The long arm of the law may not have been enough to compel a number of scofflaws to pay their municipal court fines – but a debt collector has had better luck.
Pioneer Credit was hired in 2014 under a state program that allows municipalities to contract with collections agencies to recover past-due fines from municipal courts. It took about a year for Brick’s collection to be approved by the state and the judiciary, and the company began seeking out scofflaws in May 2015.
In the first year of collections, the company recovered more than $46,000, Mayor John Ducey said.
Under the debt collection program, a surcharge of up to 22 percent is added to whatever debt is owed. That percentage is kept by Pioneer.
“The town gets their full amount,” said Ducey.
The township council recently approved a yearlong contract extension with Pioneer, which will last through June 2017.
When Ducey announced the start of the program in 2014, the township had about $650,000 in fines outstanding.