You may have forgotten that old traffic ticket. The county hasn't, and it has hired backup.

Nearly half the counties in Illinois have hired a Taylorville firm, Credit Counseling Partners, to go after debtors. “I'm trying to get them to collect debts that are owed to the court,” says Moultrie County circuit clerk Cindy Braden, “without having to go through a warrant process or something that's more time-consuming for the court.”

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Braden, president of the Illinois Association of Court Clerks, says the collection is a joint effort of the clerks and state's attorneys.

As far as Braden knows first-hand, the story of someone being harassed for a 20-year-old traffic ticket – which was already paid -- is the exception, not the rule. “I can tell you – myself, and I know of other clerks – we go through those files prior to collection,” Braden says. “We spend a lot of time making sure we are sending accurate, correct records to the collection companies. We do spend a lot of time to ensure that we are sending out accurate records.”


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