Pinellas County collection letter sent in error to 375 people

Posted at 5:52 PM, Apr 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-03 18:28:45-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -- You might want to check your mailbox. Erroneous collection notices sent out on behalf of a collection agency representing Pinellas Co went out to 375 people across Florida and other parts of the US in error.

The Pinellas County’s Clerks Office says the letters, sent from Penn Credit, were sent in some cases to the wrong people.

The collection notice states that you owe money for a past due traffic violation (speeding ticket, red light camera ticket etc.) from Pinellas County. Turns out, Penn Credit Corporation, which is based out of Harrisburg, PA, had an issue with their “skip tracing” data system that they use to locate people who owe money.

Bill Burgess, the manager of the criminal court customer service center in Pinellas County says his office has been receiving complaints for several weeks as well as concerned calls from people who are worried they owe money, when in fact, they don’t.

The notice even says your license “may have been suspended” by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

The notice is not fraudulent, but it was sent to many incorrect people. Pinellas County is encouraging you to look over the letter very carefully to make sure your name and address are correct, and to make sure you did receive a traffic infraction. When in doubt, you can call them to inquire during normal business hours at 727-464-7000.

Burgess says if you did send a check in the mail in error, they can get it cleared up for you and issue you a refund.

In addition, anyone that was erroneously sent a notice from Penn Credit on behalf of Pinellas County should receive a letter of apology with an explanation.

Burgess says his office has been notified by people who received the notice from across the United States, as well as Florida and in the Tampa Bay region.