Posted on October 11, 2021 at 2:45 p.m.
A motion to hire a third-party collection agency for the Carbon County Registry Clerk has died for a second after a failed motion to file the action due to a split vote.
On Thursday, Commissioners Rocky Ahner and Chris Lukasevich parted ways over filing a motion to hire Penn Credit Corporation to help with the collection of fees, fines and restitution of overdue accounts after the clerk’s collection division court exhausted all resources to collect unpaid debts.
Ahner offered to postpone the matter until Thursday so he could get more information and clarification on the action. Lukasevich seconded the motion for discussion, but voted no to table the question after discussion.
Ahner expressed concern about the 25 percent fee that would be added to the total outstanding debt per case.
“I’ve always had a problem with things where someone comes from an outside source and they charge more when those people, if their debt is $ 1,000 or $ 10,000, are added to people who can’t. not pay her in the first place, “he said. “There must be some sort of other solution here. … I’m not really comfortable voting on this until I have more clarification on it.
Lukasevich asked Tyra Boni, Registrar of Courts, to explain the process that would take place regarding collections and access to the third-party provider.
He stressed that this would only happen after the collection division had exhausted all resources to collect the outstanding debt.
Boni said the collections division had been “extremely successful”, raising $ 19 million of the $ 25 million that was still owed to the county. Payment plans have been put in place for a number of overdue accounts.
But for those who are seriously delinquent, the division sends out three delinquency letters with fines owed to victims, county, and taxpayers.
“As per a court order, these defendants must pay,” Boni said, adding that while she sympathizes with them, her office is doing everything possible to work with individuals to put in place payment plans that can meet meet their needs while meeting their debt.
She pointed out that the people who would come to Penn Credit would be the ones who did not respond to the letters that were sent and who have been delinquent for years.
“So every day that we delay someone is suffering, either the county taxpayer or the victims or the county government,” Lukasevich said of the $ 6.5 million overdue, to which Boni replied: “It’s correct”.
Ahner again said he understands where Boni is coming from, but just wants more information so he can make a more informed decision.
Ahead of the vote, Sydney Wernett, Boni’s challenger for the post of clerk of the courts in the November election, spoke out against Penn Credit, saying the company is “inefficient and inefficient” and untrustworthy.
She cited a recent class action lawsuit against the company, in which Penn Credit will pay $ 4.6 million in settlement.
The vote to table then ended in a tie, with Commissioners Chairman Wayne Nothstein absent and a second motion to pass the action dying for lack of a second.
Ahner told Boni that just because the motions failed doesn’t mean she can’t come back at the next meeting with the motion.