Since 2008, the City of Chino Hills has utilized Data Ticket, Inc. to process the City’s administrative and parking citations. Historically, the majority of the City’s administrative citations have been issued through Code Enforcement for violations of the municipal code, including but not limited to property maintenance issues and operating businesses without a license. Once a citation has been issued, there are several steps that take place before it would ultimately enter the collections process. The first notice is scheduled to be sent on the 43rd day following the issuance of the citation, a second notice is sent on the 73rd day, and finally, the citation is either forwarded to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Interagency Intercept Program or a collection service on the 103rd day. The FTB Program seeks to intercept an individual's state tax return to collect citation fines. Citations submitted through the FTB process are only worked within their system for three years before being returned as uncollectible. These uncollectible citations, along with any citations that were ineligible for the FTB process are turned-over to a third party collection agency, where continued efforts are made to recover the citation amount. A 15% penalty is assessed with the second notice and once attached to an invoice, this penalty remains through the FTB and collection processes.
The administrative citations currently being recommended for write-off total $46,821.48 and cover the period from December 1, 2008 through February 21, 2017. Data Ticket is currently in the process of securing a new third party collection service, so in the interim the City’s Finance Department will be sending the more recent citations to the City's collection agency. Eventually, outstanding citations will be returned to DataTicket's third party collection agency for collection efforts. The collection agencies typically charge between 18% and 35% of the collected amount as compensation, depending on the vendor and level of effort, but this is passed onto the customer.
Consistent with the City’s practice of writing off other miscellaneous receivables in excess of three years old, staff is recommending the receivables related to these citations also be written-off. This write-off process is an accounting functions related to financial reporting and does not preclude the City from continuing collection efforts.