If you have an old California traffic ticket in collections in the California Court system, you probably think it’s a money problem. You want to pay off the ticket, but you just don’t have the cash. GC Services, Alliance One, or any other 3rd party collection agency contracted by the courts tend to demand about $1000 per unpaid California traffic ticket in collections. Maybe you have more than one California traffic ticket in collections and the collection agency is asking for $3000, $4000, or more. Every time you get the collection notices in the mail, or the annoying calls on the phone, you just wish you had the money to pay them off and move on with your life. Maybe you even set up a payment plan because you are hoping they will see your good intentions and give back your suspended drivers license. All the while you are riding the bus, catching rides from friends, or driving on your suspended license while looking over your shoulder. Every day is groundhog day and you are hoping that today is not the day you get pulled over. Nobody wants to have their car impounded and nobody wants to go to jail.
This is exactly how the collection agencies want you to think. Their goal is to get you thinking that a pile of money is the only way out for old California Traffic Tickets in collections. Their motto is “Pay us our exorbitant fines in full, until then you are stuck”. They also force you to believe that if you don’t pay them, the problem will get worse. I have had hundreds of clients tell me over the phone that collection agents from GC Services have threatened them with all sorts of problems for non payment. Things like, “it will go on your credit report”. “I’m going to flag your file as non-compliant if you don’t make a payment by the end of the day”, and other spurious collection techniques. While it is true that having an unpaid California traffic ticket in collections can trigger a suspension of your license, a warrant for your arrest, and increased fines, these penalties are not issued by the collection agency. The collection agency exists to do one thing and one thing only and that is to COLLECT. The collection agency does not solve your problem, they don’t give legal advice (or at least they shouldn’t), and they definitely aren’t looking out for your best interests. These are not the people you want to talk to if you are looking to find the cheapest and best solution to the problem on a California traffic ticket in collections.
I am here to tell you that 9 times of 10, paying the collection agency is a terrible idea. The collection agency will do everything they can to make you think that paying is your only option, but in reality you usually have the option of appearing in court on your California traffic ticket. Appearing in court is always a better option than paying collections. You can appear in court on your own behalf, or you can send an attorney to appear for you. In many cases hiring a lawyer is cost effective because the lawyer can save you so much money on your California traffic ticket in collections that it offsets the price of the retainer. By hiring a California traffic ticket lawyer, or fighting the ticket(s) on your own, you can almost always get the fines reduced significantly compared to the amount requested by the collection agency. You can usually get your license back immediately upon appearing in court as well, instead of waiting until paying the case is paid in full like the collection agency told you. To top it all off, by appearing in court you can often have charges reduced or dismissed or obtain a referral to traffic school. These things will save you money down the road when it comes time to pay for car insurance to go with your newly reclaimed drivers license.
If you have questions about your California traffic ticket in collections, or need help with a suspended license, DUI, or other California traffic ticket problem, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 800-797-8406. If you are a tweep, you can follow me and catch helpful legal tips @ticketfixers.