An effort’s underway at the statehouse to collect close to half a billion dollars deadbeat debtors owe the state in unpaid Iowa court fines. The Iowa Department of Management says the fees need to be collected and state Senator Bob Dvorsky, a Democrat from Coralville, agrees.
Dvorsky says, "There’s an enormous amount of delinquent debt out there we’re trying to round up." Dvorsky says it may be easier to collect the money now. He says there’s more sophisticated operations out there to collect doubt now than there was before,and the state needs to look into that and see if they can come up with some plan to deal with it.
Proposed legislation would require casinos to take unpaid fines out of gambling winnings. It would hold up professional license renewals for those owing fines. And create a new statewide system for collecting the debt. Dvorsky says there’s 476-million dollars that could be used by the state.
Dvorsky says of the 476-million, about 138-million is in payment plans for the criminal justice system, and the state needs to find the age of the rest of the debt and get a payment plan together Opposition surfaced quickly. A casino industry spokesman says cost and logistics would be prohibitive for them to collect the money. A spokesman for the Iowa County Attorney’s Association told lawmakers that counties can collect the debt better than the state.