WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) – Winnebago County has raked in more than $3 million in the last two years after hiring a law firm to collect overdue fines from people and it’s starting to pay off.
If you’ve been to the public safety building, you’ve probably seen the Harris and Harris Law Firm Office, where many people have to pay their overdue fines.
The law firm collected $3.5 million in the last year alone. Most of the money comes from people refusing to pay their traffic fines and parking tickets. State’s Attorney’s Chief of Staff David Krulinkus says collections goes to several different areas, mostly the county, but some of it also goes towards the municipality where the fine was given. He says it’s a system that’s giving the best financial benefits.
“People would either decide to or not. Without engaging the services of a collection agency like Harris and Harris we really weren't getting anything near what we're getting now so I would say it's been a real good process,” said Krulinkus.
These collections go into the county’s general fund. Sheriff Dick Meyers says that’s been used to hire 8 new patrol officers.
We’re told the law firm is trying to work with the State General Assembly, where workers would collect fines straight from people’s income tax returns as another way to collect fines. We’re told the law firm is looking to try that in the near future.