Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Unpaid fines (parking, photo-enforced light or speeding) can get turned over to collections, affect credit scores heavily
Recently, the media have been reporting that more states and municipalities are turning over unpaid parking and photo-enforced speeding or red-light tickets to collection agencies. A single collection agency submission of an out-of-town ticket can lower a FICO score of maybe 780 or so by as much as a hundred points.
In many jurisdictions, people can lose points on driver’s licenses for unpaid tickets in adjoining states, but not far-away states or on car rentals (whose contracts always insist that tickets be paid; I had to pay a Delaware toll problem in 2002 when I didn’t know what lane to be in on 95).
But people will lose credit score points for unpaid violations anywhere if turned over to collections.
Here’s a question from Yahoo! on paying an old ticket, link.
Here’s a story on collections activity from Atlanta, link.