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Jan 13, 9:36 AM EST

Joliet hires national firm to help collect unpaid fines

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) -- A Chicago suburb has hired a national law firm to assist in collecting unpaid parking fines and other fees that have accumulated.

Unpaid fees in Joliet are estimated to be roughly $2 million.

The (Joliet) Herald-News reports city officials have approved a one-year contract with the firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, which has offices nationwide. They start in March and will join two other local collection agencies. The focus will be unpaid ambulance fees, water bills and other money owed to Joliet.

City officials have said less than half of parking fines were collected between 2014 and 2016. Only about 4 percent of ambulance bills were collected in 2016.

Finance Director Jim Ghedotte hopes that using a bigger firm will help find people who have moved from Joliet.

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