NYC is considering Texas bounty hunter to pursue scofflaws
The NYC Department of Finance is ratcheting up its efforts to track down and collect overdue parking fines and penalties from parsimonious miscreants (otherwise know as scofflaws) who don’t pay their parking tickets.
“Gila LLC, a Texas collection service, promises local governments ‘higher recovery rates than our competitors.’ Its pitch materials to other cities vow to attempt contact with debtors a minimum of 16 times in the first 60 days, followed by a “progressive letter series in which each letter will carry stronger language.”
The numbers are staggering and heading south. NYC budgeted for $625M from NYC parking tickets collections in the fiscal year 2011, but only collected $568M. These figures represent a 6% drop-off from the earlier years. Currently, NYC is owed more than $250M in unpaid parking fines.
Current Collection Agencies & bad behavior
“Gila’s proposed contract with New York City first came to light in an announcement of a scheduled June public hearing, promising that the contracts with Gila, Linebarger, Allied Interstate and Sallie Mae would be available for review at the city Department of Finance. After The New York World sought to view the contracts, the agency informed us that the public hearing had been postponed and that the contracts would not be available for review…
Allied’s vendor profile from the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services indicates that nationally, the Minnesota collection company had been the target of “multiple investigations by various government entities” between 2007 to 2011, and had entered into several settlement agreements. In 2010, Allied agreed to pay $1.75 million to settle charges in a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission alleging that the collectors had “continued debt efforts even after consumers told the company they did not owe the debt,” and had “made improper harassing phone calls to consumers, using abusive language and calling many times a day for weeks or months.” [Via New York World]
Mr. Knockout goes to jail
In a reversal of fortune, the man who punched a tiny lady into a coma (jury was deadlocked at the first trial) over a parking space dispute was retried and found guilty of misdemeanor assault. Justice Bonnie G. Wittner sentenced Mr. Fuller to the maximum possible term of one year in jail.
In disagreeing with the jury’s verdict convicting Mr. Knockout of the lesser charge, “Justice Wittner said she did not believe the encounter should be described as an ‘altercation,’ or that Ms. Rosas was the first to become physical. And she said the punch was clearly ‘extraordinary.’
‘If anyone heard of this outside the courtroom,’ Justice Wittner said, “just on common sense, they would say a year is not adequate.’ ” [Via NY Times]
NYC is absolutely bonkers about issuing legal and illegal parking tickets and collecting revenue from parking ticket fines and penalties. There is no question that scofflaws with parking tickets in judgment should pay up or face the wrath of a city scorned.
However, hiring scoundrels to chase miscreants using dubious collection tactics; issuing illegal parking tickets, and finding members of the driving community guilty who fight when they’re right, and present the proper proof properly absolutely wreaks of unjustified bad behavior for NYC.
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The FREE reference guide was co-authored by my dear friends and colleagues, Margot Tohn and Matthew Weiss, Esquire, and Larry (that’s me). You’ll learn the inside scoop about off-street parking, how to fight traffic tickets and a bunch of stuff about NYC parking tickets.