Government finds $1 billion in accounts of people owing child support (computer search - just hope they don't make any mistakes)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Government finds $1 billion in accounts of people owing child support
-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), January 28, 2000
States, Banks Ally for Child Support
By KAREN GULLO Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Using new powers granted by Congress, the federal government found $1 billion in the accounts of parents who owe overdue child support payments. States are seizing the accounts and getting parents to pay up.
Washington state officials have seized hundreds of accounts and collected $2 million from deadbeat parents. Florida has seized 232 accounts and collected $191,706.
In Ohio, one county child support office froze the accounts of 40 people who owed $90,000. So far, more than $40,000 owed to children has been collected and paid back. An additional 17 people have been notified their accounts could be seized.
``It's a very important tool for us,'' said Maricarol Torsok, director of a county child support office near Toledo, Ohio.
Torsok received the names of parents with bank accounts from the Department of Health and Human Services, which has been working with 2,300 banks across the country since August to find the accounts of 3 million parents who owe child support.
The department sends a computer tape with the names and Social Security numbers of delinquent parents to large multistate banks and brokerages, which in turn search their records to find a match.
So far 662,000 accounts were matched with names. States get the information within 48 hours of the match and move quickly to freeze the account and collect what's owed.
The bank account match system is part of a tough law passed by Congress in 1996 to track down parents who owe child support payments and tap their wages, tax refunds and bank accounts.
The law was revised in 1998 to give HHS the authority to do matches with large banks with branches in many states. States have until October to work out agreements with local banks to conduct their own matches.
``We are working harder than ever to ensure children get the support from both parents they deserve and need,'' HHS Secretary Donna Shalala said.
Some 30 million children are owed $50 billion in child support and funds are being collected in only 23 percent of all cases, according to The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support Inc., an advocacy group
One-third of all child support cases involve parents who live in a different state than the one that has ordered them to pay.
State officials say the bank account matching system works best when the parent has an account at banks within the state.
Torsok said her office received over 5,000 hits from HHS, many involving parents whose accounts were at out-of-state banks. Seizing those accounts involves many steps, so the state focused first on accounts at banks in Ohio.
Account holders are sent a notice saying that the state can take a variety of steps to seize their assets, including freezing bank accounts. They can request a hearing, but few do. Most deadbeats do not find out that their accounts have been seized until they try to access their account.
``The notice doesn't say in big bold letter that we're going to take your money, so if they choose to ignore the letter, they find out when they go to withdraw money,'' Torsok said.
Notification rules vary from state to state.
In Washington state, parents already under notice that they owe money do not receive any warning that their bank accounts are in jeopardy.
If the contents of the account holds less than what the parents owe, the state can take everything.
``This is a last resort collection tool, it's someone who owes arrears and is not cooperating,'' said Charles Donnelly, policy manager at the state's division of child support.
Many states have had serious problems delivering to families the fruits of collection efforts because of problems with new computer systems created to allow states to share information and track down deadbeats more easily.
Debbie Kline, project director at The Association for Enforcement of Support, applauded the bank match system, but questioned how quickly money collected will get to the kids that need it.
``This whole thing would work a lot better if the state systems worked,'' said Kline.
-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), January 28, 2000.
Oh great. We have been fighting the state of Arizona for over 5 years because they claim that my husband owes over $14,000 in back child support - which he has been paying to the state where the divorce is. We have sent certified letters and have gotten no response. We are just about to file a major lawsuit against them. I can just see them take our bank accounts which are in both of our names.
-- just me (email@example.com), January 28, 2000.
you can stop this fraud and extortion, see the straw man tread above. the fight is on. they are outside the constitution doing this and they are going to go to jail the bankers the D.A's and the judges if they dont stop.
-- y2k aware mike (y2k aware mike @ conservation . com), January 28, 2000.
I am one of the people that had his account levied, and monies seized for child enforcement a week prior to Christmas! Problem is my wife and children live with me. I have never been divorced, and I have no other children.
Try explaining that to your wife when she throws the seizure letter from the bank down on your lap after picking up the mail. And try explaining to the the different agencies involved that it must all be some sort of "mistake." Many people and agencies now view deadbeat dads to something akin to child molesters, and getting your name removed from the computers is nearly impossible, once the damage has been done.
Fortunately, there was not much money taken, because I had pulled most of it for Y2K, but it placed an inkling of doubt in my wife's mind that I have this hidden family out there tucked away some where. Y2K glitch or not the damage is done! I believe we will see many more such cases/abuses!
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 28, 2000.
My husband pays C.S. thru the system to his ex in Georgia. Two years ago the police broke down her door and jailed her and her new husband for drugs and farmed the kids out for awhile. His son (17) who half of the support is for cannot even live there anymore because when she had another baby the house was too small. Just heard last week that the son's friends have been breaking into their house to steal his stepdad's pot. They are very upset about this but can't call the police. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Seems like my husband's hard earned money is being collected by the support patrol to help subsidise the Georgia drug market. Sad, ain't it?
-- Charli (email@example.com), January 28, 2000.
I am truly sorry about the true errors that happen to people and accounts are seized that should not have been. It needs to be reported to the highest authority and fixed and the innocent person life put back together. If you do not owe then it should be straightened out with all haste.
As for the one who says they are on drugs that is a totally different case and there is more involved than just child support so I do not think this should be listed as a child support issue; it is a care of the child issue.
HOWEVER, Just because there are SOME errors does not mean we as a society should forsake these children who are not being supported. We as a society need to stand up FOR these children as they are just that children and they need the support from both parents. The one who has them to raise and the absent parent. Most parents who have the custody of the child ARE good parents.
A deadbeat who does not pay their child support --is-- as bad as a molestor. He/she is a child abuser. He/she is saying by the act of not supporting their child that I do not care what happens to you kid! You can starve as far as I am concerned. I don't care if you have shoes or a warm winter coat, freeze to death as I do not care as I do not want to give you any of the money I EARN. I want to walk away from the responsibility of being a parent and you can go to hell. YES this is what a person who does not support their child is saying to the child and to society. DO YOU want this kind of person to just go free with no responsibility for his/her actions of being a parent??
I think they should be treated like the criminals that they are "CHILD ABUSERS"
-- Obo (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 28, 2000.
Creating an automated system which seizes assets from anyone without due process cannot be seen as a "good". Allowing an unaccountable government agency to automate a flawed process and adversely impact the lives of innocent citizens is simply foolish.
Imagine if you were one of those innocents whose accounts were frozen and/or assets were seized. Would you be so sanguine about this, or would you feel instead that perhaps the government agency needed a good whack upside the head?
Think that the court system would be of assistance? Courts take money and time, neither of which you would have to spend if the agency hadn't been allowed to over-step their bounds.
Consider the increasing incidence of "identity theft", or simply inaccurate, poorly maintained records. One wrong digit on the SSN, or one clever critter who's using your identifying data, and you get the sheer joy of facing the meatgrinder of government functionaries on a mission.
If you think the various child protective services agencies have their acts together enough to safely automate seizure of assets for non-payment, you have not been reading the papers much.
-- DeeEmBee (email@example.com), January 28, 2000.
I know how awful the child support Enforcement is my daughter's case has been with them since 1992 and her father still owes her over $39,000.00 and does not and has not paid support in years. I know how it has affected her life and have women that I know who are in similar boats and how it affects their children.
The FACT is errors occur in ALL parts of life and AS I STATED the ERROR should be corrected with all haste and I think even with restitution from the agency or bank if they made a typo in SSN or such. BUT you do not throw out the benefits for the children because a FEW errors are made. The dead beats have already had their day in court.
HOWEVER, By the time the assests are frozen of a deadbeat the matter has been though the child support courts. Child Support Enforcement (CSE) is not allowed to just go take money from people. CSE has to go through all kinds of levels to get it to the point where it gets to freezing the assets. SPEAKING from a mom who has had an ex skip out on court orders, quit jobs when they find him, call me making verbal threats, and even lying in court until they have to call me into court to get the facts, and he went to jail, I know what the jerk deadbeats do to try to make their childrens lives hell.
I know how often I - I have heard from the Child Support Enforcement people that it will be another few months because we HAVE to follow all the STEPS and laws to make sure all the laws are followed before we can proceed to the next step. IN the mean time he has skipped out again and it all starts again.
So if assests are frozen then the dead beat HAS HAD his/her day in court ALREADY!!! The deadbeats have brought it upon themselves by BREAKING THE LAW and disobeying the courts many, MANY times already.
I have NO sympathy for the deadbeats. After many years of trying to get my daughter what she is lawfully owed I have given up the fight to get my daughter what she is rightfully owed from the scum who the law says is her dad because I was married to him and he yielded the sperm to cause her to be born. HA! dad, calling him a dad is an insult to the real dads out there.
Deadbeats should be proscuted to the FULL extent of the law they are scum!!!
-- Obo (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 28, 2000.
Sorry folks. For those who don't feel like wading through the bureacratese move quickly on. However, this is web info and gives you a glimpse into the issues surrounding the original postings. Huge security problems, many data glitches and plenty of incremental error yet to come. Check your state websites and the Workforce Investment Act for more info if you care to follow up. The system integrates on local, state and federal levels and much of it is contracted to private concerns. This is a massive security problem aside from being vulnerable to operating glitches: GO: http://www.oag.state.tx.us/
New hire information provided by employers is compiled in a statewide directory. This directory is regularly compared with a database of individuals who are legally required to pay child support. When a match occurs, a notice is immediately sent to the child support obligor's employer, notifying the employer to withhold child support. The new hire information is also given to the Texas Department of Human Services, Texas Workforce Commission and Texas Workers' Compensation Commission to compare with respective databases of applicants and recipients of various compensation and public assistance programs. This matching process will save taxpayers millions of dollars each year by preventing and detecting fraud in public assistance, unemployment benefits and workers' compensation programs. Who Reports? All employers in Texas will be required to report new hire information to the State Directory of New Hires within 20 days of the employees first day on the job. Businesses may choose to start reporting immediately or begin to make any programming or format changes necessary to comply with the new mandatory reporting requirements. A multi-state employer may choose to report all new hire information to a single state. (See Multi- state Reporting.) Some payroll processing companies provide services to automatically report newly-hired employees. If your business uses a payroll processing service, ask if it sends reports on behalf of your organization. What to Report The six federally mandated data elements include: % Federal Employer Identification Number % Employer name % Employer address % Employee Social Security number % Employee name % Employee address The employee's date of birth, salary, date of hire and state of hire are optional data elements that can be reported.
The State of Texas has consolidated 28 workforce training programs into one state agency. That state agency is the Texas Workforce Commission. . Each program had its own data processing system. These systems resided on different computers and did not communicate with each otherThe Texas Workforce Commission addressed this problem by establishing a project team that was tasked with the assignment to develop a system to consolidate as many of these programs as was efficiently possibleinformation can be entered for a customer in one local board and another board can use it at the some time in the future for another program. Also, this system allows for the retrieval of information from legacy systems. A case worker can inquire into the existing databases for Employment Services, Unemployment Insurance or Welfare, which reside on different mainframe computers and extract any information found for a customer and use it to update the new system.
http://www.oag.state.tx.us/ "LICENSE SUSPENSION. The License Suspension law, effective September 1, 1995, allows custodial parents or their attorneys, certain agencies, and the Office of the Attorney General's Child Support Division to petition for the suspension of a license issued by an agency of the State or political subdivision of the State when past due child support is owed and no attempt is being made to pay it. Professional and occupational licenses as well as personal and commercial driver licenses, and many other licenses, are subject to the statute"
NOW READ : 1.http://www.houstonpress.com/issues/1999-12-23/n32w2.html Houston pressonline http://www.houstonpress.com/issues/1999-12- 23/news2.html "Food Stamp Fracas A LAWSUIT QUESTIONS WHETHER WELFARE FRAUD IS COMMITTED - BY THE STATE"
.http://www.chron.com Copyright 2000 Houston Chronicle 01272000 "Auditor blasts state jobs program Millions wasted in mismanagement By L.M. SIXEL The state's top jobs training program has mismanaged millions of dollars, and put the unemployment compensation system in a financial bind and spent more than half a million dollars on a computer system it didn't get, the state auditor said Wednesday. The department, which must return excess funds to the Texas Workforce Commission's unemployment compensation fund, owes it as much as $63 million. If not paid, Texas employers may have to make up the difference with higher unemployment compensation taxes"
AND FOR THOSE OF YOU NAOVE ENOUGH TO BELIEVE IF A MISTAKE IS MADE IT CAN BE "EASILY HANDLED":
"The attorney general will consider the totality of the circumstances presented in determining whether the governmental body has established that litigation is reasonably anticipated. For example, the governmental body's receipt of a letter containing a specific threat to sue the governmental body from an attorney for a potential opposing party shows that litigation is reasonably anticipated. Open Records Decision No. 555 (1990); see Open Records Decision No. 518 at 5 (1989) (litigation must be "realistically contemplated"). Also, litigation is reasonably anticipated when a potential opposing party hires an attorney who makes a demand for disputed payments and threatens to sue if the payments are not made promptly, see Open Records Decision No. 346 (1982), or threatens to sue on several occasions and hires an attorney, see Open Records Decision No. 288 (1981). On the other hand, if an individual publicly threatens to bring suit against a governmental body, but does not actually take objective steps toward filing suit, litigation is not reasonably anticipated... (so what we worry?)"
All it takes is one wrong digit in a social security number and it could be YOU who makes the ten most wanted support offenders on the website. Maybe they should take that money that disappeared and apply to health insurance for children and parents that fall into the category of the "working poor". Hack
-- another government hack (email@example.com), January 28, 2000.
OBO, Did your husband leave you for a younger more attractive woman?
I think I sense a grudge here.
-- WahWahIconcievedwithaslob (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 28, 2000.
I agree with hoping that there aren't any errors...I've had to spend the better part of a year getting money back that was taken in error by those $#%@s...when I was fully paid up, but their system was incorrectly designed!
-- Mad Monk (email@example.com), January 29, 2000.
I have been on both side of the child support issue due to money owed me and now with my current husband paying for a child from his first marriage. When a state REFUSES to answer letters that are sent certified - so you know they got them and REFUSES to acknowledge that none of the involved parties even live in the state and the original divorce was not in that state - what are you going to do??? I have heard from other child support enforcement people that ARIZONA is the worst about keeping their records straight.
But let's move on to another related issue. My husband's ex-wife has blatantly refused to allow him to see his daughter since she was 5 years old and she is now 18. We have taken her to court several times at a cost of several thousand dollars - (money that could have been spent on the child) and still nothing was done. We had letters in which she wrote that my husband could not see his daughter and the judges said "don't do that again" and of course she did because she knew that the judges weren't going to do anything to her. She has convinced this daughter that her dad is this terrible person and it is all his fault that he never came to see her. Do I think she deserves child support - no way - I think the government made a huge mistake when they separated the two issues. I didn't used to think that way, but after the past 10 years dealing with this situation, I firmly believe that if a custodial parent denies visitation, they should lose child support.
-- just me (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 29, 2000.
Dear WAH, (and to anyone who think this is Jerry Springer NO this is only a response to a statement from WAH)
You are dead wrong. After many years of marriage trying to work it out ---I divorced him--- for physical and verbal abuse that he would not stop. He or I have never remarried; to my knowledge he has not even had a serious relationship since but I really do not care if he does as I stopped loving him and caring about him or anything he did about three years before we divorced. It was the happiest day of my life when the judge looked at me and said Mrs. ______ you are now no longer married and are a free woman!!!! I was smiling like a NEW BRIDE! I could have some sense of security again inside my home and feel some protection from the law. :-) You must be a man thinking a woman has to be the one who is angry at being rejected for another younger woman.
The children should not suffer just because he is angry at being caught by my family, his family, and friends as being an abuser.
(I really do not get involved with child support any longer; have not for about a year and a half. I gave up the fight. It is just when I see people posts bashing the efforts being made to get children their child support it makes me angry that adults would do this to children. Xhildren who need this money to have a decent life.)
What makes me angry is that he is allowed to get away with non support of his child and his and MY child is suffering and not having the kind of life she should be having due to his ability to escape his responsibility.
It is simply a matter of a parent has the responsibility to support their child. CHILDREN deserve the life they can have with both parents support.
-- Obo (email@example.com), January 29, 2000.