2014 Special Session I

Budget Amendments - SB5003 (Committee Approved)

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Collection of Fines, etc. - Adjust Language (language only)

Item 70 #1s

Item 70 #1s

Compensation Board

Page 53, strike lines 30-40 and insert:
"I.  In accordance with the provisions of § 19.2-349, Code of Virginia, attorneys for the Commonwealth may employ individuals, or contract with  private attorneys, private collection agencies, or other state or local agencies, to assist in collection of delinquent fines, costs, forfeitures, penalties, and restitution.  If the attorney for the Commonwealth employs individuals, the costs associated with employing such individuals may be paid from the proceeds of the amounts collected provided that the cost is apportioned on a pro rata basis according to the amount collected which is due the state and that which is due the locality.  If the attorney for the Commonwealth does not undertake collection, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall, as soon as practicable, take steps to ensure that any agreement or contract with an individual, attorney or agency complies with the terms of the current Master Guidelines Governing Collection of Unpaid Delinquent Court-Ordered Fines and Costs Pursuant to Virginia Code § 19.2-349 promulgated by the Office of the Attorney General, the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, the Department of Taxation, and the Compensation Board ("the Master Guidelines").  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the delinquent amounts owed shall be  increased by seventeen (17) percent to help offset the costs associated with employing such individuals or contracting with such agencies or individuals.  If such increase would exceed the contracted collection agent's fee, then the delinquent amount owed shall be increased by the percentage or amount of the collection agent's fee.  Collection fees shall be paid on a contingency basis, except for the administrative cost imposed by a treasurer or local governing body pursuant to § 58.1-3958, Code of Virginia.  The attorneys for the Commonwealth shall account for the amounts collected and the fees and costs associated with the collections consistent with procedures issued by the Auditor of Public Accounts."

(This amendment adjusts the language implementing the collection of delinquent fines, costs, forfeitures, penalties, and restitution, by the Commonwealth's Attorneys. The revised language provides for a consistent collection fee of 17 percent across all localities, eliminates the higher 25 percent collection fee for delinquent accounts over six months, and ensures that contracting is updated to comply with the 2013 legislative policy changes intended by the original language amendment in Item 72.J. in Chapter 806, Acts of Assembly 2013.)