Answers To Your Child Support Enforcement Questions
Your state child support enforcement agency has the records of what amounts were collected and when. Call their main number and order a copy. Most states now have an automated system to do this. You will need your social security number and your case number. They will tell you the last several payments they have received on your behalf. You should also order the written printout where they put the total due. This is free. Most state agencies do not include interest so you will probably be owed substantially more, maybe double or more, depending on how long the parent has been behind. Use an online support calculator to find out your actual amount due.
If your case is not in their system, you will need a copy of your court order and the records you have on what payments you received. If you don’t have the court order, you can order a copy by telephone from the court where the order was entered. Google the county name + courthouse and you can find their phone number. There may be a small charge to get the court order. If you don’t have a record of payments, don’t let that hold you back. You can make your best efforts and let the deadbeat dad or mom come in and dispute it if he/she has records showing he paid more.
How are private collectors different than government agencies?
Government agencies do the best they can within their budget. If a parent is working at a regular job, they do a good job of garnishing their wages and paying you directly. However, if that were your case you wouldn’t be here right? Here’s the difference. Private collection agencies get paid for performance. They collect money for you and then they get paid. They don’t collect money for you and they don’t get paid. This gives them incentive to work hard and work fast. They have access to a lot of private databases that the government does not have access to, and they can sometimes track down a deadbeat parent very quickly.
How are private child support collection agencies paid?
We’ve all heard the lawyer ads “I don’t get paid, unless you get paid.” It is the same with private collectors. They take a percentage of what they actually get for you. This percentage typically runs from 30-35%. Some agencies also charge an application fee. They do not make you pay this up front, but withhold it from what they collect for you. You may want to check and compare several agencies for the best deal for your situation.
Why should I pay a private child support collector a percent when I can get free state services?
The answer is simple. If the state was working for you, you would not be looking for more help. The state does the best they can with what they have, but they are limited in what they have, the time, knowledge and resources to do. I look at it this way. Today you have 100% of nothing. Wouldn’t it be better to have 70% of something?
How complicated is it to apply for collection?
The process is very easy. First, read our reviews to decide which agency is for you. After that, go to the website of the one or two you are interested in working with. They all have online applications and will email you a contract. Typically you only need information you know already or can get from your court order. It’s that simple. Fill out a simple online form. Sign an agreement. Mail it. Let your collection agency roll up their sleeves and get to work for you. Then, you can cash your check. It’s like Christmas, only better!