Chicago Debt Relief Program available through the end of 2015

CHICAGO (STMW) - Chicago’s Debt Relief Program, which allows individuals or businesses to pay debt owed to the city without additional fees, is available through the end of the year.

Under the program, passed as part of the 2016 budget process, those with debt from unpaid parking violations, red light violations, violations imposed by the Department of Administrative Hearings or taxes incurred prior to 2012, will not be required to pay the penalties, interest and collection costs if the debt is paid off by December 31, 2015, according to a statement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Office.

Debt that is currently subject to a payment plan is not eligible for the Debt Relief Program, according to the statement.

“The Debt Relief Program was developed in response to requests from residents and aldermen to provide a path forward for those who may be struggling to get out from under the debt they owe to the City,” said Mayor Emanuel in the statement. “This program is also part and parcel of the City’s stronger scofflaw enforcement strategy that ensures those who owe debt to the City are paying their fair share.”

The mayor and city officials are also developing additional options, like early payment plans and online payment plans, to make it easier for vehicle owners to pay their bills, which would help them avoid the debt, according to the statement.

City officials are cracking down on businesses with unpaid and delinquent tickets, including pursuing a process for business license revocation for any business with significant amounts of outstanding debt, according to the statement.

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