Yellow Stickers Used to Collect Fines

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- When a judge orders a fine in Winnebago County the person has plenty of time to pay up, but many times those fines go unpaid, but now the county says enough is enough.

People who owe Winnebago County money will soon see yellow notices stuck to their car windshield. The note basically says pay up or else.
“Today the notice is the first step. Tomorrow they can expect other activity,” Winnebago County State’s Attorney, Joe Bruscato, said.

It's the latest effort by the county to get back $12 million in unpaid fines. That means if you owe the county for anything from a speeding ticket to criminal charges, you're at risk of getting the notice.

“Those that don't pay, it’s not fair to all those who do," Winnebago County Board Chairman, Scott Christiansen, said.

The county is working with a collection agency to distribute the notices. They can drive through a parking lot and run every license plate number through a program. Those with notes on their plates will receive the dreaded yellow sticker.
“If you do have something outstanding now might be a good time to get that covered. Maybe with a tax refund hopefully or something of that sort," Christiansen said.

Those who don't pay up soon after receiving the notice could find themselves back in court.

“If you owe fines and fees we're asking that you step up and pay them because we're going to continue to find innovative and forward thinking ideas to get those monies into our coffers,” Bruscato said.

Because they're working with a collection agency the county isn't putting any of its own resources toward the program. Thirty percent of the money collected goes to the collection agency.

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