PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Hundreds of thousands of deadbeats who owe hundreds of millions of dollars are now in the crosshairs of a new crackdown being launched this week by Philadelphia Courts.

Some 400,000 court deadbeats owe the First Judicial District in Philadelphia an estimated $1.5 billion for things like forfeited bail, courts fines and costs and restitution. Some of the money owed dates back decades.

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David Wasson, chief deputy administrator, says most of those who owe will get reasonable terms.

“We’re willing to put mostly everyone on $35-a-month payment plans until they pay off their balance. So, we’re not asking really a lot,” Wasson said. “We’re just asking the defendants to get back in contact with us, let us know their address and get back on a monthly payment schedule.”

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However, those who don’t get on payment plans will face a collection agency first, with new penalties assessed. If that doesn’t work, attorneys will move in to seize assets.

If you want to contact the courts to pay, call 215-683-1482 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., or pay online at

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio

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