PARKatlanta will review disputed parking tickets before collection

10:45 PM, May 12, 2011   |    comments
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A PARKAtlanta employee checks a parking meter.

ATLANTA -- Not paying an Atlanta parking ticket and ignoring the notices can impact your buying a house, getting a car loan and even getting a job.

Drivers who ignore all the warnings face a blight on their credit score that can last 7 years. 

PARKatlanta, a private company working for the city since January 2009, has installed 2,500 meters and last year alone, issued 200,000 parking tickets. 

That could mean more than $5 million a year into the city's bank account, which the Mayor's Office says pays for city services including police and fire. 

But if you get just one ticket and don't pay it, on the 75th day, it goes to collection and that means into your credit report, impacting your credit score.

11Alive's Help Desk met with Richard Mendoza, Atlanta Commissioner of Public Works, who supervises PARKatlanta to find another reasonable step for the holders of one or two tickets before they end up in collections.

"When you are talking about people with one or two tickets, isn't there another part of the review or something that can happen that can prevent this going to collection and impacting a persons credit for 7 years?" we asked.

"I would get PARKatlanta to the table to visit with the affected citizens to discuss the circumstances around what led to that reporting to the (collection) agency to discuss what avenues of correction there might be," Mendoza said. "There is always an alternative. There always is a means to coordinate and discuss extenuating circumstances."

Drivers can also appeal the ticket right away, stopping the clock and insuring that nothing further happens until the matter is resolved. 

But if your ticket does get to collection and you think it's been a mistake, contact PARKatlanta right away and set up the meeting Commissioner Mendoza has said can take place.

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