February 6, 2007

Supportkids........what a joke!

After ten months of in-depth investigation and research, a well documented report about Child Support Enforcement issued in March, 2002, by the U.S. General Accounting Office, shows that private child support enforcement agencies are providing valuable assistance to custodial parents.......I read that article and had to laugh. I want every Single Parent out there, in search of child support, to be very wary of the company you chose to help you get your money. 5 years ago I was desperate. My ex husband left the state and the DA's office wasnt doing anything to help me get child support. I seen an advertisement on the TV for a place called SUPPORTKIDS, they are based out of Texas. I didnt read the fine print and have been paying them ever since. He owed me 45,000 at the time. When I signed the contract, I didnt realize they were going to continue to take 34% of my child support until 45,000 had been collected. I hired them in November of 2002 and they are still collecting. To date, Ive paid those assholes thousands of dollars for their services. They refuse to terminate our contract until they have collected the full amount, which means, at the end of this thing I will have paid them 15,300 dollars. The DA's office sends them the check, they take their 34% (almost half of my child support) and then cut me a check for the rest. They have done nothing besides the initial contacting of his employer with the garnishment 5 years ago. Since then, they have received their fair share and then some. Right now, the time it takes for the money to leave the DA's office in San Bernardino, go to Texas and come back to me, is 2 weeks. Since we just went thru the holiday season, my checks are running 3 weeks behind. Wait, its February and my checks are STILL 3 weeks behind. When you call them, they are rude and do nothing to help. I understand a single parents need for support but there are other ways to go about it. True, I did most of the work for the DA's office but if you know the state your ex lives in, it might be easier to go thru the DA's office there. Dont hire this company. They rip you off. As long as they have their cut, they dont care how long it takes for you to get your money. And did I mention, the new clients get an 800 number to call but the existing clients have to pay a toll charge?? If I can help one person out at all from this blog, I hope its you!!

3 comments:

Eric said...

Lori:

I am an employee of Supportkids, and I’m sincerely sorry that you are disappointed with our services. We’ve helped over 50,000 parents collect their child support and most are very thankful for the help they’ve received.

Our average client has gone over four years without receiving any support and is typically owed in excess of $30,000. From your blog it sounds like you were actually owed more than that, which means the other parent either wasn’t paying or was only paying sporadically when you came to Supportkids. I guess from our viewpoint, we would consider our work for you to be an outstanding success since you are now receiving regular payments. I wish we could speed up the checks you receive, but we simply can’t get them to you any faster considering they are traveling by mail.

Yes, Supportkids does charge a fee for its services, but it is a contingency fee which means clients don’t pay us unless we collect. I’ve heard our clients say over and over that it’s better to receive 66% of something than 100% of nothing. I’m guessing you thought the same thing when you signed up with us. Regarding our contract, we do try to explain our fees as clearly as possible. For example, your contract says on the middle of the first page in the same size type as the rest of the contract: “The Amount I Will Be Charged for Supportkids’ Services – I will pay Supportkids 34% of each payment received until all of the Specified Amount has been paid. . .” We try to make that unambiguous, because the last kind of client we want is one who doesn’t understand the contract. That makes for a difficult working relationship.

Now, I hope I haven’t upset you with my response, since that’s not my intention. I share your frustration with the payment processing times and you are not the only person who has voiced that concern, and the concerns have been heard loud and clear by us. You will be interested to know we are working on a process to receive payments from California by electronic transfer which will greatly decrease the time it takes for the funds to be sent to Supportkids. We are also developing the technology to then send payments to you via direct deposit. So, I hope you will try to be patient with us as we work on these solutions to better serve our clients.

I want to applaud you on your new blog, and I think you make some excellent points in your most recent entry entitled “The statistics are unreal. . .” Your conclusions are supported by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement which reports that parents in the United States are owed over $106 billion in unpaid child support and that each year almost half of the nation’s child support cases don’t receive any payments at all, which translates to over 8 million children without any support.

I wish you luck with your new blog, and hopefully with cooperation from the State of California we can resolve your payment processing concerns.

One single parent to another said...

Wow, it looks to me like Supportkids is trying to save their reputation. I applaud their efforts in the attempt to retrieve pastdue child support. However, they take advantage of parents that have no place else to turn. 34% is quite a bit. Considering they can afford to buy TV time with their commercials and, im sure they spend a fortune on advertising, who are they really in the business for? If it was really for the children, why do they need such a big cut of the money? Multiply that times thousands of desperate parents, and the bottom line is, they are making a fortune off of single parents hardships. What a shame that people like Lori cant get a break. Raising your kids is hard enough. Oh yes, and regarding developing the technology for direct deposit...I thought that technology was already available?? It doesnt sound like her issue is with the state, it sounds like its with Supportkids and their failure to process funds in a timely manner.

emladie28 said...

I wonder if this employer would hire supportkids for herself? Yes they did state that their fees would be 34% of every payment. But why should you get 34% when you guys arent doing anything. We paid a finder's fee for you to locate the NCP parent. I was told that you guys go for lump sums and liens so those fees with acceptable to me. All supportkids did for me was find my NCP so that he could start where he left off. Now they are taking 34% of my payments just to sit there... Thats not helping our children.. Yes 66% is better than nothing but your not doing anything differently that my local child support agency would do for free!!!!