Debt collection program helps Scott County recover $1.3 million in unpaid fines

DAVENPORT - Since 2008, the Scott County Attorney's office has been using a fine collection program to help with delinquent fines.

This year, the program helped bring in $1,348,677.

"I always knew there was a lot of unpaid debt out there and I'm pleasantly surprised at the amount of success," said Scott County Attorney Mike Walton.

The program is aimed at collecting unpaid debt from people who have had their driver's license revoked due to non-payment.

Walton said it's not uncommon to see people who have had their license suspended continue to drive. That typically just exacerbates their debt problem, however.

"Pretty soon, they're so far in the hole that they just can't really dig themselves out," he said.

Under the terms of the collection program, offenders can get their license back if they get a job and continue making monthly payments towards their fines.

"I'm amazed at how concerned these people are," Walton said.  "A lot of jobs now require (a) driver's license and so they work very hard in a lot of circumstances to pay this off."

While the $1.3 million figure sounds huge, only a portion comes into county coffers. Scott County keeps just under $400,000, with the rest going to the state.

The Scott County Attorney delinquent fine collection program has collect $6,493,788.49 in delinquent fines since it started in 2008.