Council Delays Vote on Collection Agency
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 • 7:50am
PATERSON, NJ – The City Council Tuesday night delayed the hiring of a collection agency for municipal court fines amid questions about the process used to pick the vendor.
The city is looking to hire a collection agency to recoup some of the more than $7 million in delinquent court fines.
The administration on Tuesday was asking the council to give the job to Professional Account Management of Milwaukee, which was offering Paterson 78 percent of whatever it collected. But Councilman William McKoy wanted to know why the city wasn’t hiring another firm, Taxserv Capital Services from Virginia, which offered to pay the city 80 percent of its collections.
The difference between getting 80 percent and 78 percent of the collections could amount to as much as $140,000 if all $7 million in delinquent fines is recouped.
Business administrator Charles Thomas said the committee that evaluated the proposals from five collection agencies favored the Milwaukee firm because of its track record on debt that was years ago, a major portion of Paterson’s unpaid court fines.
McKoy then asked for the report that explained the decision to go with the company that would pay Paterson a smaller percentage of the collections. That report wasn’t available Tuesday night, so the council decided to put off the vote until it had the information.
“Too often we’re asked to vote on these things blindly,’’ said McKoy.
“If we’re going to pick a company, please tell us why we’re going to pick that company,’’ said Councilwoman Ruby Cotton.