Child Support Collections FAQ'S

**DISCLAIMER**

Kids, Ltd. advises you that all information included in these
"FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS" are not legal interpretations, legal advice or legal opinions. They are the opinions of Kids, Ltd. and our staff based upon over 20 years of observations and work in the collection field. Some answers will not apply in all states. Any question which requires a legal opinion should be referred to
your own attorney.

GENERAL INFO

In most cases, any reputable child support collection agency will be able to provide most services and would have many of the same answers to the general FAQ's listed below. Questions regarding rates, procedures, attorney fees, court costs, method of operation, insurance and bonding, membership in various organizations, years in business etc. should be addressed with the agency you are considering dealing with. In most cases doing your homework will pay off. Do not be fooled by slick guarantees or fast talk etc. Use some common sense when choosing an agency to represent you.

FAQ's

1. Q: How much will all it cost to place my case with a private child support agency?

A: Each agency has its' own rate structure. Please check each agency very carefully to insure that you understand the rates that will be charged. Some agencies have some "administrative or other fees" included in their agreement.

Once a case is placed with us we work strictly on a contingency of 30% (some exceptions i.e. if sent to an attorney etc). See Kids rates: feerates.htm

2. Q: Do you guarantee results?

A: No.

3. Q: What makes you different from the state?

A: We have more incentive - we make no money if we don't collect for you.

4. Q: What about tax intercept?

A: The IRS will only deal with the approved CSE Agency. They have to download information on all absent parents to the IRS every year and if the absent parent is entitled to a refund, it will be automatically intercepted.

5. Q: What if the absent parent is on Social Security, Workman's Compensation, Unemployment or Disability?

A: If the absent parent is on Workman's Compensation or unemployment, it is attachable. Social Security, Disability, VA benefits does allow for separate benefits for the child, however these are only attachable in some circumstances.

6. Q: What if he is self employed?

A: An asset search can sometimes determine what attachable property, bank accounts, etc. the absent parent may have. Also, the absent parent can be summoned to court to provide proof of what assets that he owns and/or tax records, business records, proof of income, etc.

7. Q: What if an absent parent has to have a license to work?

A: Drivers licenses, Professional licenses, hunting and fishing licenses, etc can all be revoked because of non-payment.

8. Q: What if the absent parent is in another state?

A: No problem. Once we have located the absent parent's employment information, we can get a universal (interstate) notice of withholding (sometimes called a WHO order).

9. Q: What if the absent parent works off-shore or is out of the country?

A: Most legitimate companies have a question on their application relating to whether or not they are running from something (the law, court hearings, etc.) and in some cases the absent parent can be terminated from his job, for falsifying his employment application.

These cases are very difficult to collect due to the laws being different in each country, the legal process itself, the social climate within that country regarding child support etc. Agency's that are members of the Child Support Enforcement Council can forward the case to a member that specializes in these cases or in some cases is effective in direct collection from the A/P.


10. Q: Can you terminate an absent parent's parental rights?

A: That is a separate issue and needs to be addressed by an attorney. We specialize in collecting child support only.

11. Q: What can a parent do to collect child support themselves without the assistance of a private collection agency?

A: 11a) Use the Attorney General's office or other public child support enforcement offices. When a CSE Agency has the time to work on a case, their programs can be successful, however, many custodial parents who have previously had cases with public agencies have waited as long as 1 year or longer with little or no results.


Government agencies are overburdened with approximately 1,000 cases per case worker. The CSE offices are most successful with cases where the A/P's employment is known. In these cases they often get a WHO order and it is taken from his pay. Often, through no fault of their own, they must work cases on a priority basis, which is usually,:

-AFDC/TANF cases first, in order to reduce the state and federal funds involved in supporting the dependant children.

-Known employment cases because they can easily get support direct from the employer's by deductions from the A/P's payroll.

-Paternity cases, to establish paternity to take A/P to court to establish support orders. These cases are also very likely to be AFDC/TANF cases also. Most of the time they don't even know who the father is.

-Last, cases where A/P's location is unknown or cases which are not on AFDC/TANF. CSE offices generally do an amazing job but they are so totally understaffed that any effective help for these cases is often negligible.


11b) Use Private Attorneys. Private attorneys are often expensive and usually involve taking the non-custodial parent back to court and re-enforcing the court order which cannot be guaranteed. The custodial parent is also not only asked to put up a large amount of money, but also is asked to do much of the leg work, including locating the absent parent. Attorneys do not directly collect the past due child support - it still remains in the hands of the courts.

11c) Self Help. On occasions custodial parents feel if they can locate the absent parent and negotiate payments, it would be beneficial to all. The problem here is that it is usually a temporary solution and
once the absent parent fails to pay, the custodial parent only has a verbal agreement which is not admissible in court, the C/P can then revert to a Private Attorney.

Probably the best things a C/P can do to help themselves is to keep close track of where the A/P is living, their social security number, where they work, where are any relatives etc. Be sure to keep pictures of the A/P. Remember, an A/P often begins paying but later stops paying. Don't trust your memory, write things down just in case. The best way to get help at no cost is the CSE office. The best results with them is if you know where he works.

11d) Support Organizations. Organizations outside the government agencies can provide good moral support and provide much needed information, however, the custodial parent must still do most of the legwork. Keep in mind once all research is done, the custodial parent is still dependant upon a public agency and/or the courts to enforce the orders. Such organizations include:

For Kids Sake
Family Outreach Centers
Single Parents Association or


nccsosupporter.gif (3746 bytes)

12. Q: What makes you (KIDS, LTD.) better than the Attorney General's office?

A: KIDS, LTD. is only one of your choices. KIDS, LTD. will approach collections in an aggressive manner and normally attempt direct contact with the absent parent a minimum of once every 7 days, while active,  through various methods. If you have been unsuccessful using your local CSE office or Attorney General's office you may want to consider KIDS, LTD. or another private enforcement agency to see if we can get the monies due you and your children. When you think about it - what do you have to lose!!

13. Q: Why do you charge a fee / percentage?

A: KIDS, LTD. is not a public (governmental) office. Your tax dollars are not paying all the expenses to allow us to work your case. We only charge a percentage of what we collect. If we had our preference, we would give 100% of the child support to the custodial parent and make the absent parent pay the collection fees. Unfortunately, the law does not allow that practice at this time. If we don't collect, you owe us nothing.

14. Q: What do I do if I don't have a paternity order and we have never been married?

A: You need to go to your local child support enforcement office to set up a paternity test. Once paternity has been established, the Attorney General's office can set up child support obligations.

15. Q: How do I know once you have collected the child support, my kids and I will get it?

A: We are a well established company and a member of the Child Support Enforcement Council. We are bonded and insured to protect our clients interests. Check us out!

16. Q: If the money is sent directly to me, do I still owe you commission?

A: Yes. Regardless where the money comes from, once we have accepted the case, all monies received are commissionable. Some court orders are set up for direct payments to the C/P, which would go to you.

17. Q: What if I want to cancel, how do I go about it?

A: The contract remains in effect for a minimum of 12 months. If at any time, you interfere or have the power of attorney revoked, you will encounter a financial penalty.

18. Q: How long after you have received money, do I receive my portion?

A: Your portion will be mailed a maximum of 10 business days after the receipt of monies on the account. Usually it will be sent within 3 days of receipt by us.

19. Q: What do you do if you have to take my ex-spouse back to court? What will it cost me?

A: If we have to take him back to court, KIDS, LTD. will, at our option, advance all legal fees i.e. court costs, filing fees and initial attorney fee (against future amounts collected). The custodial parent usually will not be asked to pay any up front money. However, if we're successful, 100% of the legal fees are reimbursed to us first, then a 65/35 split is done. The contingency fee is also increased from the normal 30% to 35% because there are more people involved.

Other agencies may have different policies regarding how they handle court costs, attorney fees etc. and may require that the C/P pay these costs up front.

20. Q: What can a custodial parent do to collect child support on their own, what options does she have and how does she follow up?

A: There must first be a valid court order that awards child support (divorce, paternity, separation with temporary order, etc.) If the absent parent does not pay, the custodial parent can seek out the local Child Support Enforcement Agency. If employment information is available, the CSE Agency can attach wages. Each CSE Agency is required to establish, enforce and modify child support orders for families in need. If the CSE Agency does not follow established federal and state laws and regulations, the custodial parent can complain to the OCSE Regional Representative.

If the CSE Agency is successful in locating the AP and there is no employment information, they can do an asset search and if necessary file a motion of contempt and have a judgement issued. The CSE Agency will have their own attorney and he will be looking out for the best interests of the state and not necessarily of the custodial parent and child or children. If the absent parent does not show up for the court hearing, it will be the judge's decision whether the case is continued, a warrant is issued or the case is closed.

21. Q: How do I find a reputable collection agency?

A: Ask lots of questions! In some cases you have to determine what is important to you i.e. a local company vs. an agency located in some other city or state etc.

Here are some basics you need to consider:

-Are they bonded?
-Are they insured?
-How long in business?
-Are they members of any national organizations?
-References?
-Check them out with the Better Business Bureau
-Do they have experience with child support?
-Is their staff courteous?
-Are they knowledgeable?
-How many employees?
-Did you read the contract?
-Did you read the information about them?
-Do they send monthly status reports?
-Are they willing to provide a copy of their bonding?
-Are they properly licensed or registered, if required by law in their state?

22. Q: Can you take him back to court to get more support for the children?

A: No. This is a legal matter and must be handled by your attorney. We specialize in collection of court ordered support and arrearages only.

23. Q: Where can I find various sample and / or legal forms regarding child support and custody etc.?

A: Some forms are free and some not at the various locations. We would suggest you try this location for starters:

go to yahoo! do search for :

legal+forms+list+library

it also has other locations within some of the sites for additional info, forms etc.

 

24. Q: How do I report or complain about a private child support agency?

A: Most complaints can be handled by working directly with the agency that you are having a problem with. Usually you should contact the agency and ask for the manager and attempt to resolve the issue.

If you have a problem with our agency, please contact us at 210-681-8344 prior to contacting any of the other resources below.

In most states you can complain to your congressman or to the Attorney General's office, if you have a complaint about a private enforcement agency.

If you are unsuccessful in resolving the issue with the agency you are using including KIDS, LTD. (and you are a Texas resident) you may also complain to the Texas Banking Commission. Under the new law "Texas Finance Code Chapter 396", effective January 1, 2002, you may contact them directly (below).

If you have a complaint, first contact Kids, Ltd.. If you still have an unresolved complaint please contact the Texas Department of Banking. Complaints must be in writing.

Texas Department of Banking
2601 North Lamar, Austin, Texas 78705-4294
Toll free consumer hotline: 877-276-5554 or 512-475-1313
Email: Texas Dept. of Banking
Web site: www.dob.texas.gov

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