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On Monday, June 6, 2022, there was a mistake in our Automatic Payment program. Parcels enrolled in the program had the full year of tax payments withdrawn, even those parcels in the installment plan. This error affected only about 1% of all parcels. These payments are called ACH, or electronic funds transfers. They did not include payments by mortgage companies, escrows, and title companies. They also did not affect any payments made directly online by property owners.
Since I was personally in the customer service phone queue for deadline day, I spoke with customers experiencing the issue, and was tipped off very early on. Within an hour, we requested the bank who handles our ACH funds to swiftly reverse the funds. Our priority was to give the monies back, and then secondly to do a step-by-step of where the process failed. All residents on ACH had the charges reversed, and as we notified them, we will deduct the correct amount on June 15th with an interest amnesty, because it was an error made in our office.
I can’t say I’m not disappointed. I take this very seriously and personally. Last time this happened, it was a software issue from doing a 4-payment split for COVID relief, which we accepted could have issues. This time, doing a process check, resulted that it was human error by one of our staff members. I believe in taking things head on and take full responsibility. I instructed staff to immediately email our ACH participants and post to our website and social media to let them know of the situation. I’ve been in the customer service queue to personally answer any questions our ACH participants may have. We’ve also re-trained all our staff involved in the ACH process. Effective leadership matters in difficult times. Our residents are my priority. A longer term solution I’m looking into is options for how this can be automated to remove the chance of human error indefinitely. To reiterate, this is for less than 1% of our parcels and they are our priority at the moment. If you are an ACH Participant and have any issues at your bank that may have arisen because of this, please contact my office at (847) 377-2323 or email [email protected].
Holly KimLake County Treasurer