June 8, 2008

The DCSS is no better than Supportkids.

I sent a complaint to the DCSS that said:

I would like to file a complaint against an agency that collects child support. That agency is Supportkids and they can be reached at 1-800-691-KIDS. I signed a contract with them 6 years ago and they have been collecting 34% of my children's child support since then. I was desperate. I have requested termination several times but they refuse. Is there anything I can do by law?

My Response:

The Department of Child Support Services cannot assist you with your complaint against SupportKids, as they are a private company. You may wish to contact the Better Business Bureau or the California Department of Consumer Affairs regarding your complaint.

Thank you for taking the time to inform us of your concerns.

OK, so the Department of Child Support Services are not there to help single mothers with child support issues because this isn't their problem? Then what is?? Are they really there for the children or are they a bunch of non-caring people that go to work for a paycheck? I'm going to do a complaint with the BBB and the CDCA, we shall see where that gets me. Everyone passes the buck. What about the single parents that need assistance? We are allowed to get robbed and scammed because the government agencies wont get up off their butt's and find the irresponsible parent to begin with. Then, Supportkids swoops down and feeds off of our desperation. Whats a parent to do? I wonder how the people at the DCSS sleep at night and I also wonder the same thing about the folks at Supportkids. Why are they allowed to stay in business if what they are doing is against the law? I want answers, not excuses. Ive been battling the system for 14 years and I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't work. Something needs to be done. I wont give up until justice is served. Next on the list, the Attorney General. We shall see where that get's me.


That Crazy Mom said...

Ya know, I've seen those commercials for this agency and I always wondered what the catch was. I never looked into it because I couldn't afford for them to take 1/3 of whatever they collected and even if I could, I'd just go through an attorney like my mom had to do.

But after following along with your posts about it and the comments people have left with their own experiences, now I see what the problem is.

Of all people to "prey" upon, they do it to single moms who are just trying to get what they are entitled to in order to provide for their kids.

If you get a chance, I'd love for you to kind of summarize your experiences for a post in my Custody and Co-Parenting blog. Maybe it could prevent someone else from even thinking about using this service. Or maybe even a post about collecting child support in general and addressing the importance of paying it. Too many people get caught up on not wanting to give their ex money and losing sight of the fact that its there to help take care of their children.

Chuck said...

Oh dude. The anger that rises up in so many of us who have dealt with this. Not me personally but via my sister. She struggled with these issues for the entire 18 years....Hang in there and let us know how your complaints go. *huggies*

Jeni said...

I know, everyone's circumstances are different, no two states seem to operate on the same wave length either when it comes to collection of child support, but the Domestic Relations Offices -nationwide -are charged with the setting of the amount of support the non-custodial parent is to pay and also, in the collection of said money as well. Doesn't mean each state's staff does a good job of it, I know that too, but that's how it is SUPPOSED to operate.
I received child support for 14 years and thankfully, although it was NEVER enough, sometimes late, by comparison to what many parents go through I was lucky. I had major problems when my ex left Penna and moved to Ohio to keep my support coming, to get an increase though was next to impossible then. However, when he moved to Nevada and I started having issues my case worker here in PA suggested I write to the former first lady at that time, Barbara Bush. Yes, that's right! (And me a mega liberal democrat no less!) But I did that. Laid it all out the crapola I'd been handed and in a few weeks I got a sort of form letter signed by BB but her letter had also been copied to the director of Child Support in Nevada who phoned me! I almost dropped my teeth! I don't remember that lady's name but honey, she busted her hump for me, told me if I got any flack from the county office in Nevada I was dealing with to call her immediately. They called the ex in for a support hearing, raised my support by almost $200 a month and I rarely had any issues after that other than with my ex's employer who would withhold the support from his wages but then take his sweet time about remitting it to Pennsylvania. (There's one of the loop holes in the child support regulations right there that employers are allowed to get away with crap like that.)
Has anyone ever heard of a support assistance group called ACES -formed by a lady from Toledo who had endured years of fighting with her ex, with domestic relations and never getting a penny? Supposedly it is a free organization to assist in getting the support you are due -supposedly there are no collection fees but I can't swear to that being gospel as I never had to go to that length.

This stuff totally pisses me off that non-custodial parents sometimes seem to be almost assisted by these state offices to get around paying what the children are due, what the children need -well, a portion of what they need, I should say. I did a term paper in college about child support and ways to change the system (I was one totally pissed off Mama at the system at that time) and reading this, rankles me all over again. I may just have to dig deep into my memory, try to remember the things I pointed out in that paper that would be beneficial to the custodial parents and maybe keep my thoughts together enough to do a ranting post about this issue.
Good luck to any parents trying to collect -I wish you all the very best as I do know, do understand first hand, how difficult it is to be a single parent, working a couple of jobs, trying to get enough to barely scrape by, etc., etc. etc.
Anyone feel the urge to comment see me at my blog and we can chat further on this topic!

Lori said...

Wow....what great info. Im going to look into this organization and see if there is enough info for a blog to put the word out. Thank You SOOOOO much!!

That Crazy Mom said...

ACES is completely legit. I've actually met the woman who started it. When I met her, it was about 1991 and ACES was just a few years old. I want to say her name was Geraldine? I can't remember...

Anyway, ACES is run kind of a like a support group or a social services charity. They provide you with resources and information on how to fight for yourself and your kids. It's not a company that goes after it for you, like Supportkids claims to. Its an organization that teaches you to how to go after it yourself.

jbo58 said...

Now let's hear from an actual IV-D Caseworker.

I've been doing this job for twelve years. I have watched as agencies such as Supportkids have preyed upon those Custodial Parents. When I have spoken with CP's in the past, prior to their signing with the private agency, I have let them know that IV-D will continue to attempt to collect. What is not made abundantly clear to CP, by the private agency, is that the agency now owns your child support. You have assigned it to them. They in turn, turn to the IV-D agency to collect.

Read the fine print before you sign a contract. Do not expect the IV-D agency to pull your case out of the fire for you. IV-D does not represent you, there is no attorney-client relationship and no responsibility to fight creditors for you (which is now what the collection agency is).

You must consult with an attorney. This is a civil matter.

Numerous times I've let the CP know that we (IV-D) are the agency that is collecting, but by signing over your case, you've left us no choice but to send it to them. Now, not only is your tax money going to find the NCP and get him to pay, now you're actually paying for us to send to the agency, who charges you to process the payment.