GET WHAT YOU DESERVE!
HOW TO COLLECT BACK CHILD SUPPORT
& WHEN TO USE COLLECTION AGENCIES
Even though I've been a thorn in the side of the debt collection industry for many years now, I have no patience nor tolerance for parents that aren't paying their child support. In fact, it's a national epidemic, with over $49 billion owed in back child support nationally.
While I'm a firm believer in the squeaky wheel getting the grease, I also recognize that it's difficult for a working/single parent to pursue a deadbeat ex-spouse/parent in hopes of collecting what's owed. There is a national support group that teaches consumers how to get what they're owed; it's called: ACES-The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support, Inc. They've got chapters in 48 states and a national membership in excess of 30,000. Check your local directory assistance for a chapter near you; in Texas the main chapter is in Dallas: (214) 553-5935.
You might also want to get your hands on a new (and it's even free!) booklet from the Consumer Information Center. It's called "Handbook on Child Support Enforcement" and you can get a free copy by writing to the Consumer Information Center, Department 512E, Pueblo, CO 81009 or if you're cyber-friendly, go to their website and order on-line: www.gsa.gov/staff/pa/cic/cic.htm
No matter where you are in the education process--from establishing paternity to tracking down the non-custodial parent and actually collecting--it's great information for anyone facing this challenge. Besides, the price is right.
- If you've got to have a court order to pay in force and be owed at least $5,000,
By now I hope you know my stand on this: Try to collect what's owed to you first, and if you're worn out with chasing the scumbag, then you might want to consider calling in the pit bulls. These third party child support collection agencies have a much higher success rate, because they get a piece of everything they collect on your behalf, in many cases as much as 33.33%. But two-thirds of something is better than 100% of nothing. Darryl Grubbs from CSE-Child Support Enforcement educated my listeners and viewers on how their side of the business works:
you're a candidate to use the services of a company like CSE to take your case. They're good at locating your target, with a 90% success rate in skip-tracing the opposition! Find out more about their company by calling (800) 801-KIDS or (512) 437-6116, or check out their website: www.supportkids.com
By the way, do not interpret this as an endorsement of CSE, they just happen to be the company I chose to represent the industry for my radio and TV shows/segments. There's quite a few companies in this line of work across the country, but be sure to do your homework before you sign up with any company to collect past due child support!
FIVE SMART INFORMATION POINT-QUESTIONS
FOR SMART CUSTODIAL
PARENTS TO ASK BEFORE ENGAGING
THIRD-PARTY CHILD SUPPORT DEBT COLLECTION
Some questions you need to focus on before you sign a contract with one of these companies:
1. How long has the company been in business?
2. Check with your state's Attorney General's office and find out if there have been any complaints filed against the company you're considering.
3. Are they bonded? They are? Prove it! Get a copy of the bond and verify that it's current and the company writing the bond is in good standing with your state's Board of Insurance. If you don't, you're taking the chance of someone collecting money that you were owed and then disappearing with it!
4. You hired an attorney to divorce your ex-spouse and get the child support orders, right? Then spend a few bucks and let that attorney (or an attorney that you trust or have been referred to by someone you trust) take a look at the contract the child support collection agency is asking you to sign. Make sure you understand the terms of the contract, because this collection agency will ALWAYS get what they're owed! (A typical question you need to ask: "What happens if my the parent begins paying child support on their own? Do you still get your percentage?")
5. DO NOT pay any fees "up front" to any company that is out selling themselves as a child support collection agency. If they're not willing to take their fees out of the funds that they collect on your behalf, run the other way as fast as you can! NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
Since I've never focused on child support before in any of my books, I was surprised to learn that these hired gun child support collection agencies are exempt from some of the Fair Debt Collection Practices laws that protect consumers...and in my opinion, rightfully so! If they've got kids they're responsible for, then all bets are off! Go kick some tails and get what your kids deserve!