Menifee man owes $27K in 91 Express Lanes toll fees

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A Menifee man faces a $27,000 bill for toll violations on the 91 Express Lanes. (KABC)

Imagine getting an eye-popping bill for $27,000 in toll violations.

"There's no way that I have to pay this thing. There has to be a mistake, something that can easily be resolved," Menifee resident Cameron Aanestad said.

Aanestad said it's a billing issue that has not been easy to resolve. He takes the 91 Freeway to get from his Menifee home to his job in Anaheim, which takes about two hours each way.

By taking the toll lane, he saves about thirty minutes.

He has a toll lane transponder with his mother's account, but the debit card attached to the account was stolen. His mom didn't update the account with the new card number.

"As far as I can tell, they deactivated her account, so every time I went under the toll station my transponder went 'beep beep' and I didn't receive any notice," Aanestad said.

But the violations piled up. He says the actual tolls add up to just $700. The rest of the bill consists of penalties. A collection agency is threatening to take his home and his money.

"They can go to court and get a judgment without notifying me. I don't get served. I don't get subpoenaed," Aanestad said.

The Orange County Transportation Authority wouldn't comment about the specific case because of privacy laws.

A spokesperson said for every violation, the agency sends three separate notices in the mail alerting people to the problem.

"The 91 Express Lanes works very hard with our customers to address any situations like this that arise," the agency released in a statement.

Aanestad said he never received any notifications.

"I received no notifications. My mom, who is the account holder, says -- and I trust her -- that she didn't receive notifications. Certainly, we didn't receive hundreds and hundreds of them," he said.

Aanestad has hired an attorney to negotiate with the debt collector, but he insists he did nothing wrong.
Related Topics:
toll roadfreewayMenifeeAnaheimOrange CountyRiverside County
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