Friday, April 24, 2015


MY DEAR READERS: The following letter recently comes from the form a fellow blog reader filled out at the bottom of my blog:


I'm in a real bind and I hope you can help me. I just received a notice in the mail from Alliance One (a collection agency) that I owe over $600 in unpaid Nassau County, NY parking tickets. There were four tickets, 2 originating back to 1995, and the other 2 to 1999. The amounts of the fines were $15 a piece. The notice doesn't say what the tickets were for. I have no idea if I got parking tickets at that time and paid them and this is just a clerical error, or if this is something else. Whenever I got a parking ticket I always paid it. I have no idea of what to do. The notice says they can boot my car and ruin my credit, all over tickets from 20 years ago. Any advice you can offer would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks so much. 


Coming up on the Long Island Expressway:
Nassau County, Long Island New York


Oh no, more problems from my Long Island peeps: I find it interesting how my beloved LI folks come calling to me across the continent to California for help. (Big Smile LOL). I guess it’s the Long Island connection we have and me being 3,000 miles away to give the objectivity they need to help them. I’m just glad you came to me TRAPSTER, thank you. Sorry to hear about all this, but thanks for a great question I had to post in my blog.

I’m sorry to tell you that you are in a catch-22; damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If you do nothing, the fines will increase with penalties and interest. If you respond to the notice, you risk acknowledging that the fines are yours with little choice to pay them, as your options are few. You now risk your car being booted and/or towed at anytime. Be mindful of your credit score/worthiness as well as these things may become affected.

According to my research, what makes this case interesting and unique is that this is not considered a debt but rather a fine from a judgment as a result of enforcement action. As I understand, New York State has a 6-year statute of limitations when it comes to debts, which normally may have abrogated your responsibility to pay. But in this case, what the collection agency is doing is enforcing the judgment, which is a fine, not a debt.

So you have four choices:

A)  Prove that the car(s) ticketed were not yours.
B) Prove that the tickets are not yours. Is there another TRAPSTER?
C)   Prove you already paid the original fine.
D) Get the original violations vacated. You made this harder to do if you originally paid any  fines on old tickets (you admit to guilt by doing this). You mostly likely will either need to be lucky when you get to court, or need a lawyer to craftily get around this and vacate the violations. I warn you, this is almost impossible to do, but not completely . . .

What complicates matters is the collection agency itself. BE CAREFUL HERE: I did a little surface digging on the Internet about AllianceOne, Inc. Debt Collections, to find that they apparently are aggressive debt collectors:

Type in Google: "AllianceOne collections" or AllianceOne complaints," and you'll get many disgruntled debtors who have plenty to say about them to say the least: Start with these URL's:

I am not saying they are not a legitimate company, or a bad company, but they are in the debt collections business no doubt, and actually, if anything, they seem to be good at what they do: COLLECT DEBTS. But on the other hand, trying to collect on such an old debt seems, well, common sense dictates, kind of sketchy, to say the least, but remember, like I said, this is a FINE not a DEBT, which legally makes a difference.
THIS IS NOT GOING AWAY: so please don't bury your head in the sand . . .
So what are you to do TRAPSTER? Your options are limited, but this is what I would do if I were in your shoes:

After you do the above research by reading the above links: 

1. Contact the Parking and Traffic Enforcement Violations Agency of Nassau County in Hempstead, NY, and find out as much as you can about these tickets. Were these tickets in fact issued to a car you now or once owned? Was your car ever stolen or unauthorized used during repair, or by valet, friend/relative/neighbor? If Nassau County did turn the tickets over to collections can you pay the original or a lower fine and be done with them? WHAT PROOF CAN YOU GET FROM THEM TO GIVE TO ALLIANCEONE THAT THESE TICKETS WERE PAID (if that’s the case)?

2. Then give AllianceOne a call or contact them to find out as much as you can about these tickets you got decades ago at the turn of the century (think about how I am wording this shamefully, but I'm a middle aged man late forties, so I can put it that way, sorry). You need to find out from them whatever Nassau County doesn’t know about these tickets to either pay them once and for all, or to give your lawyer information that can lead to a fine reduction or vacating the violations. 

TRAPSTER my safe advice is to consult an attorney if you are not sure what to do. I'd certainly call Nassau County and AllianceOne, but do not give Alliance any information about you other than the reference number on the invoice you received in the mail as you get as much information you can from them about the violations. Tell them you do NOT acknowledge the debt, that it was years ago, and if they insist on the matter, hang up and call a lawyer to see what your options are.

With all this in mind looking forward, I cannot stress how important it is when it comes to enforcement action fines, to pay them PROMPTLY and to keep RECEIPTS or proof of payment. Delaying or ignoring a fine only allows that fine to fall into different hands other than the agency where it originated, from which you will then have to answer to several institutions, instead of just one. These tickets may not have been issued to TRAPSTER, they may have been written at the turn of the century, but TRAPSTER now has to deal with these fines regardless of the circumstances. Don’t ever let this happen to the rest of you, OK?
That’s a little tough love,

From Yours Truly,



READERS: Do you ever wonder what happens to these people after they write me? Well, in this case TRAPSTER wrote back to me to tell me what happened. Read ahead:


Just wanted to get back to you with an update on my situation, and to thank you so much for all of your great advice.  Well, here's what happened:

First thing on my lunch hour on Monday, I went down to the Nassau County Traffic & Parking Violations Court.  Not an easy feat finding it, I must say, as GPS leads you to the Hempstead Fire House (they are nice enough to have a note posted on the door to tell folks where to go, guess it happens a lot). The court officers were very nice, and told me exactly where to go and what to do.  I sat in a gallery with a whole bunch of other people (they had just opened it up about 20 minutes prior).  

I met a woman there who was in kind of a similar situation as me.  She had checked her credit report, and found a negative entry from Alliance One, and later found out that her kids had both gotten red light camera tickets a year ago and ripped them up when they came in the mail because they were afraid to tell her about it.  Now she had a big traffic fine to pay.  But this lady should have listened to you Sgt. Al! She was making a big stink about waiting for such a long time, and getting angry, and then she started yelling - not good for her case.  

All of us were waiting to speak to the attorneys (there were about six of them at the front of the gallery).  They reviewed your case, and if appropriate, offered reductions or dismissals or whatever else.  That lady was there before me, and they took care of me before her.
I was the soul of politeness as the attorney reviewed my case, dismissed three out of four of my tickets, and offered a substantial reduction on the remaining ticket, and when I went before the judge, he just rubber stamped what the attorney had recommended.
With processing fees and with paying in cash (they charge a fee for paying by credit card, so tell your readers to bring cash!), I walked out of there paying $146, down from $604.  Although the attorney I spoke with said that the court would contact Alliance One, I called them when I got back to work.  They said that they had only received my account on March 30, so I'm really hoping that since I took care of this so quickly, that it hasn't hit my credit report.  

This experience has taught me a valuable lesson.  From now on, every time I get a parking ticket (which isn't terribly often), I will keep a file with the record of my payment FOREVER.  Thanks so much for all of your good advice; you really helped me a lot.  Let's hope I don't need to call on you again!  

Please feel free to use the information in my case to help people fight these kind of tickets.  I have a feeling Nassau County residents will be seeing a lot of them.  As the speeding camera program was shot down, the County has to make up that budget shortfall somewhere.  And I read that the NYS Comptroller's office concluded, as a result of a recent audit, that the Nassau County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency has over $120 million in uncollected fines from parking tickets from the 1970's until today.  It's no mystery that I just recently got this collection notice after the speeding camera program was axed.   

Take care Sgt Al, and thanks again!

Yours Truly,
DEAR NASSAU TRAPSTER: Thanks for the reply. So glad things worked out. When the court takes it upon itself to dismiss a ticket or a case without a lawyer representing you as was the case here, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS ASSUME THAT YOU ARE LUCKY! Had those county lawyers been in a cranky mood to not dismiss anything, your lawyer (had you brought one) would have had a difficult time getting those tickets dismissed. Frankly it would have taken a skilled attorney to come up with something under his/her sleeve to convince a judge to dismiss them. Remember that as a rule of thumb! Thanks for the kind words, and so glad I was able to be useful and helpful.

MY DEAR READERS: I am humbled by your presence on my blog site. Thank you so much for your support over the years. As of today I have reached over 90,000 hits in the 3 years my blog has been here! On my Google+ account I have nearly one million hits! I have more posts to come; it’s just that I’m so busy with work, school, and my newscast on the college radio station, I have little time to do all I want. But please keep the questions coming, as I will try to answer them ASAP then eventually post them anonymously here on my blog. Don’t forget to list or follow me on Twitter as well! 

God bless all of you and please be safe out there! 

Who Luvsya Baby, 


Sgt. Al


A police officer (ret.) who blogs about cars, police, law, traffic, speeding, radar, red light, parking, tow, booting, enforcement cameras, & protect security.

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