Today we’re talking about those dreaded collections letters. Yep! What you get when you forget to pay your traffic ticket and it ends up in collections.
Let’s say you forgot to pay a speeding ticket in 2016. If you checked today, you’d see that you not only have a warrant for your arrest, but also a collections bill of anywhere between $159 up to $558.50, depending where you were speeding and how many miles over the speed limit you were going. Collection agencies charge the price of the ticket PLUS court costs.
What happens if you don’t pay a traffic ticket?
- Courts will issue a warrant for your arrest.
- DPS will add Omni fees to warrants which hold you from renewing your license.
- DPS may suspend your license.
- The county may refuse to renew your registration.
- You’ll end up paying loads more than just the original ticket.
(hint, hint: you can still hire TrafficTicketsTexas to help you, even if you’re in collections)
What to do?
If you have traffic tickets in collections, first make sure the information on the ticket is correct. If you have a smartphone or use Chrome or another browser that tracks your movement, check to see if your vehicle was at the stated location on the ticket at the specified date and time. Someone else in your family could have been driving your vehicle. If you find any discrepancies, the ticket can be challenged!
Do you have traffic tickets in collections?
Courts don’t spend a lot of time hounding you to pay your fines, so they hire a collections agency to do it. If your tickets are sent to a collections agency, they now own your debt.
After a ticket has been sent to collections, don’t call them or confirm that the ticket is yours. If you contact the collection agency and they will ask to confirm your name and address, etc. When you confirm your name and address (which they will use to sell your account to someone else if you don’t pay), you have verified that the account is yours. You are now not unable to challenge this debt.
Don’t contact them until you are ready to make a deal. If you choose to challenge the debt, it is the collector’s responsibility to prove that you are wrong. The collections agency has 30 days to research your claim and verify you owe this money. No harm, no foul!
Options to get out of collections
- Pay it off in exchange for removal:
If the traffic tickets in collections have no errors and the ticket is definitely yours, you have contacted the collections company and make arrangements to pay off the ticket but get something in exchange for paying it off. Request that they remove the item from your credit report. Of course, this method will not work if you owe $5,000 or $10,000 and don’t have the money to pay it off. Depending on how long you have this item has been in collections, consider letting it fall off in 7 years.
If you decide to pay the debt agency:
You don’t want to get representation; you just want to pay the agency and move on. Request the item to be removed from your credit report when you pay it off in one payment. Ask for the agreement to be put in writing before you make the payment. They have no problem lying to you to get your money. Once you receive the letter, make the payment. It will take about 60 days to be removed from your credit. Check all three credit bureaus to make sue it has been done.
- Hire an attorney:
It is definitely cheaper to hire an attorney to fight your traffic ticket than pay it off outright. Also, better to hire when you first get a ticket, but you can still hire a lawyer now!
If you have not been found guilty on a ticket that has been sent to collections, then you can hire an attorney to get it removed from collections AND to fight the ticket to get the case closed.
If you get a collections letter, don’t panic, there’s always something we can do to help. Often, we can get the tickets pulled out of collections, recall your warrants and either get the tickets dismissed or have you pay a lower fine.
Don’t just pay the collections bills. Know your rights and always fight that ticket!!!