This resolution ends driver’s license suspensions for unpaid parking tickets in Chicago, restructures payment plans, reduces the late penalty for city sticker tickets, and reinstates a 15-day grace period after stickers expire. The reform is expected to produce as much as half a billion dollars in debt relief.
Plaintiff alleges that the City of Chicago ignored the automatic stay protection under the Bankruptcy Code. The City impounded Mr. Fulton’s car because he had unpaid fines and fees, and informed him that the vehicle would only be returned when the court debt was paid. Mr. Fulton declared bankruptcy, and the automatic stay provision required that vehicles be returned to debtors who file for bankruptcy. The City argued that impoundment as a deterrence helped to enforce traffic regulations. Debtors argued that the City was more concerned with revenue collection than public safety.
This report shares the results of a survey of 304 low-income Illinois residents who were asked about their experience with debt, including criminal justice debt. Respondents disclosed the types of debt they had, the number of debts they owed, and the emotional toll debt takes on their families.
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.
This SoundCloud recording made available by the Chicago Jobs Council takes an in-depth look into how parking tickets from 1999 cost 37-year old LaSheria Murphy her driver’s license, peace of mind, livelihood, and dignity.
Filing for bankruptcy to avoid car impoundments and or a boot that immobilizes their vehicle has become a popular “remedy” for Chicago drivers who can’t afford to pay off debt from traffic tickets, parking violations, and vehicle compliance infractions.
The “License to Work Act” identifies the scope and limitations of each government office’s suspension/revocation power, the reasons for which a driver’s privileges could be restricted, and which conditions allow a person to have their license restored.
In this report, the Chicago Jobs Council describes how suspending a person’s driver’s license for unpaid fines and fees can prevent them from ever paying off their debt and destabilize their finances.
Reneau got 15 tickets in a single year, including 7 $200 citations for not having a city sticker. She turned to Chapter 13 bankruptcy for debt forgiveness.
Broadly speaking, the Act streamlines, standardizes, and reduces court fees in order to facilitate a sliding scale fee waiver for defendants who cannot afford to pay. (Without these changes, the sliding scale would have been severely limited.)