7 ON YOUR SIDE

D.C. unpaid parking tickets go to debt collectors

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More than 230,000 drivers have been turned over to the District’s debt collector this year. The reason – unpaid parking tickets. It’s an aggressive new measure that’s caught many off guard.

Once the debt collector takes over, a person’s credit score can drop significantly.

“Someone with a higher score in the 700s is likely to get hit as much as 100, 125 points,” explained Anthony Sprauve, FICO spokesperson. FICO provides credit scores to consumers. “The better your score is, the bigger hit you're going to get.”

In 2011, nearly 300,000 drivers were reported for unpaid parking tickets. There are several warnings about deadlines on the back of a ticket. However, those warnings do not mention collection agencies.

“It's different if you didn't know if you have a ticket,” said Tyonne Hunter. “But you know you got the ticket. So pay the ticket.”

If your score has been impacted by a ticket, the District’s debt collector will request that your score be restored once you pay up.

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