Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Child Support Collection
The Office of Legislative Audits (OLA) recently conducted an audit of Maryland’s Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) and found that the issues discovered four years ago have all been corrected and the number of child support payments in arrears has decreased considerably -- but there’s still room for improvement.
Four years ago, the OLA uncovered 11 problems, some of which included the CSEA’s failure to initiate wage garnishments for almost 9,000 noncustodial parents and the Administration’s failure to suspend almost 7,000 state-issued professional licenses.
Thomas Barnickel, chief auditor, noted that while there has been substantial improvement, “our audit identified opportunities for CSEA to improve its oversight of the child support enforcement operations. The agency did not ensure that local child support offices initiated follow-up action when employers failed to remit wage withholding payments.”
What Else Did the OLA Find?
The audit found that in 2014, Maryland collected $32 billion in child support, 95 percent of which went to the families, while 5 percent went to reimburse public assistance funds. 75 percent of the $32 billion was gathered by way of wage withholdings.
Nearly 1 in 4 children (or 16 million) were served by the state’s child support program in 2014, and of the custodial families eligible for support, 29 percent have income that falls below poverty level and child support actually represents about 45 percent of those families’ incomes.
The audit also uncovered the fact that local offices paid no attention to constant reminders from child support headquarters about the need to contact directly the employers of those in arrears. The auditors noted that there were “at least 4,000 [wage earners] with unpaid balances of $500 or more in child support totaling $48.5 million.”
Moreover, auditors revealed that they agency had failed to suspend the licenses (occupational and driver’s) of those individuals who were between 60 and 90 days in arrears, as the law permits. They learned that the agency was not properly coding such incidents in the system, which ultimately removed those individuals from the suspension process, in many cases.
What’s Being Done to Improve the Situation?
The agency has noted that after the auditors left, they “enhanced the language of the employer delinquency notices, and now sends three successive notices to an employer who appears to have not complied.” Additionally, the agency, in conjunction with the University of Maryland, College Park, has created a case management tool to keep better track of case statuses, as well as employer statuses.
Auditors have also suggested that the agency obtain better documentation of the work being performed by contractors.
All in all, the CSEA has collected $559 million from its open caseload of 214,000 cases, which is up 9 percent from 2010. However, that still leaves $1.33 billion uncollected. Parents and the children receiving child support funds rely on those payments heavily, in some instances.
That said, if you are a custodial parent who is having difficulty collecting court-ordered child support, do not hesitate to contact the Towson child support lawyers at the Law Offices of Amar Weisman, LLC. Let us help you get the funds to which your child is entitled.
Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation
Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.
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