Help: Texas Toll Roads in the News, Again
Texas toll roads are in the news again for all the wrong reasons. In fact, almost every day for the past few weeks, major news outlets, such as KPRC Channel 2 and Fox 26 of Houston have been posting new stories about toll road issues. In fact, you may have seen me, attorney Cory Roth, on KPRC Channel 2 back in May. You may have also heard about the lawsuit that is currently pending in Harris County against the Harris County Toll Road Authority, and for those of you wondering, yes, I am part of the legal team pursuing this law suit, and yes, I may be able to help you.
What is the matter with the toll roads, and who, if anyone can help you?
The matter: greed, technology, and incompetence. The help: Me. I am attorney Cory Roth, and I have developed a niche legal practice of helping people who have been sent to collection by Texas toll road authorities. In fact, I am the only attorney in Houston who regularly represents people just like you have been sued by the Harris County Toll Road Authority, Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority, and TxDot Toll Roads Authority. If you have received a letter from Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson law firm, or Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins & Motts, there is a good chance that I can help save you money.
How We Can Help
Our team has saved hundreds of clients, hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of dollars at a time while negotiating long term payment plans and lump sum settlements. Cumulatively, we have saved our clients well over $100,000, and mind you, our average client owes around $1,000.
You may be wondering why you owe so much money? Texas lawmakers have passed laws that allow the state and counties to establish toll road authorities. The toll road authorities, which are overseen by the county commissioners, are allowed to create toll roads. Unless you are a disabled veteran with ‘DV’ plates, or active duty military and driving to or from base and stop and show your ID at the increasingly disappearing toll booths, you must pay tolls. That is why most of you have some form of a prepaid account to pay your tolls. You are either EZ Tag, TxTag, or NTTA tag account holder, or you are a straight violator. A straight violator is someone who drives through Harris County or Fort Bend County tolls without stopping to pay.
If you drive through a toll without paying, whether intentional or not, and whether you have an EZ Tag or not, you will owe the toll plus an administrative fee. If you fail to pay the and an $11 administrative fee within 30 days of the mailing of the invoice, a $14 collection fee will be added on. If you are sued in administrative court, a $50 citation fee will be added on. If you have an administrative hearing and lose, or fail to show up to your hearing, up to $600 dollars more will be added on. If you fail to pay the administrative judgment against you within 30 days, an additional $500 will be added on. If you fail to pay all of that, you will be sued in county court to ‘abstract the judgment,’ and the court will order you to pay the previous fill amount plus attorney fee, which will be 33% of what you previously owed.
There is some good news and bad news depending on whether you are an account holder or a straight violator. Let’s start with the worse news. If you are a straight violator, there is not a whole lot that the toll road authority will do to work with you to reduce your debt. In fact, if you are a straight violator and call the toll road authority, Linebarger, or Perdue to try to get a reduction you will likely be told you need to pay in full, or you risk being arrested. You may also be offered a ½ down payment plan and 3 months to pay off the rest. If you show up to your hearing without an attorney, you will be told by the toll road’s lawyer that you can get a more generous payment plan for showing up. Now, I am not going to tell you the trick of the trade, but there have been times were I have gotten very generous payments plans for straight violators that they would not have otherwise received, AND negotiated reductions.
What about people who are EZ Tag account holders? We can generally save you money. I can count on 1, maybe 2 hands, the amount of clients who I have not saved any money at all. Again, I am not going to spill the beans on how I save clients money, but I know how to identify the issues and arguments to do good for my clients.
That being said, I have two huge pieces of advice. First, if you have received notice that you have unpaid tolls, stop driving on the toll roads immediately. Under no circumstance should you continue driving on the toll roads after learning that you have unpaid tolls or have been sent to collections. Second, it rarely helps to try to resolve the debt on your own. Why? Because there is a good chance that you will be rude to the collections agent, or say something that is not helpful to your cause. That being said, the toll road authority lawyers do look at the notes in your file, and they do like to see that the customer has tried to resolve the debt by getting in touch with them. Beware: this is a double edged sword. If you call the toll road authority, argue, dispute, and continue to drive on the toll roads, you will be penalized in the sense that the likelihood of a reduction decreases, as does the size of the reduction.
No one else in the Houston area regularly helps people owing toll road debt. Other lawyers regularly refer these cases to me. Occasionally there will be another lawyer in court who asks for my advice, or who calls me over the phone for help. They contact me because I have helped more people than anyone else when it comes to toll road debt.
We are currently accepting new toll road debt cases. However, due to our high call volume, we have recently changed our case intake policies. We will continue to offer free online case evaluations. In order to get a free online case evaluation, you must visit www.attorneyroth.com, complete, and submit the toll road form. We will then send you a toll road case evaluation form. You must complete that form to the best of your abilities and email, mail, or fax it back to Cory Roth Law Office. Our personnel will review the document and response to you via email with a contract if we are going to accept you case. If you wish to hire us, you must complete and return the contract to us. Once the contract is returned and payment has been received, we will begin working on your case.
We can help you, but we will no longer be offering a free case consultation. Rather, we must charge a small fee of $25.00 to conduct up to a 20 minute in person or phone consultation. There is generally no reason why a consultation should last more than 20 minutes. If you choose to hire us, your consultation fee will be credited to your contract. In other words, you will owe $25.00 less than the legal fee agreed to in the contract.
Please get in touch with us so we can determine whether we can help you. Don’t worry. We are honest. We will tell you if we do not think we can save you money. Legal fees start at $100 and increase from there based on the difficulty of your case and the amount you owe. We look forward to hearing from you.
Cory J. Roth
Cory Roth Law Office
4306 Yoakum Boulevard, Suite 240
Houston, Texas 7700
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