In Chicago, Alderman Gilbert Villegas has introduced legislation that would reduce the burden of traffic fines and fees for low-income Chicago residents by providing alternatives to fines and fees and improving access to payment plans. The bill would also cap late payment fees at 10% and waive collections fees, court fees, and attorney fees for victims of domestic violence and identity theft who owe Chicago money for parking tickets and city sticker fees.
This legislation follows extensive survey work performed by Community Organizing and Family Issues, who spoke with Chicago legislators at several meetings in 2017 and 2018.
- Late fees that apply to traffic and city sticker fines will be capped at 10% (down from 100%).
- Down payments required to access payment plans will be eliminated (previously, people had to pay between 25% and 50% of their combined fines and fees up front to get on a payment plan).
- Victims of identity theft and domestic violence will be exempt from collections fees and attorney’s fees, and will be eligible for a 50% reduction in some fees (including impound fees) so long as they perform community service instead.