States Collect Back Child Support in Several Ways

Courts have a variety of tools to enforce payment of child support and collect past due support, and they enforce child support orders and collect support in a variety of ways. Child support collection agencies work with credit bureaus, file liens against real and personal property; ask courts to deny or suspend licenses, revoke passports; intercept tax refunds, lottery winnings, unemployment funds, or workers’ compensation payments; and garnish bank accounts.

When the state has not been successful in any other way, the child support agency may ask the courts to take action against the deadbeat parent, who faces jail or is required to post bond guaranteeing timely payment of support in the future and potential back due child support.

Delinquent child support payments may be reported to the consumer credit bureaus that track credit records. This can affect the debtor’s ability to secure a loan, obtain employment, or establish a new credit card.

Liens can be placed on certain types of real property owned by the payor parent, such as his or her house or car. This lien prevents the payor parent from selling the property until all the debt (child support) is paid. In addition, some states allow the child support agency to seize the property as payment for past due child support payments.
State child support agencies can work in cooperation with other state and federal agencies to request revocation of licenses, including driver’s licenses, recreational licenses, passports, and professional licenses.

The Child Support agencies garnish bank accounts or investments in order to pay for past due child support payments.When a payor owes significant past due child support payments, the state child support collection agency intercepts other sources of income, such as tax refunds, lottery winnings, unemployment funds, or workers’ compensation payments to repay the debt. The amount intercepted will be no more than the amount of delinquent support owed.


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