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Author Topic: An intresting and informative read  (Read 8690 times)

babyfat

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An intresting and informative read
« on: Nov 08, 2007, 08:24:28 AM »
http://www.nfja.org/positionstatement/childsupportbudgetcuts.shtml

This goes with the last topic but is just slightly different. Loaded with fact, stats, and valueble info.


reagantrooper

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RE: An intresting and informative read
« Reply #1 on: Nov 09, 2007, 10:03:07 AM »
Good read. Sunshine should give it a whirl.

mistoffolees

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RE: An intresting and informative read
« Reply #2 on: Nov 09, 2007, 12:54:50 PM »
Actually, there's very little information there that enlightens anything. It reads as a sensationalist story.

For example take one of the more volatile statements: "there are millions of dollars in child support that have been collected but not distributed to the children it was intended for". Sounds like an important statistic on the surface. But let's dig a little deeper:

- How many millions?
- How much is the total child support collected in this country (hint: it's BILLIONS, not millions). So what is the percentage that doesn't get where it's going?
- WHY did that child support not get to the designated place? Was a parent in hiding so that they could not be located? Was it an admin messup what was later resolved? Did someone steal the money?

There's nothing in there which addresses the fundamental issues:

- Are children in general benefiting from Child support?
- What percentage of children are not getting the benefit of child support?
- What percentage of the collected child support is actually spent for the child's benefit?
- And so on.

THOSE are the questions that matter - and none of them is addressed. Instead, this article provides more of the same fear-mongering that is so common and that I'm resisting in this board. Example? The repeat the story of someone who was handcuffed in front of his co-workers. That's a tragic story, no doubt. But unless they can show that it happens a significant amount of time, it's no more than a personal tragedy. They make absolutely no effort to show how common these tragedies are - and without that effort, it's nothing more than a fear-mongering exercise.

Add to that the regular statements with no backup "we believe the amount of undistributed child support is too high" or "we believe the $4.38 collected per dollar spent is incorrect" statements. They could be right. But until they provide SOMETHING to support their statements that the government figures are wrong, it's nothing more than whining.  If they have a real plan backed by real evidence, I'd be as happy as anyone to see it implemented. I do NOT, however, favor plans based purely on emotion coming from people who even admit in their paper that they don't understand financial issues ("We would like to see a financial expert "crunch" the numbers.")

This doesn't apply solely to this issue, btw. It applies to everything. People need to learn to think critically and look for evidence rather than accepting every emotional appeal thrown at them.

Accepting statements like "this figure is too high" without even wondering how they arrived at that conclusion doesn't do anyone any good.

reagantrooper

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RE: An intresting and informative read
« Reply #3 on: Nov 09, 2007, 01:37:30 PM »
What a piece of work Sunshine!

Ref

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POSITION statement
« Reply #4 on: Nov 09, 2007, 01:44:11 PM »
It is an interesting position statement. I happen to agree with their position but it goes beyond Child Support.

I guess it is a little off topic, but as a public accountant who has audited government agencies, I can tell you that there is a lot of waste. I think every dollar spend by goverment agencies should be scrutinized to make sure the public is getting everything they are paying for. I am a liberal person and believe in social services, but believing in them and believing in how many of them are run are two totally seperate things.

Very interesting babyfat. I wish there was a "take it outside" board where I could have stuck this OT comment but it aint here so....

Best wishes,
Ref


mistoffolees

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RE: An intresting and informative read
« Reply #5 on: Nov 09, 2007, 02:34:42 PM »
>What a piece of work Sunshine!

Is that supposed to be a reasoned, intelligent response?

MixedBag

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Two wrongs...
« Reply #6 on: Nov 09, 2007, 03:54:57 PM »
Don't make it right.

Davy

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RE: Two wrongs...
« Reply #7 on: Nov 09, 2007, 09:08:30 PM »

What in the world are you trying to say.

MixedBag

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RE: Two wrongs...
« Reply #8 on: Nov 10, 2007, 06:18:11 AM »
Mist should know and that's what matters.

babyfat

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RE: POSITION statement
« Reply #9 on: Nov 10, 2007, 08:31:27 AM »
>I guess it is a little off topic, but as a public accountant
>who has audited government agencies, I can tell you that there
>is a lot of waste. I think every dollar spend by goverment
>agencies should be scrutinized to make sure the public is
>getting everything they are paying for. I am a liberal person
>and believe in social services, but believing in them and
>believing in how many of them are run are two totally seperate
>things.


That was kinda the point I was trying to make. There is too much waste large portions of money intended to go to one place is going towards others. It is not that the system can't work, it can and in some situations does but not always. Your never going to get any social program or any other program for that matter to have a 100% success rate and there are always improvements to be made. Really on paper there is little wrong with the system it is in the process of trying to make it work that things don't get carried out as it should, mistakes are made, people get hurt and so do children. If they used all the money they wasted and pissed away to regulate the system the results would be better all the way around. The main problem with the system is human error, lazyness, and people trying to get one over on the system. I too hold your position of I "believe in social services, but believing in them and
believing in how many of them are run are two totally seperate
things."

mistoffolees

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RE: POSITION statement
« Reply #10 on: Nov 10, 2007, 09:07:17 AM »

>
>That was kinda the point I was trying to make. There is too
>much waste large portions of money intended to go to one place
>is going towards others. It is not that the system can't work,
>it can and in some situations does but not always. Your never
>going to get any social program or any other program for that
>matter to have a 100% success rate and there are always
>improvements to be made. Really on paper there is little wrong
>with the system it is in the process of trying to make it work
>that things don't get carried out as it should, mistakes are
>made, people get hurt and so do children. If they used all the
>money they wasted and pissed away to regulate the system the
>results would be better all the way around. The main problem
>with the system is human error, lazyness, and people trying to
>get one over on the system. I too hold your position of I
>"believe in social services, but believing in them and
>believing in how many of them are run are two totally
>seperate
>things."

Absolutely. I agree completely with that.

However, I do not believe that justifies scrapping the system - which is what has been proposed.

Instead, I think a couple of things should happen:

1. Wherever possible, people should be paying their child support directly. If that happened 100% of the time, there's be no need for CSE. That's clearly never going to happen, but the more often people pay directly, the less need for CSE.

2. When people CHOOSE to use CSE for whatever reason (and, yes, there are very good reasons on both sides), they need to be aware that there's a cost for doing so.

3. Of course, like any government (or private, for that matter) program, there's waste. An effort should be made to reduce the waste in ANY program. In this case, there are a number of incompetent people and efforts should be made to have them removed from CSE, for example.

The system can be improved - no doubt. That doesn't mean that it's worthless or unnecessary - as some have proposed.

Davy

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RE: Two wrongs...
« Reply #11 on: Nov 10, 2007, 09:20:11 AM »
Children, parents and families MATTER.  mist doesnt.

babyfat

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RE: POSITION statement
« Reply #12 on: Nov 10, 2007, 10:01:13 AM »
>Absolutely. I agree completely with that.
>
>However, I do not believe that justifies scrapping the system
>- which is what has been proposed.

Yes this link does propose that but that wasn't what I was getting at just that it states as reasons to scrap it and there are reasons.

>
>Instead, I think a couple of things should happen:
>
>1. Wherever possible, people should be paying their child
>support directly. If that happened 100% of the time, there's
>be no need for CSE. That's clearly never going to happen, but
>the more often people pay directly, the less need for CSE.
 
I absolutly agree with that CSE should only be used for persons who are not willing to pay, not for people who are doing the responcible thing and are compliant with court orders. However many judges out there automaticly send it to CSE with out any question as to whether or not the parent will pay and before the NCP has even defaulted on payments. Another goodie was when my husband died I got a packet from CSE to fill out because I was trying to get a medical card for my children. They actually expected me to fill it out with a death cert on file. Waste of paper and time yep! In order to get the medical card I actually had to fill it out you should of seen how I filled out "last known address" Good thing I have a sence of humor and the receiver of the paper said to me that was the funniest form he has read in a long time (seriously I put currently half his body is on the hill side at (his dad's farms address) and the other half is in the back of my steps son closet at (step sons address)

>2. When people CHOOSE to use CSE for whatever reason (and,
>yes, there are very good reasons on both sides), they need to
>be aware that there's a cost for doing so.

I also agree with this and I believe the person causing the problem should have to pay part of this fee not all something like a yearly flat rate of a reasonable ammount like say mom has the kids dad wont pay he should have to pay the yearly service fee in addition to the support however if he can prove he is paying and mom is just being a pain she should have to pay.

>3. Of course, like any government (or private, for that
>matter) program, there's waste. An effort should be made to
>reduce the waste in ANY program. In this case, there are a
>number of incompetent people and efforts should be made to
>have them removed from CSE, for example.

I 100% agree like in any job if you screw up several times you'll get fired. If you can't do the job your suppose to do find one you can.

>The system can be improved - no doubt. That doesn't mean that
>it's worthless or unnecessary - as some have proposed.

Just to clarify my position is not that I believe the system is totally worthless, I believe it is flawed, over used, and has much human error causing problems for all. Completely shut down, no, just modified on several levels and regulated better. It needs more efficency like most government programs in the social area. I guess I'm middle of the road as far as this program goes. Yes it works for some yes it hurts some. One could make the same argument about welfare, food stamps, medicaid, etc etc.

Davy

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RE: POSITION statement
« Reply #13 on: Nov 10, 2007, 11:42:28 AM »

>> However, I do not believe that justifies scrapping the system - which is what has been proposed.

The system can be improved - no doubt. That doesn't mean that it's worthless or unnecessary - as some have proposed. >>

I haven't seen those proposals (and don't want to) but one would think  it was a ligitimate proposal and worthy of EFFECTIVE and RATIONAL communication.   Engage the poster rather than attacking this board.
PLEASE !!!

Many, many people from all walks of life have worked hard on these issues over a long period of time and the work continues TODAY.

The evidence ... metal detectors at the court house !!!

leon clugston

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RE: An intresting and informative read
« Reply #14 on: Nov 10, 2007, 07:39:40 PM »
some enteresting quotes in there from various reports and journals.
realy liked the question brought up by the House ways and means committee.

babyfat

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RE: An intresting and informative read
« Reply #15 on: Nov 11, 2007, 07:20:53 AM »
I was waiting for somebody to say that
From the House ways and means committe:

"States still make a profit on their child support program. States are
free to spend the State share of collections in any manner the State
sees fit, but States must spend Federal incentive payments solely on
the CSE program or on activities approved by the Secretary of HHS
which contribute to the effectiveness or efficiency of the CSE
program."

The way this is written the "profit" from this program taht is suppose to support children can go to just about anything the state sees fit wheater it is for kids or not. Another words they can take this money and put it towards giving the governer a raise if they felt like it or putting a new roof on the state capitol building. Things that have nothing to do with kids at all. I would not have any problem with this if there was some kind of statement like "States are free to spend the State share of collections on Education or after school programs to benifit low income children" or something like that. This statement also has hidden meaning like go after any money you can, however you can just to turn a profit, and do it by any means possible (as set forth in previous paragraphs) to maximize the profit.
Something else I noticed on my boyfriends statements was that from the moment the judge said who gets child support and ordered it the order went into effect. That means if it takes them 3 months to figure out how much then he has to pay from the back date so he already starts of owing back support with interest. So the longer it takes them to "figure out" how much he owes the more interest he has to pay, the more the state makes.

MixedBag

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Questions...
« Reply #16 on: Nov 11, 2007, 07:44:23 AM »
Maybe I need my EX#2 to chime in here...for a change since they still read...

Right now, I'm still working with WV DHR to get CS paid up to date and straight.

I'm confused as to where the state is getting it's money from when it seems like every dime collected by them is getting passed (or will get passed) to me.

I collected CS through Alabama for years, and whatever was with held from EX#1 was sent to me.  

However, When EX#3 paid CS through OH, I know he paid a few dollars more each month for the state to handle it -- so I would agree it exists.

I just went back over the figures in my current case that's open and from I can tell, he's not paying any kind of surcharge for the state to handle the case.

And they claim that as soon as they get the money, they send the money.  (So if it weren't for this "problem" they are having, there would be no money to hold on to right now.)

Interest....so they're making interest while they are hanging on to it.

That's the other possibility.  

With EX#1, he got paid twice a month, and I'm not sure who hung on to the money until it was sent to me shortly after the first of the month.  Whenever the money was stuck in the wrong month, it was because they showed a payment made on the 31st, and nothing for after the 1st.  So yes, it took a phone call to "manually look for it", release it, etc...  And the payment that they showed on the 31st was for the entire amount, not just half, so that makes me believe Uncle Sam didn't send two payments, only one.

With EX#2, he gets paid every two weeks, and for a minute there, I thought it was working right, I was getting part of the CS every two weeks.  Now we have other (clarification) problems (not his fault), and I'm told I will get almost half every two weeks (monthly order/bi-weekly pay period thing).

With EX#3, after he retired and it wasn't income with holding because I sent in the money order on the first each month, I guess I really have no idea how fast the money made it to mom.  She never (in over 10 years) complained, so it must have been fairly timely.  NV did not add on any fees either for processing CS.

So, when they are holding a payment even for a day, they are making interest -- is that it?

And since you're talking tons of money at a state level, you're talking significant interest?

BTW -- let's keep the discussion friendly, O.K.?


babyfat

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RE: Questions...
« Reply #17 on: Nov 11, 2007, 08:42:16 AM »
Good questions!! If you click on the origional link and then click on the link to the house ways and means section 8 it goes into a brief explination. From what I understand there is a fee $25 or something depending on the state for the service. You really have to sit down with the ex's and go through all the numbers because I'm not sure but it appears from what I read (I could be wrong and I'm sure the states vary) that not every single penney gets to the CP. You'd actually have to sit down with pay stubs and compair to see where the extra goes. Now much of it probably comes from intrest. If dad pays on the say 15th of every month and they only issue the child on the first of every month they collect intrest on that for the time they have it. Also if due to a "mistake" they happen to hold the money for what ever reason longer than they are suppose to they are collecting intrest on it for that time too. When you consider how many children get child support in a state at any given time that is a lot of money.
See I think what the states are banking on is that when CSE is in charge of the support it is because mom and dad don't communicate. Mom jsut receives a check and is happy dad just has the money taken out and grumbles about it but isn't really going to call up and say "hey did you get the whole $247.17 they took out of my check friday"
Also from what I was getting is there is 2 different approaches to the child support one if for TANF and then the people who don't qualify for that but need services any way but that just lost me so I'll go back and read it again later (sometimes if I read something 2 or 3 times it clicks better) maybe somebody else can explain better.

mistoffolees

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RE: Questions...
« Reply #18 on: Nov 11, 2007, 10:26:01 AM »
Remember that CSE is state funded (partially reimbursed by the federal government) in most states. That means that tax dollars pay the majority of the cost of collecting CS.

The interest is insignificant if they're passing the money on quickly. On a $250 check, the interest for one day is less than $0.03 at 4%. In order to collect that $0.03, they need to have someone track the interest and account for it. If the average office person is making $15 per hour and it takes them 1 minute of work to track and account for the paperwork, it would cost them $0.25 to collect $0.03 per day. Yes, the interest on millions of checks adds up, but so does the work.

Most of CSE's budget (at least in my state) is pure taxpayer funded. That's why the latest survey says that the state recovers $4.83 in child support for every dollar of state funding.

Why do they spend that money?
First, because citizens want child support collected.
Second, because if they don't collect child support, some of those children will end up on welfare and the state will pay the full cost of supporting the kids - not 1/$4.83 of the cost.

MixedBag

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RE: Questions...
« Reply #19 on: Nov 11, 2007, 12:54:51 PM »
OH most certainly had a fee and the order had it listed.

NV didn't.

AL doesn't.

I believe WV doesn't.


babyfat

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RE: Questions...
« Reply #20 on: Nov 11, 2007, 05:41:44 PM »
I have my boyfriends statement of support obligation from WV  right here it has If i'm understanding it correctly He is charged $300.40 pr months taken out of his weekly check divided to $86.65 per week they charge him $5.93 in intrest and he owes no back support. So I guess because he is suppose to pay that amount at the start of the month and it takes the whole month to pay it they charge him intrest on what he hasn't had paid from the start of the month?? It is just listed as "Child Support Intrest" doesn't say who gets it. There is also a something that says "Fees= no intrest charged on Fees and then it says 0.00 across from that. Maybe some are charged a fee and some don't get charged a fee or maybe they are charging him a fee by charging intrest. It does not say who gets the almost 6 bucks and him and the ex don't talk with out a third party present or shall I say through a third party so who knows if she gets it.

MixedBag

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RE: Questions...
« Reply #21 on: Nov 11, 2007, 05:55:16 PM »
O.KI., mine has no line for "interest" or fees...

It says:

Current Child Support Obligation:  $XXX.00

Amount of Curent CS Collected for the Mongh:  $XXX

Amount of Arrearages Collected for themonth:  $XXX

Total Amount Collected for the Month:               $XXX (which is the sum of the two amounts above)

Of this amount, the total amount kep by the state or collected on the last day of the month:                                     $XXX

The total amount sent to you:                           $XXX (just the first payment).

Then it has an asterisk:  

This amount may include money collected on the last business day of October.  If so, it should be sent to you the first buiness day of November.  The check will be reflected on your next statement.  Also, payments received from IRS Joint tax refunds will be held up to 6 months.

I can't put in real figures -- because my EX and Camilla still read and print my posts.

Real figures don't matter anyways.  

Even the statement for September said the same thing -- and no "interest" listed or fees.  Except in September it did say he was "$XXX behind" which was true but not his fault totally as we were just getting everything in place.

Baby, I think you should call on Tuesday -- they're probably closed tomorrow -- and find out why he's being charged interest.  

IMHO....of course.

babyfat

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RE: Questions...
« Reply #22 on: Nov 11, 2007, 06:45:43 PM »
I think what the difference is may be that your a payee and reading from what you receive and my boyfriend is a payor. Yours would not have intrest or fees printed on it because those arent payed by you but by your ex. See I believe that since they aren't telling you what the intrest is (and if he was behind he had to pay intrest even if only for a month) it's because your probably not ever going to see it. If he is reading this I'd love to know if he did have to pay interest and where that money went.

Yeah I think my boyfriend does need to call them because a few times I noticed it only had 3 payments listed when they take it out of his paycheck every friday and all months have 4 fridays in it then The following month only had 4 when if that was the case there should have been 5 the next month. I've also noticed if there are 5 fridays in a month I've never seen the 86 bucks taken off 5 times and it is taken out of every check no matter how many fridays are in a month.

The one thing I hate is that the statement doesn't have total amount paid for the year on it because I could then compair that to what his check has for that line (each deduction on his paycheck has a total for the year) and make sure the two numbers match. The statement itself is kind of confusing cause the way it is written it looks like he owes more at the end of the month than what he started with but actually doesn't because he has paid 4-5 times and the 4th and 5th payment aren't on there but the next month the starting bal is 0.00. It is so confusing.

MixedBag

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RE: Questions...
« Reply #23 on: Nov 11, 2007, 09:24:56 PM »
Well, he reads, so maybe he'll share.

And maybe I have a phone call to make too on Tuesday -- to ask those very questions....


leon clugston

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RE: An intresting and informative read
« Reply #24 on: Nov 11, 2007, 11:25:12 PM »
Texas Cooperative Agreements, between the AG and the Courts
Section5.1.1- Duty to employ Associate Judges for Title IV-d cases
all cases entered before child support enforcement division, by a judge or a private person is put on a IV-d application.
OCA, as provided by the laws of Texas,shall employ not more than 47 and 3/4 quarters full time equivalent Associate Judges for Title IV-d cases (hereinafter*Associate judges*) These Associate judges shall be appointed by the presiding judges of the Administrative Judicial Regions of Texas to assure the timely disposition of cases involving the establishment and enforcement of title IV-d child support obligations. All associate judges shall be **devoted exclusively to the adjudication of title IV-d cases**specified in section 8 of this agreement

The attorney general for Texas holds the burden on all pays of all entities involved in the Agreements, compcontroller, judges, assistants and so forth..etc.. and said monies is funded through the feds for performance,,its lengthy, will have to post another time.

olanna

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RE: Questions...
« Reply #25 on: Nov 12, 2007, 10:49:18 AM »
Most states charge a handling fee.  Some are low, but that is passed on to whomever is receiving.  In other words, if your ex is paying $200 a month in CS, the total amount collected was $215, or something like that.  Now that doesn't sound like much, but think of all the cases they handle.  Most states handle several thousand cs cases per county, so if you multiply that by the total number collected in the states, the number is nice and fat.

Interest isn't collected by all states, just most states.  And the interest may or not be passed on to the receiver, just depends on the state and the handling of funds.

Even SC adds on a handling fee.

 

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