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Author Topic: contempt? Really?  (Read 2913 times)

flynlow

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contempt? Really?
« on: Nov 10, 2011, 10:46:02 PM »
Hi all. My first post. I am looking for some input on a situation I have. I hope I can make it clear enough to understand without making it too long. I have an order to pay support from one state and live in another. I never lived in the issuing state, the ex went there to visit her mom and never came back. The order was made for $630 per month. I fell behind several times over the course of 17 years. If it matters, the money was never to go to her, she was on assistance and it was to repay the state she lives in.

In 2005 they sent the order to my state to be collected. My state instituted income withholding. Fast forward to 2009, I lost my job of 15 years. I called and reported that, got on unemployment and the support was taken out of that, as expected. Here is where it gets somewhat complicated. In May of 2010 I went to court and got a modification. That cut my duty support in half to $315 per mo. In my state, unemployment will only take out a percentage, no matter what you owe. They were taking $452 per month when I owed $315. I called and asked the CS enforcement people in my state about this, I asked what happens with the overage. I am told anything over the $315 is applied to the following month.

Therefore, every month I pay, $137 is applied to the next month. The CS person gave me the address to a website, my case number and a pin number, telling me I can keep track online of everything that happens, every payment etc. My unemployment benefits expired in May 2011. I looked on their web site and it said my next due date was October 2011. Okay, no problem so far I think. I look again every few weeks to make sure nothing has changed. The only thing different was a tax interception for $405. That moved my due date up to Nov 2011. So I get the money together and pay my monthly pmnt of $315, this month. The very day it is applied to my acct, the sheriff knocks at my door and hands me papers. An order to appear for contempt.

According to this paper, my support is $630 per mo (it isn't, it's $315). That the original order has never been set aside, modified or reversed and is in full force and effect. (it was modified in May of 2010 and their online system reflects that, as in monthly due $315). That I am in arrears the amount that I was in arrears before my last payment.

Now. I wonder, how am I possibly in contempt? To my knowledge I am current. This state sends you a delinquent notice on the 8th of the month if pmnt isn't made by the 7th. I got a couple in 09 while waiting for the unemployment to kick in. However, from the time my unemployment stopped, when I assume the overpayments had covered those 4 mos I didn't send anything, I did not receive any delinquent notices. I am saying, by their online system that they instructed me to use to keep track, by the person telling me that all monies from over payments are applied to the following month, I don't see where I am behind, or missed any payments.

I would like your input on what you think they are doing? Do you think I could call and plead my case before the hearing, explaining the situation plus the fact that there is an obvious mistake on the paper work, givimng the wrong amount and saying the order has never been modified? Or am I sunk for not paying those 4 months, even-though their system said I was current (ahead actually) and received no notice of any delinquency. Very confused. Thanks for any help/ideas/input.


ocean

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Re: contempt? Really?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 11, 2011, 07:25:47 AM »
It is better to go to the hearing and have a new court order written for the new amount WITH NO arrears as of XX date.

My guess is that either you have two accounts for some reason or when you went to court to get it reduced, you still had arrears from before that was on account and that was not erased. Even if you get it reduced, usually you still have to pay the backdated amount. (but you said the system said it was zero....so ...)

How far back does the computer account go that you can print it all out? If not, ask them to send you the last year statement in the mail. The computer account may only show the active child support (here is shows both, arrears and support).

The telephone child support hotline we have found is a waste of time. I always had to GO to their office. They have one in every county. You can also try to get the address of the county child support office and send a letter registered mail to prove you sent it with your telephone number and what you wrote above and see if someone can look into it before the date. Then you will get a CS worker and not a phone operator.

Dealing with two states is even more crazy. Does your state have the new order? Did you job get the new order? Ask them for a copy of the new order the received to change it to the lower amount.

Giggles

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Re: contempt? Really?
« Reply #2 on: Nov 11, 2011, 08:40:15 AM »
This same thing happened to my hubby....he went to the court date and it was dismissed.
 
Like Ocean said....take your paperwork that shows what you've paid, the order with the new amounts and the print out showing your paid....
 
Many times it's computer generated and this could be just a system error.
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MixedBag

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Re: contempt? Really?
« Reply #3 on: Nov 11, 2011, 09:28:47 AM »
I hope you've used the print (screen) buttons and filed away what you saw on the computer..
 
AND YES go to court for the hearing..

flynlow

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Re: contempt? Really?
« Reply #4 on: Nov 11, 2011, 11:03:49 AM »
It is better to go to the hearing and have a new court order written for the new amount WITH NO arrears as of XX date.

My guess is that either you have two accounts for some reason or when you went to court to get it reduced, you still had arrears from before that was on account and that was not erased. Even if you get it reduced, usually you still have to pay the backdated amount. (but you said the system said it was zero....so ...)

How far back does the computer account go that you can print it all out? If not, ask them to send you the last year statement in the mail. The computer account may only show the active child support (here is shows both, arrears and support).

Dealing with two states is even more crazy. Does your state have the new order? Did you job get the new order? Ask them for a copy of the new order the received to change it to the lower amount.

Thanks for the replies. The whole case is arrears. That is all I am paying. I don't owe current support any longer as the child is emancipated. As for dealing with two states, yes it has been a pain. I call the original state once in a while just to make sure my state is getting the money up there, etc. I called when I was served papers to see if they had any knowledge of it. They (the person I spoke with) was shocked that it was happening. He looked at my case from their end and said he saw no flags of any sort. He said he thought it was "stupid". That in his state, they use contempt proceedings to go after people obviously ducking the system. Not someone that misses a couple payments. Plus when I explained the so called missed payments and the over payments applied to following months, he understood that perfectly and said it was ridiculous. Unfortunately, he said if he called them, it would do no good, or he would. He is mailing me my full account for the past year and a half since the modified order took effect. It's funny but it's not, that the state that wrote the order is more understanding than the state that is just the collection agency.

As for what I can pull up on my screen from the CSE website, I can pull the entire history and yes, I have used print screen on that. After I posted last night, I also went digging around some and found an interesting item. Where I mentioned about the delinquency notices, it is actually a 'rule' here, that they have to be sent when an account is 7 days past due. Not that they are sent as a friendly reminder whenever someone decides it's your turn to get one but a rule. Funny I haven't received one in a couple years. Certainly not the recent months that I assume are in question.


 

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