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Home » Eliminate Your Debt — What You Need to Know » Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Unpaid Chicago Parking Tickets

Get your license back and eliminate parking ticket debt with Chapter 13 bankruptcy

For most drivers, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best choice for wiping out parking ticket balances. Along with giving you back your driver’s license, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to propose a repayment plan to the city of Chicago. Under your Chapter 13 repayment plan, you’ll only have to pay what you can afford. When your bankruptcy is complete, the remaining balance is discharged – meaning you’re no longer liable for your debt.

The obvious advantage of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that you could end up paying just pennies on the dollar for your parking ticket debt – and exit the bankruptcy process with a clean slate.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is usually the best solution for unpaid parking tickets because:

  • You’ll only pay back what you can afford, with the rest of your balance being discharged at the end of your case – a fresh start!
  • Fees and interest are frozen – the city can’t charge you another dime
  • You get back your license and vehicle, so you can get back on the road – and on with your life

Sick of struggling with unpaid parking tickets in Chicago? Get the city off your back for good with bankruptcy. Our DebtStoppers bankruptcy attorneys can reinstate your license and eliminate debt from parking tickets, speeding tickets and red light camera tickets. Call us for your free personal debt evaluation today.

Wipe Out Your Unpaid Parking Ticket Balances in Chicago

Do you owe thousands in unpaid parking tickets to the city of Chicago? Are you unable to drive due to a suspended license? Has the city taken your car?

Get out of overwhelming parking ticket debt - and back on the road!

Getting a parking ticket is a hassle no matter where you live. But in the city of Chicago, having unpaid parking tickets is especially problematic: Chicago is one of few places where parking tickets and other unpaid ticket fines can lead to a suspended license or a booted or impounded vehicle.

It’s easy to put off paying a parking ticket when you’re on a tight budget. But fail to pay your parking ticket fine on time, and your bill quickly doubles. Get another ticket, and now you owe not just two fines, but penalties and interest from the first ticket you were unable to pay.

It doesn’t take long for parking ticket balances to spiral into serious debt – and when you’re already struggling financially, unpaid parking tickets can be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

What if I can’t afford to pay my parking tickets in Chicago?

Boots and impoundment

Think city officials might take mercy on the hard-working Chicago residents who can’t afford parking tickets? Think again. Chicago employs a vehicle immobilization program - better known as the boot program. According to the city’s website, your vehicle can be fitted with a boot if you accumulate:

  • 3 or more unpaid parking tickets, red light tickets and/or speed camera tickets within one year, or
  • 2 unpaid parking tickets, red light camera tickets or speed enforcement tickets that are past-due for more than a year

Getting the boot off your car requires paying your debt, plus an additional $60 boot fee. Fail to make the payment within 24 hours, and your vehicle could be towed and impounded in a city lot. Now you have parking ticket fees, boot fees and towing and impoundment fees to pay before you can get your car back.

Driver’s license suspension & wage garnishment

It gets worse. Once fees have maxed out, the city will try to coerce you into paying your bills by taking money directly from your paycheck in the form of wage garnishment. Failure to pay parking tickets can result in the city garnishing up to 15% of your wages before taxes.

Get 10 unpaid parking tickets or 3 speed trap tickets, and the state of Illinois can suspend your driver’s license until you pay up.

So let’s get this straight. You can’t afford to pay your tickets, so the city takes away your car, revokes your license and garnishes your wages. How are you supposed to pay your bills – not to mention support your family – with no means of transportation and a downsized paycheck?

How will you get to work, drive the kids to school or make it to the grocery store?

Driving without a license isn’t an option: getting caught will result in another fine for you - and a stint in the pound for your car.

Chicago offers a repayment plan but, inexplicably, it isn’t designed for folks with large balances (you know, the ones who need it most!). In order to reclaim a booted or impounded car or have your license reinstated, you have to pay full boot, towing and storage fees and 50 percent of your ticket fines. So if you owe $8,000 in ticket fines, for example, you’ll need to find $4,000 for a down payment – and you’ll still need to come up with the rest of the money within 12 months.

It’s no wonder so many drivers feel getting out of parking ticket debt is an impossible mountain to scale. Losing your car or license to parking debt is expensive and frustrating, not to mention demeaning. But you don’t have to let the city and its greedy ticketing scheme ruin your finances. You can fight back.

How Bankruptcy Can Help You Get Back Your Financial Freedom, Your License And Your Life

Do you owe thousands of dollars in unpaid tickets to the city of Chicago? Is debt from parking tickets and red light camera tickets interfering with your family’s finances? Have you lost your vehicle or your driver’s license? In short, has the city of Chicago taken over your life?

Bankruptcy can put you back in control from the very moment you file.

Filing for bankruptcy is the only solution that:

  • Immediately reinstates your drivers license
  • Stops wage garnishment and other collection activities
  • Frees your vehicle from the boot or pound
  • Wipes out parking ticket debt, when you file for Chapter 13

Chicago’s parking ticket pitfall

It seems silly to lose your license over something as minor as a parking ticket. After all, shouldn’t drivers license suspensions be reserved for serious crimes, like driving under the influence? It turns out there’s a method to the madness. The city of Chicago needs money – and it’s squeezing those dollars from the pockets of its own citizens.

With Chicago on the brink of bankruptcy, city officials have launched an aggressive parking ticket strategy intended to generate fast revenue. Cops are encouraged to dole out parking tickets like candy, while the city has been paying private contractors to operate red light camera locations and speed camera locations throughout the Windy City.

Even careful drivers have a hard time avoiding parking tickets in Chicago. Parking garages and private parking lots are expensive – sometimes charging $50 or more a day! Free parking spots on crowded streets are few and far between. Pricey parking meters expire all too quickly. And the parking ticket cops are ruthless.

If you drive in Chicago, avoiding a ticket may not be possible – no matter how careful you are.

From fines to suspended licenses, unpaid Chicago parking tickets add up to trouble

Let’s say you get a ticket for parking in the wrong place – it’s not difficult to do when signs and curbs are poorly marked. Or maybe the light turned red on you in the intersection, and now you’ve got a red light camera fine to deal with. What happens next?

If you’re like most Americans, you put off paying your ticket. You’ve got credit card bills, a rent or mortgage, and a family to feed. Maybe you also have student debt or medical bills to pay. If you’re already living paycheck to paycheck, coughing up cash for a minor parking ticket isn’t going to be your first priority. So you delay paying the fine until more cash comes in.

This is exactly what the city hopes you’ll do. You see, parking tickets, speed camera tickets and red light tickets are intentionally given short due dates. City officials prefer that you don’t pay your tickets on time because, guess what? This means they can charge you more money.

Chicago parking ticket fines double after the first missed payment, and can easily triple – or more! – through late fees and interest. And because Chicago makes it so easy to rack up tickets, you never know when you’re going to get stuck with another one. Once you have an outstanding balance on one ticket, paying others becomes all but impossible.  Chicago’s parking ticket system is designed to ensnare drivers in debt. Bankruptcy can help you break free.