Court Debt Collection Service Subject to Controversy


Aberdeen Enterprizes ll adds a 30 percent collection fee onto debt.

Debt collection agencies are prohibited by federal law from threatening arrest because of non-payment. In Oklahoma, seven plaintiffs in a class-action suit are challenging the debt collection practices of Aberdeen Enterprizes ll. The allegations include claims that this collection agency threatened indigent debtors with jail time and worked with sheriffs to issue arrest warrants for failure to pay. House Bill 2259, which went into effect Nov 1st, will provide relief to indigent defendants, most notably through a provision that requires judges to notify defendants of their financial legal obligation and allow them to present evidence of indigency. 

You can read the full text here.

Key Findings:

  • Since 2007, 66 to 90 percent of the state’s district court funding is from fines and fees. 
  • The Sheriff’s Association received over $2 million from Aberdeen between 2017 and 2021; revenue from Aberdeen accounted for nearly 40 percent of the organization’s total revenue.
  • Only 25 percent of court debt assessed is collected.
Keaton Ross and Jazz Wolfe
The Journal Record and Oklahoma Watch