State using new way to collect fines for insurance lapses
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana has implemented new ways of collecting fines from people who the state believes are driving without insurance.
The recently formed Office of Debt Recovery has the authority to extract money from bank accounts, intercept tax refunds and recommend that a person's state-issued professional license be suspended.
The state's Office of Motor Vehicles has capitalized on the Office of Debt Recovery's powers, as the OMV has mailed over 1.2 million letters to people they say were driving without insurance. OMV Deputy Commissioner Staci Hoyt says the office has collected $22.5 million of the projected $444 million owed to the agency.
Louisiana's Department of Revenue spokeswoman Kizzy Payton says the Office of Debt Recovery has also collected over $5 million for the OMV since the office gained jurisdiction over the fines on Dec. 15.