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(a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
“Administrator” means the City’s Traffic Compliance Administrator.
“Administrative fee” means the fee charged related to the expenses and time incurred by the City or its agents to administer or monitor a vehicle owner’s installment payment plan; provided that the term “administrative fee” shall not include any collection cost, as that term is defined in Section 1-19-010, or attorney’s fees.
“Bifurcation date” means a date determined by the Administrator not less than three years prior to the date the eligible bankruptcy debtor filed a case under the United States Bankruptcy Code which resulted or may result in granting a bankruptcy discharge to an eligible bankruptcy debtor.
“Debtor” means any person that owes the City an eligible debt.
“Default” means the non-payment or underpayment of a monthly amount due from a participant under any installment payment plan.
“Eligible bankruptcy debtor” means a person who is a debtor in a pending case under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, or who has received a discharge in such a case.
“Eligible debt” means all fines, fees, and penalties that result from: (i) violations of parking, standing, compliance, automated speed enforcement, and automated traffic law enforcement ordinances on which a notice of final determination for such violations have been issued; (ii) the immobilization, impoundment, towing, and storage of vehicles; or (iii) collection costs or attorney’s fees charged pursuant to Section 1-19-020 or 1-19-030.
“Eligible participant” means a person who was issued a notice: (i) under Section 9-100-030 or a second notice for a parking, standing or compliance violation under Section 9-100-050(d)(1); or (ii) under Section 9-100-045 for an automated speed enforcement system or automated traffic law enforcement system violation, but has not been issued a notice of final determination for such violation.
“Eligible violation” means a parking, standing, compliance, or automated speed enforcement system or automated traffic law enforcement system violation.
“Qualifying hardship participant” means an individual who: (i) has a household income of 300 percent or less than the Federal Poverty Level; or (ii) is experiencing a financial emergency or financial uncertainty as these terms are defined in rules promulgated by the Administrator.
(b) The Administrator may establish installment payment plans to pay for eligible violations or eligible debts, including the following plans:
(1) Early Installment Payment Plan. A payment plan may be established for the payment of eligible violation fines by eligible participants. In the event an eligible participant defaults on an early installment payment plan, the Administrator shall, no earlier than 25 days after the default, issue a determination of liability or a notice of final determination, whichever is applicable, in accordance with this chapter. Upon defaulting on an early installment payment plan, the eligible participant shall not be eligible to enter into an early installment payment plan for any violation which was under the early installment payment plan.
(2) Standard Installment Payment Plan. A payment plan may be established for the payment of eligible debts by a debtor. If the vehicle owner fails to make all required payments in a timely manner, the vehicle owner’s motor vehicle shall be subject to immobilization or impoundment, or the vehicle owner’s driver’s license may be subject to suspension pursuant to Section 5/6-306.5 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, if applicable, and the vehicle owner shall be liable for the outstanding balance plus an additional penalty of $100.00.
(3) Hardship Installment Payment Plan. A payment plan may be established for the payment of eligible violations or eligible debts by a qualifying hardship participant. A qualifying hardship participant shall not be subject to administrative fees to participate in a hardship payment plan or to any default fees.
(4) Fresh Start Installment Payment Plan. The Administrator may establish installment payment plans for eligible bankruptcy debtors. Under such plans the eligible bankruptcy debtor will only be required to pay the fines incurred after the eligible bankruptcy debtor’s bifurcation date. Once the eligible bankruptcy debtor successfully completes such plan and has received a bankruptcy discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727, the City may waive any penalties and fees associated with the fines paid under the installment payment plan. In addition, the City may waive all eligible debt that the eligible bankruptcy debtor incurred prior to the bifurcation date. This subsection (b)(4) shall not be construed to require repayment of any debt discharged in a case under the United States Bankruptcy Code.
(c) The Administrator may charge payment installment plan participants an administrative fee.
(d) The Administrator is authorized to promulgate rules for the proper administration and enforcement of this section. The rules, among other things, may provide for:
(i) the duration, down payment amount and the manner of payment for each installment payment plan or categories created under such plan;
(ii) criteria for showing a qualifying hardship participant’s status;
(iii) the content and form of each payment installment plan or categories created under such plan;
(iv) objective criteria for waiving administrative fees for participating in any payment installment plan.
(e) Upon entering into a payment installment plan and payment of the initial installment required by such plan, and as long as the vehicle owner is in compliance with the plan, the vehicle owner’s vehicles shall not be subject to immobilization and impoundment for failure to pay the fines and penalties described in the payment installment plan.
(Added Coun. J. 9-18-19, p. 4521, § 4)