Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that he has awarded the Fines and Costs Collection Contracts for the City of Virginia Beach to the Virginia Beach Treasurer’s Office. The Treasurer’s Office begins working the contract Friday, November 1. The award was made following a Request for Proposal as required by state law. Eleven bids were submitted for the contract. State law requires Commonwealth’s Attorneys to determine how criminal and traffic delinquent fines and costs for city and state offenses will be collected in their individual jurisdictions. The Fines and Costs Contract includes Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court, General District and the Circuit Court in Virginia Beach.
“The firms that had this contract up to this point have both done a magnificent job for the City of Virginia Beach and the State of Virginia,” Bryant said. “Awarding the contract to the City Treasurer’s Office means that potentially over a million dollars in contingency fees will be remitted to the City of Virginia Beach annually.” The Treasurer’s Office has not submitted a proposal in any of the past five-year contract cycles.
Last year, the gross collections from all three courts of delinquent fines and costs totaled $3,720,000.00. Out of that amount, $909,000.00 in contingency fees was kept by the collection firms.
In addition to the boon to the City of Virginia Beach, there will also be a positive impact on the courts in Virginia Beach. The collection firms filed multiple thousands of requests for garnishments and interrogatories in the courts to be served on defendants or their employers in collecting fines and costs. Having to process and docket those papers will essentially cease because the Treasurer’s Office is entitled by law to use a Treasurer’s Lien which goes directly to debtors’ employers, having the same effect as garnishments. Employers are then required to remit 25% of the debtor’s disposable income to the Treasurer’s Office. In addition, the Treasurer’s Office is able to directly file liens on known bank accounts of the debtors. The Treasurer’s Office also has the ability to cause vehicles and personal property to be sold to satisfy the debts if necessary.
One of the criteria for the contract award was the availability of walk-in locations for payment. No other bidder matched the Treasurer’s four locations.
“This as a win-win situation for the City, our three courts and the State of Virginia. I am grateful that City Treasurer John T. Atkinson offered the expertise of his office in collecting the delinquent fines and costs,” Bryant said.
Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.