7 On your Side: D.C. to go after unpaid tickets, other debt aggressively
7 On Your Side has important information you need to know if you have any unpaid tickets in D.C.
Under Mayor Vincent Gray's 2013 budget, the city is changing the way it collects delinquent debt with aggressive new measures that will target your paycheck, tax returns, even your car or home.
Officials says hundreds of millions of dollars are owed to the city in unpaid debt and they're going to enforce harsher penalties than ever to collect that money, even if you don't live in D.C.
But do these measures go to far? Reaction is mixed.
Whether you're a D.C. resident or not, getting a ticket in the city seems like it happens to just about everyone.
But soon if you don't pay up within 90 days, the District is going to go after you more aggressively than ever.
Debt collection is now being consolidated into one central office which will have expanded authority to turn on the city's own employees and take money out of their paychecks for unpaid tickets and dip into residents' tax refunds.
According to the legislation, the city will also be able to suspend your license or permit and attach a lien to "all real or personal property (including rights to property) .. until the delinquent debt is satisfied."
Through reciprocity agreements with Virginia and Maryland, the city will soon have the power to go after you more aggresively, too.
Of the $380 million of unpaid tickets, fines and fees, around half of that comes from Marylanders alone and $80 million from Virginia residents, according to DMV.
D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson says that's a sign current debt collection spanning multiple agencies isn't working.
This central collection agency will also have the authority to allow individual payment plans. The goal is to rake in an additional $10 million dollars a year. Officials are still hammering out the details of this new policy, which will go into effect sometime after October 1.