Man receives $1,100 bill over unpaid tolls after credit card for automatic payments was declined

A Chicago driver was shocked after he received a bill for $1,100 in fines and fees for the Illinois Tollway, which he accumulated over nine days of driving due to a common mistake. Now, he has a few options to make the situation right, or else his license will be suspended.

The unnamed man of South Holland has been driving in the suburbs for 20 years, according to CBS Chicago, but last month he was astounded when he received a letter from the Illinois Tollway.

"I open up this letter from the Illinois Tollway that says that they're going to suspend my license because I owed them $1,100 [in] unpaid tolls in fees and fines," he told the station. "Just knocked me to the ground when I saw that."

The man had missed 16 tolls in nine days, some costing only 60 cents, which added up to $16.40. However, an additional $20 fine was added for each missed toll, resulting in a charge of $340. With the addition of the late fees, the man is now expected to pay $1,136.40.

The hefty sum was a result of a declined credit card linked to the man's I-PASS account; the I-PASS is the Illinois Tollway accepted prepaid electronic toll collection system.

A spokesperson for the Tollway told CBS that they attempted to reach the I-PASS user for months to inform him of his declined credit card, providing the station with a list of efforts to contact him by email, phone, and postcards from Oct 31, 2018, through Apr 11, 2019.

However, the man says he never received the numerous notifications. In fact, he says that the Tollway could not contact him because they had an incorrect license plate in the system. While the Tollway acknowledges that was true, they say it is "not relevant" to the toll violations.

The man, according to officials, can request an administrative hearing, pay the bill, or pay a fee of $125. The amount, while not listed anywhere on the bill, is a "standard settlement for an I-PASS customer who makes a mistake in managing their account," the Tollway official explained.

"Do I say this is a corrupt system? It's something that's not right, period, in order for this system to try to take extra money out of a person like me," the driver said.

Any user of I-PASS, E-ZPass, Fastrak, or any other electronic toll collection system throughout the country is encouraged to make sure their payment method and contact information is up to date to avoid a similar situation.

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