How are my debts to the Illinois Tollway dealt with in Bankruptcy?

Debts owed to the Illinois Tollway for unpaid tolls are technically not dischargeable in bankruptcy. This means that in a Chapter 7, you will have to pay the unpaid tolls back once your other debts have been discharged in bankruptcy. They survive the bankruptcy because they are a debt owed to a government (the State of Illinois) that is in the nature of a tax and unless they are more than three years old, are non-dischargeable. However, it has been the practice of the Illinois Tollway to remove the penalties, late fees etc from what you owe. I have also heard of instances where they do not pursue the underlying tolls at all, though this is more likely to happen if the amount of tolls is small. Nonetheless, be prepared to have to re-pay those old tolls.  If Chapter 13 is a viable option for you and you owe a lot of money in tolls, you may wish to consider a Chapter 13 plan to deal with them. Remember that if you still owe tolls, your ipass may not be re-enabled until those old tolls are paid, which is why some people will use cash lanes to avoid the problem becoming bigger than what it already is. When you file for bankruptcy, remember to provide your plate number and/or violation notice number so that the tollway can match it up to your filing. While the tolls are not dischargeable in your bankruptcy, the tollway still must respect the automatic stay and leave you alone until the case is over. 

Carol O'Connor Cadiz
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Attorney & Owner at O'Connor Cadiz Law: Bankruptcy, Injury, Real Estate & Mediation