Hume and Whittlesea residents owe more than $190 million in outstanding warrants.
The Sheriff’s Office last week released the number of outstanding warrants owed in Victoria from the 2016-17 financial year.
Sheriff’s officers enforce warrants issued by courts for unpaid fines, such as traffic infringements, parking fines and other payments.
Out of the state’s 79 municipalities, Hume recorded the second-highest number of outstanding warrants in the state, at 289,746.
The warrants had a combined value of more than $115.87 million, with the average amount per Hume debtor $4097.
Whittlesea racked up the seventh-highest amount of outstanding warrants in the state, with 206,674, valued at more than $74.59 million. In Whittlesea, the average amount debtors owed to the Sheriff’s Office was $3250.
The municipality of Casey, in Melbourne’s south-east, topped the list of outstanding warrants with 381,143, totalling more than $144.05 million.
The total value of outstanding warrants across Victoria in the 2016-17 financial year was $2 billion.
Victorian Sheriff Warwick Knight said it was important for people who owed infringements to deal with them as early as possible.
“It is important to deal with your fines as soon as possible to avoid additional penalties and the infringement becoming a warrant,” Mr Knight said. Mr Warwick also said the Sheriff’s Office encouraged debtors to contact them to discuss any outstanding warrants.
If a person cannot pay their fine by the due date, they can request to pay by installments or seek an extension of time to pay. In July last year, the state government introduced more options for vulnerable people to deal with their fines, including a Work and Development Permit scheme.
The scheme allows eligible people who are experiencing financial hardship, mental illness, addiction or homelessness to reduce their fine debt by completing tasks such as volunteer work, counselling or educational courses.
Contact the Sheriff’s Office on 1300 743 743 or see fines.vic.gov.au for more information.