Press Release - Iowa Court Debt Amnesty Program

September 1, 2010    
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Roger Stirler, 515-281-4908, roger.stirler@iowa.gov

IOWA COURT DEBT AMNESTY PROGRAM

Approximately 217,000 people who owe court fines and fees more than four years old will receive a mailing this month offering debt amnesty. With the amnesty, debtors who pay 50 percent of their overdue fines and fees in one lump sum will have the remaining debt forgiven.

Applications for the amnesty program must be received by the Department of Revenue between September 1 and November 30, 2010. Eligible debt includes most fines, fees, penalties and court costs. The amnesty program is part of a larger effort to capture significant amounts of debt owed to state entities approved by the legislature and signed by the governor last spring.

“Individuals who owe court debt will benefit in several ways,” said Mark Schuling, Director of the Iowa Department of Revenue. “In addition to saving money, this is a chance to clear up court debt without legal action. Iowa also benefits by collecting state debt that has been owed for many years.”

The amnesty program does not include delinquent restitution, child support, alimony, sheriff fees, room and board fees, fines payable to cities or counties, and civil penalties or reinstatement fees assessed by the Department of Transportation. A person who is in jail or prison, or under supervised probation or parole is not eligible. Debtors who are already making payments through the state centralized collection unit (CCU) of the Department of Revenue or their county attorney are not eligible.

The Iowa Department of Revenue will mail notices to persons with delinquent court debt beginning September 1. The mailing will include a notice of the cases eligible for the amnesty program and an application form. Additional information is available at www.PayTheFineIowa.gov or by contacting the Department of Revenue at 888-9-Pay-Fine (888-972-9346) or paythefine@iowa.gov. To participate in the amnesty program, all payments must be paid to the Department of Revenue by November 30, 2010.