E-ZPass Fines & Tolls Can be Discharged Under Chapter 7, in Many Cases
E-ZPass is an electronic toll collection system that allows for prepaid tolls, allowing drivers to save time because they don’t need to stop at the toll plaza to pay. MTA Bridges and Tunnels is the issuer of toll bills and subsequent E-ZPass fines, when necessary. With this in mind, how do you know if you owe a toll?
Toll bills are mailed to motorists within 30-40 days after travel using the address on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and if their address is not current with the DMV, a motorist is still required to pay their toll through other means, whether it be online, by phone, or by mail.
If a motorist doesn’t pay their bill, MTA Bridges and Tunnels will send a second toll bill with a $5 late fee, and if the second bill isn’t paid, then the bill becomes a toll violation. Violation fees are $50 per trip, so as you can imagine, toll fines can add up to an expensive amount. But if a notice of violation is not paid within 15 days of the issue date, then it may be referred to a collection agency.
Are you one of these motorists? It happens to the best of us. You’d be surprised to learn that these fines and fees can add up to hundreds and thousands of dollars, mostly due to collection costs and fees rather than the violation fines themselves.
The MTA Bridges and Tunnels can suspend your license or registration due to unpaid EZ pass tolls and fine. Bankruptcy can help stop the registration or license suspension due to the automatic stay which goes into effect after a bankruptcy filing. In New York and in New Jersey, bankruptcy can help with preventing your license or registration from being suspended and help discharge or wipe out your EZ pass tolls and fines.
But if you’re filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be wondering if your E-ZPass fines and tolls can be discharged. For background, most unsecured debts are dischargeable in Chapter 7. That being said, are E-ZPass fines and tolls considered unsecured debt?
For the most part, yes.
Generally, E-ZPass fines and toll debt is considered unsecured debt, which is defined as a debt that is not backed by collateral, meaning creditors are not entitled to take your property to pay off that debt. Creditors surely cannot take your property for failing to pay your E-ZPass and toll debts because they don’t have a security interest in such.
That’s why if you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your lawyer can work to help you discharge your E-ZPass and toll debts. At the Law Office of Seni Popat, P.C., our attorney has over a decade of experience helping clients in your position get the fresh start they need and deserve. We can work tirelessly to help get your debts discharged, including those burdensome E-ZPass and toll debts.