We’ve all gotten them: those annoying little envelopes which show up under your windshield wiper after your meter runs out or you misread the parking restriction signs dotting the block. AKA, the parking ticket.
I’ve gotten a couple. And each time, I vow not to pay it – stick it to the man, in my own small way.
But I always do. The fear of booting, a la Parking Wars, keeps me toeing the line and sending in my checks.
But now, in cities like New York and Chicago, resident have another reason to pay those fess: parking authorities are now turning to collection agencies to get payments which means their unpaid tickets are hurting their credit scores.
Apparently, there’s as lot of money to be made from collecting those fees – in New York City there are almost $680 million in unpaid tickets. Even a mid-sized city like Milwaukee could gain $30 million by collecting their tickets, according to the Washington Post.
(Side note – guess what the Washington Post cites as a big revenue generator? Red-light cameras, like the ones just approved for 19 Pennsylvania cities)
And now, in these cities, unpaid tickets are being turned over the collection agencies – which can damage an average credit score by as much as 50 points, the Post reports.
So, for those traveling through these cities, be extra sure to obey all traffic laws. And if you happen to get a ticket, just pay it. It’s not worth the damage to your credit score, which can be hard to rebuild.
And let’s hope York doesn’t try implementing programs like these anytime soon.