The City of Chicago must be really desperate for cash these days. Last week I received a letter from a collection agency for an unpaid parking ticket, get this…from 1998. That’s right, it actually took nearly 14 years for them to inform me that it was allegedly unpaid and to collect.
So of course, I immediately called the number on the letter to inquire about this ridiculously late request. The man who took my call went on to say that he had just been retained by the City of Chicago Department of Revenue to settle this debt. If it went unpaid, I could be eligible for “The Boot” or wage garnishment!
Amazed at this information, I asked “How am I to prove it was not paid after all these years?” The answer may not surprise you…”Well, if you don’t pay it be prepared for the consequences“. It leaves me no option, it must get paid, because who keeps records for that long? The only bright side is it was less than $50 bucks. Imagine some residents facing unpaid parking tickets in the hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The insane part of the story is that his records showed my extremely old address. Luckily my parents still live there after all these years, because I would have never known about this outstanding ticket. The notes claimed they sent notices from 1998 – 2003 but then stopped. Unfortunately, we never received them. So why have they decided to pursue it now? Maybe the city is finding ways to generate extra revenue.
Another surprising finding was that the city and state apparently don’t have a shared database with updated information on your address change. If they did, it easily could have been sent to my current address on my driver’s license long ago and resolved quickly.
If you potentially have old unpaid parking tickets, brace yourself. Because a letter could be headed your way soon! And if you get a notice, I suggest that you just pay it rather than risk further headaches.
On another note, the photo of the letter looks old because I shoved it in my purse in disgust. In case you were wondering.