Grimm Collections, a Tumwater firm with 70 years in the business, has a new contract to handle past-due receivables for Thurston County District Court.

It replaces a national collection agency that has handled the local government account for the past 17 years.

A request for proposals issued in January as the court sought to find efficiencies in court administration received five responses and negotiations brought this new one-year contract with four annual renewal options.

“We are pleased that the review lead us to a local company, while at the same time giving a bit of financial relief to folks who find themselves in these circumstances,” said Theresa Ewing, administrator of the court. “An additional benefit in the new collections contract is provision of options in payment of collections including debt counseling.”

The previous collector, NCO Financial Systems, charged a 40 percent fee on top of any outstanding fine it collected for Thurston District Court. That amount is reduced to 20 percent under this new contract.

In addition to new case assignments, the court is transitioning all cases currently assigned to the national collection agency over to Grimm.