The city of Joliet, Ill., has hired Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson as the third collection agency to help it recover unpaid parking tickets, ambulance fees, water bills, and other assorted fines, according to a published report.
The city’s finance director said its biggest problem is locating the individuals with the unpaid debts, and hopes that the national presence of a firm like Linebarger will help in that area. The city will continue to have Credit Discount and Audit and Central Adjustment Bureau work the accounts that have bene placed with those agencies. All new placements will be sent to Linebarger. The expectation is that Linebarger will also employ more “modern” collection techniques, according to the report, which did not cite specifics about what those techniques might include.
Linebarger will also be paid 50% less than the other two firms, according to the report. The law firm will keep 22 cents for every dollar it collects, compared with 33 cents that the other two agencies are keeping.
The total amount of unpaid debts owed to the city is about $2 million. The current collection rate on unpaid ambulance bills is 4%, and less than half of all parking fines are being collected.