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August 17, 2005
City of Toronto refers unpaid fines to collection agencies
  
The City of Toronto's Court Services has enlisted three collection agencies to
help collect defaulted Provincial Offences Act (POA) fines. There are
approximately 195,000 outstanding fines amounting to $68 million. Some fines
date to January 2002, when court administration and prosecution duties within
Toronto's boundaries were transferred from the Province of Ontario to the City
of Toronto.

Beginning this month, individuals whose fines have gone into default can expect
to hear from one of the three collection agencies.

The agencies were selected through a request for proposals issued by the City
of Toronto. Under the Collection Agency Act, an agency is permitted to send
letters and conduct follow-up calls for purposes of collecting a debt or unpaid
fine. Representatives of the agencies will encourage individuals to pay the
defaulted fines and/or make payment arrangements if necessary. The amount of
the fine cannot be reduced or varied without a court order. The use of three
agencies enables the City to measure their effectiveness and to compare results
achieved.

"Retaining collection agencies is part of the City's strategy to enhance its
collection efforts of unpaid fines," said Barry Randell, Director of Toronto
Court Services. "These fines are court orders and it is our responsibility to
ensure people pay their fines."

Consequences of not paying fines under the Highway Traffic Act or Compulsory
Automobile Insurance Act may also include the suspension of a driver's licence.
Losing a driver's licence also incurs other costs, including $150 payable to
the Province of Ontario to reinstate the licence.

Examples of POA fines include those issued by City enforcement and police
officers and include traffic or auto insurance related charges, bylaw charges,
as well as offences ticketed by GO Transit, the Toronto Transit Commission,
Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Transportation and other agencies. Individuals
can call 416-338-7320 to find out if they have any defaulted POA fines.

Fines can be paid in person at any Provincial Offences Office within Ontario.
They can also be paid by phone with VISA or MasterCard by calling 416-338-6700.
Payments can be sent by mail to: Toronto Court Services, 137 Edward St, 2nd
Floor, Toronto, ON, M5G 2P8. Certified cheques should be made payable to
Toronto Court Services. Uncertified cheques are not accepted on defaulted
fines. Details on payment methods for POA fines can be found at www.toronto.ca/court_services.


Media contact:

Barry Randell
Director
Court Services
416-392-3835



 

 

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