By BRANDY RICHMOND
Clay County residents who haven't paid tickets and other fines owed to the county may have to answer to collection agents in the future.
County Clerk Mary Brown attended a recent meeting of the Clay County Commissioners to request permission to pursue research of using a collection agency for outstanding fees owed by citizens.
Brown explained she is looking into two different companies, one of which the county could enter into a contract with for the collection of past-due fines. The collection agency charges a fee to the debtor, so the county would not lose any of the collected funds.
While the Commissioners agreed those in debt to the county should be handled without sympathy, President Dave Parr said he would like to know how much the collection agency would charge individuals so no residents lost their homes or similar property.
Brown said no legal action would be pursued without approval. The agency would charge 30 percent of the fee collected, or it could charge 25 percent of the fee but wouldn't be able to do as much, she explained.
The Commissioners agreed to allow Brown to conduct research and will take action based on her recommendation at an upcoming meeting. Meetings of the Commissioners are set for 9 a.m. the first Monday of the month and are open to the public in the Commissioners Court at the Clay County Courthouse.