 percent commission to each successful collection. The news source notes in a separate article that Allegheny County itself has been in debt for years because it got into the habit of overestimating its revenues and underestimating spending. Because of this, the county overspent by $15.8 million in 2009 and $33 million in 2010. Over the past five years, county debt has reached $728.2 million.