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Department of Human Resources Announces Largest Child Support Collection in Maryland History

Nearly $400,000 in overdue payments collected from a single parent underscores Maryland’s progress in reforming child support collections

 BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (January 30, 2012) – Today, the Department of Human Resources (DHR) announced that the Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) has collected nearly $400,000 in overdue child support payments from a single non-custodial parent — the largest collection of its kind in Maryland history. This historic collection underscores the great progress the department is making towards becoming a national leader in child support collection, and serves as a notice to non-custodial parents that neither time nor distance absolves them from their responsibilities to their children.

 “I hope that this collection sends a clear message to non-custodial parents that Maryland is committed to collecting the support that is due to our children,” said Secretary Ted Dallas. “We’re leaving no stone unturned in our effort to make Maryland one of the top ten states in terms of child support collections within the next 18 months.”

 This record collection comes as the department is making great strides in increasing collections — having currently collected $2 million more than at this same point in FY 2011 — in part due to an increased focus on interstate cooperation.   In December 2010, the department began working in close cooperation with the delinquent parent’s state of residence. In June 2011, following a hearing in the parent’s state of residence, a number of private bank accounts were frozen as a result of the parent’s failure to meet their obligations despite having the ability to pay. That December, funds were seized sufficient to pay the overdue payments in full.

 “This is a good day for Maryland families,” said Joe DiPrimio, executive director of the Child Support Enforcement Administration. “Our tough, but fair, approach is putting delinquent parents on notice. Parents who have the ability to pay will pay — no matter where they live. Their children deserve nothing less.”

 Last month, the department announced a set of sweeping changes to the Child Support Enforcement Administration, including the appointment of Mr. DiPrimio as executive director. In an effort to make Maryland one of the top ten states in the nation for child support collections, the department announced that it would:

 • increase collections by better leveraging targeted enforcement tools, such as the garnishment of wages and bank accounts and the suspension of professional licenses;

 • streamline operations by adopting best practices to increase the amount of support collected and expedite the distribution of child support payments to families;

• improve accountability by moving the Audit Unit to the Office of the Inspector General; and

 • establish a Child Support Advisory Committee comprised of parents, child advocates and public and private sector stakeholders to help implement improvements and make Maryland’s child support system more responsive.

 The Child Support Enforcement Administration is responsible for operating a statewide child support program and provides services to both noncustodial and custodial parents, which include the establishment of paternity and child support orders, the collection of support payments, and the distribution of such funds. CSEA distributes funds to custodial parents and helps custodial parents enforce the legal child support obligations of  non-custodial parents.

 For more information, visit the Maryland Department of Human Resources.

Filed in: Child Support, DHS News

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