Buffalo Grove seeking outside help to collect debt

Buffalo Grove is getting outside help in tracking down people who owe the village money.

The village board voted Tuesday voted to seek proposals from collection agencies that would be hired to track down and recover late payments for fines, water and sewer bills, and other fees and invoices.

Deputy Finance Director Andrew Brown said the state provides collection services for debts that are up to seven years past due. After that, the village is on its own.

Hiring a third-party vendor will bridge that gap, Brown said. Debts of more than seven years outstanding represent $227,000 of the $385,000 currently owed the village.

Brown pointed out that there is a difference between the state collecting and a third party doing the work.

"We're collecting 100 percent of the debt owed to the village through the state's program," he said. "They charge the debtor a $20 service fee per debt. And that's how the state sustains the program. A third party collection agency would probably charge us some sort of percentage."

Although the village is skipping the bidding process for collection services, Purchasing Manager Brett Robinson said officials will be publishing a request for proposals and accepting sealed proposals. The difference, he said, is that instead of awarding the contract on the basis of the lowest price, it will be based on whoever is the most qualified and experienced, and has a proven track record.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.