Government debts do not fall under consumer protection laws – unpaid parking tickets, traffic fines, student loans, and other debts can crop up from time to time. However, if you are late paying the debt and it is turned over to Alliance One, you will likely have little recourse other than to deal with the collection agency.
This is because Alliance One often operates directly within the courthouse itself – meaning that you won’t be able to clear your record and get your driver’s license reinstated unless you deal with the collection agency. Partial payments are almost never accepted in this instance, so you could end up having to pay hundreds of dollars to get your driving privileges reinstated.
To be clear, Alliance One does not own the debt in these instances. More often than not, the local courts contract with Alliance One to have them handle all debt collection for the city. So what often happens is that the debt collection agency will oper
ate right inside the courthouse, and you will be directed there by all court personnel when you have past due payments.
Because government debt does not fall under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, it is perfectly legal for Alliance One to hold your driver’s license “hostage” until the total amount of the fines has been paid in full. Additionally, there are often penalty fees for late payment that increase the amount you are required to pay in order to have your license reinstated.
What to Do about Alliance One Debts
The best course of action when dealing with government debts is to work with the system – most states have payment plans for fines, or allow you to work off the debt in some other way if you just can’t afford to pay.
Once Alliance One is handling the debt, often the only recourse is to pay in full – however, you might still try speaking to someone at the DMV or courts about your particular situation to see if they can help.
What if the Debt Isn’t Mine?
If you are being held responsible for a parking ticket or traffic fine that does not belong to you, you don’t have to pay – even if the debt has gone to Alliance One or another collection agency. What you do need to do is get in touch with someone in the court system who can verify your claims.
Once you have been cleared of the debt, make sure it’s removed from your credit reports. File a dispute with the credit bureaus and supply a copy of any paperwork you have that clears your name. This should ensure that the Alliance Once collection account does not remain on your credit reports.
Alliance One is NOT Above the Law
Alliance One does handle some consumer debts – and we should be very clear, it is the type of debt you have, and not Alliance One, that determines whether or not the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applies. If you have consumer debt of any kind that has been turned over to Alliance One, you are still afforded the same protections under the FDCPA, regardless of the collection agency that owns the debt.
In the case of consumer debt, don’t let Alliance One bully you into paying on a debt that you don’t owe. Take full advantage of the protections afforded under the law and dispute any unfair debt collection practices.
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