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Collection Calls, Mailers and Liens May Begin To Collect $2-Million In Water & Sewer Payments

Freeport, Illinois — According to the city of Freeport Finance Director there is combined approximately $2 million of outstanding Water & Sewer payments owed to the city up to the end of October.

In a memo sent to city Manager Lowell Crow from Finance Director Randy Bukas, “We have a large outstanding balance in our water and sewer funds” Bukas relayed to Crow.

Of the arrears Bukus states, $500,000 is for the month of October.

“I believe most of that amount will be paid down. Our biggest amount is for utility bills generated on or before July of 2017 ($1.2 million outstanding.)”

In the memorandum Bukas relays to Crow he recommends the city utilize Municipal Collection Services, Inc. (MCSI) for outstanding utility bills, parking fines, building and nuisance awards and other uncollected fines and fees.

According to Bukas, Municipal Collection Services, Inc. (MCSI) would receive 32% of the debt that is collected unless the payment is through the Illinois Office of the Comptroller (IOC.)

“If we add a 35% collection fee to the debt, MCSI would receive 25.93% of the amount collected. They are also recommending a three (3) year contract”, he stated.

“MCSI would use their normal collection procedures to identify the individuals and make contact by telephone and mail. MCSI will continue to contact the debtors by telephone to discuss the outstanding debt and what options are available to the debtor to resolve the issue.”

Additionally, the debtors to the city may end up with a lien on their income. According to the memorandum MCSI also can assist in what’s called the Local Debt Recovery Program (LDROP) offered by IOC.

The LDROP is a state program administered by IOC whereby municipalities can place “liens” on income tax refunds for outstanding debts. “With the data files provided by MCSI, it will eliminate the time consuming process of trying to create and manage the files internally”, Bukas states. The fees MCSI would receive from any LDROP payment would be 12 percent.

Tom Knoll from MCSI was scheduled to be at the December 11, 2017 Committee of the Whole meeting to give a brief presentation on his company and their work with the LDROP program.

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