Village to Consider Ordinance Requiring Debt Recovery Fees Paid by Person Responsible

John Ostenburg, Tom Mick, Talala School, 201-U, debt recovery, fees
Mayor John Ostenburg speaks about the resolution opposing the closing of Talala School at the Village Board Meeting on Monday, October 15, 2018. Village Manager Tom Mick listens. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Village Board will consider an ordinance at Monday’s meeting to make sure that debt recovery fees are paid by the person responsible for a fine.

According to the board agenda item, the Police Department was notified by the Office of the Illinois State Comptroller of required changes in the Village of Park Forest’s use of the Local Debt Recovery Program (LDRP) as result of their policy, specifically stating that it requires:

as a matter of policy that debt collector’s fees cannot be added to the amounts listed on either a Final Notice or a Final Notice of Determination issued by the local government without both an ordinance in place that permits the addition of such fees to the final amount imposed under the local ordinances governing specific violations and notice that the amount listed could increase to either a specific amount with the addition of a debt collector’s fees or by a specific percentage of the final amount listed on the notice.”

In other words, “in order to successfully pass debt recovery fees charged by collection agencies to the person found responsible, the Village must pass an official Ordinance codifying the board-approved practice of adding the collection fees to debts owed,” the agenda memo states.

So, when someone receives a fine from the Village of Park Forest, the following language will be added to all notices/orders of final determination:

“The amount of the fine, upon the occurrence of final determination of liability for the failure, and exhaustion of, or failure to exhaust, administrative or judicial procedures for review which are available to you under municipal ordinance or state law, that remains unpaid, may escalate to include a collection fee of 35%.

“The Village of Park Forest reserves the right to transfer any unpaid fine amount due and owed to a private agency of its choosing for collection.

“Any cost[s] incurred by and/or from doing so shall be assessed to you.”

This ordinance amendment, “crafted with the assistance of Village Prosecutor Jason Danielian,” according to the agenda memo,  is the only item up for discussion at the Rules Meeting which begins at 7:00 p.m. Besides the passage of minutes from past meetings, this ordinance is also the only item on the agenda for final passage at the Regular Meeting which immediately follows the Rules Meeting.