On January 1, 2019, the City of Chicago implemented a new bankruptcy parking ticket and speed camera ticket policy, called, “FRESH START,” marking the most dramatic change to benefit our bankruptcy filers in the past 10 years.
The policy gives you the opportunity to discharge ALL of your parking tickets which were issued more than 3 years ago.
Before, many of our clients for whom parking tickets were the main problem (and it was MANY) would have been forced to file under Chapter 13, even when those clients qualified for Chapter 7. That’s because parking tickets are, by law, only dischargeable in Chapter 13. Chapter 13 has a high failure rate, not to mention you’ve got to make payments over 3-5 years. Whenever we can, we like to see our clients file under Ch 7 and get that quick discharge.
So how does this work in practice? Upon filing of the Chapter 7 case, we submit a request to Arnold Scott Harris, the City’s ticket law firm, to find out your eligibility for the program. We then receive a printout showing all of your parking tickets and which tickets are eligible for discharge (all tickets issued more than 3 years before the filing date of the Chapter 7). Clients will need to show up at one of the parking ticket payment centers (there are several) to get a payment plan for less than 3 year old tickets, and then complete the payment Plan. Once the payment plan is completed, the older tickets are forgiven by the city.
Since this is NOT a change in the law, the city could end this program at any time. So it’s important to take advantage of it now, if you’re eligible.
We’ve had success with the program already. One of our clients had over $40,000 in parking tickets eliminated just recently.
If you have any questions about the new “FRESH START” program, just give us a call. We never charge a fee for a consultation.