County jail changes fee collection companies

Since 2004 there has been a program in place in Mille Lacs County which charges inmates $20 a day to stay in the county jail if they are  on a work release sentence.

The county bills in excess of $100,000 annually for the Pay to Stay program and the money received goes into the county’s general fund.

But about $20,000 to $30,000 of the amount billed is turned over to a collection agency and Sheriff Brent Lindgren asked county commissioners at their June 19 meeting to contract with a new company.

Lindgren said that Financial Consulting, Foley, had gone out of business and he wanted to hire Grand American resources, Grand Marais, for collection of fees.

Former employees of Financial Consulting have started the company, Grand American Resources.

Lindgren told commissioners that the new company will charge an 8 percent processing fee for the money it collects.

That fee goes up to 20 percent if the company has to aggressively pursue a collection, and up to 35 percent if there is a lawsuit.

For the full story, see the Thursday, June 28 print edition of the Times.