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County reaps benefits of collection efforts

Lawrence County Clerk of Courts Michael Patterson said a recent decision to have a company collect overdue fines and court costs is beginning to have the desired effect.

Earlier this month, Patterson submitted to Capital Recovery bills for $23,000 in unpaid costs that were owed to the clerk of courts for various reasons over a five-year period, but were never collected. Patterson said since then, people have been coming into his office to pay their overdue obligations.

“This is a good thing for the county. I feel it’s the county’s money and should have been paid,” Patterson said.

He said he did not know at this time how much money has been collected to date because some is being sent directly to the collection agency and some people are settling their debts at his office.

The county does not pay Capital Recovery for the service; that entity charges a 30 percent fee on all its collections and that fee is paid by the person who owes the fine when they erase their debt with the county.

Patterson is submitting to Capital Recovery batches of unpaid fines in five-year increments until all the debts are paid.

Capital Recovery is performing the same service for Scioto County.