September 7, 2008

Supportkids..read before you sign.

I have done a number of posts on Supportkids. They are the reason I started my blog. Since the beginning, I've found that I am not the only one who was suckered into their scheme. It hurts my heart that this company is allowed to steal from the pockets of single parents everywhere. Where are the regulations? Why are they allowed to do this year after year? Its clearly against the law to go against a court order by stealing the money due to the children. If the court orders a parent to pay 300 dollars a month for child support, how can Supportkids get away with taking 34% of that? I honestly thought that when I signed the contract, they would find my ex husbands employer and collect the support that was due by sending the garnishment that was court ordered. They did, but had the return address for the money changed to their mailbox rather than mine.

I understood a fee would apply, but I missed the fine print about continuing to take their dues until they have stolen over 20,000 dollars plus (to date) from my kids. Yep, that's how much they have collected for their own pockets on my case. That money could send my son to college. I tried numerous times to terminate my contract but they always deny my attempts. In reading some of the responses Ive received, I'm not the only one that's fed up. Last May was the start of year 6 for my case. I urge anyone out there in search of help regarding child support not to sign up with Supportkids. Its a nightmare and you will never get out. Out of all the people Ive heard from, only one has been successful. I think that was due to the state she lived in. Virginia had a law suit against them, has anyone heard the outcome? This company needs to be shut down. Its a horrible injustice to single parents and their kids. Supportkids is a rip off. They are only in it for themselves!

13 comments:

Chuckie said...

oh yuk! this kinda thing just makes me soooo angry and am so sad to hear you go thru it. i believe i've told you my twin also has dealt with this kinda crud. Hang in there - I don't know what else to say. It's tough, but just don't let it rule your life (I don't mean to assume that you are...) You're a positive and loving person. That's what's going to get you thru. *huggies* p.s. love your new look and the awards section sure is lovely *wink wink* (...you're very welcome)

Mojo said...

I had to blink real hard when I read "$300 a month". I'm steamed with this company you mention (though this is the first time I've heard of them) -- what they're doing is utterly reprehensible.
But I'm considerably more pissed that you needed them in the first place.

And no, just so you know, I don't give 1/10th of 1% of a damn what his "situation" is. The court and the state already considered that when they set the amount. He/she/they is/are your kids dammit, deal with it. In 17 years (to date) I've never missed a payment, regardless. So if he's looking for sympathy, tell him I said he can find it in the dictionary between "shit" and "syphillis".

Oh geez. I've gone all ranty. Sorry, but this story touches a nerve every time I hear it.

Crazy Working Mom said...

It's sad to know that this is happening and nothing is being done!!!

anjanet said...

I am just starting to look into supportkids. i live in Texas and the attny gen.office refuses to enforce our deadbeat to pay. The office last told me that they have called and left him Voicemail recently. WoW! i could've done that myself,in fact, i have. i am currently owed over $25,000. what other help is out there?? if the attny gen does not enforce--what is the point. Obviously if supportkids is a rip off, so now what?
what's horrible is that we just had a court hearing the first of September and the attny gen refused to put him in jail. they gave him a chance. and a month later no payments and no jail time as ordered in paperwork- no nothing. he gets another free pass.

Layla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Veiled Princess said...

Supportkids is basically being allowed to operate, unregulated!
I copied the TX Dept of Banking on my complaints about Supportkids and was sent this response...
"Thank you for contacting the Texas Department of Banking. We are responsible for investigating complaints against state-chartered banks, trust companies, and foreign bank agencies. Please be aware that the Department only reviews contracts concerning private child support enforcement agency (PCSEA), for clear language.
Prior to signing a contract with the PCSEA, it is the client’s responsibility to read the contract in its entirety in order to understand all terms and conditions. Upon signing, the client is bound to the contract. Any further negotiations or changes to the contact will need to be addressed with the PCSEA. The Department is limited to revoking, denying, or suspending the registration of a private child support enforcement agency (PCSEA) under Chapter 396 of the Texas Finance Code.
It would appear that your request to terminate your contract does not fall into one of the four categories per the Supportkids contract, which is listed under the section titled “When this agreement ends.”
For clarification I am also providing you with the contact information for Supportkids, so that you can share your concerns with them.
SupportKids d/b/a CSE Child Support Enforcement Co.
4120 Freidrich Lane Ste. 175
Austin, Texas 78744
Attn: Yvonne Devany
email: yvonne.devany@supportkids.com
512-437-6120
I am including our link to our consumer complaint form: http://www.banking.state.tx.us/forms/compfrmpcsea.pdf,
Please be aware that the Department of Banking does not intervene in contractual disputes or terminations of contracts. If the client has problems with the terms or would like to terminate the contract, it is best to consult legal counsel.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.
David Guillen
Consumer Assistance Specialist
Texas Department of Banking
Toll Free: 877-276-5554
Direct: 512-475-1315
Fax: 512-475-1313"

And this was my response:
"Their contract is NOT clear in explaining that they will lay claim to payments they had absolutely NO part in collecting or that they will lie cheat and steal from innocent children and the women trying to raise them alone. I was told your department is the agency responsible for regulating them.
Obviously, I have already tried contacting Supportkids directly and am getting nowhere which is why I am complaining about them.
They should be shut down and banned from operating if they can't do so with a little ethics. It's sad that there is so much greed in this society that's not only allowed but seemingly encouraged by the branches of the govt that are supposed to be monitoring them. "

So basically they can do anything they want... as long as the contract warns you that you'll be taking it up the butt with no lube, it's all legal!!

I have filed several complaints against them with the BBB, the FTC, the TX atty gen., my state reps, gov, mayor and any consumer complaint website I've found so far and will continue to post complaints against them until they either do right by me or I ruin any chances of anyone else being taken in by them.

Lori said...

I told you....no one is willing to step up and put them out of business. They figure, if someone else is doing THEIR job, why rock the boat.

Lori said...

Anjanet....I wish I had the answer. Im stuck in a contract and have paid Supportkids over 20,000 dollars.Id rather get nothing then pay someone else for DOING NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

Ok people I contacted a newspaper In austin this is what they got.

Supportkids transfers 20,000 of child-support collection cases after loan default
Austin-based company says it will serve remaining clients.
By Tim Eaton

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF


Thursday, May 28, 2009

As a result of a recent loan default, Austin-based Supportkids Inc. was forced to transfer a portion of its child-support collection cases to a New Hampshire-based law firm.

Supportkids CEO Byron Sehlke said Supportkids unloaded 20,000 cases to Richard J. Boudreau & Associates on May 14,

leaving Supportkids with 18,000 cases, many of which are nonpaying.

"This was not our decision," Sehlke said.

Boudreau & Associates didn't respond to a request for comment.

Supportkids, a for-profit company that collects money from parents who are behind on their child-

support payments, said in a letter to clients that the organization was unable to refinance a loan with an unnamed lender.

As a result, the lender handed over the cases, which Supportkids had used as collateral on the loan, to Boudreau & Associates.

Sehlke called the situation "a function of the credit crisis." He added that the company, which has laid off an undisclosed number of employees, remains in transition but will continue to serve its remaining clients and accept new ones.

Affected clients of Supportkids were told in the letter that Supportkids no longer has current information on their cases and that Boudreau & Associates has their case files and should be contacted with questions or for new information on their cases.

Supportkids had tried unsuccessfully to reach a cooperative agreement with the lender and Boudreau & Associates to arrange for a transition period, so the company was not able to notify clients in advance of their cases being transferred, the letter said.

Supportkids charges an initial $475 case development fee and takes a 34 percent commission on overdue child-support payments. When it accepts a case, it requires that the parent who is behind on the payments send the money to the company, which takes its cut and forwards the balance to the parent who is caring for the child or children. Sehlke said the company takes only the toughest cases.

connie said...

I just wanted to let you all know, that I went to my local support office today to change my address because we moved and I am expecting my ex's tax check, and they told me that I could not do that unless I prove to them I'm no longer in contract with Supportkids and that RJB sent them papers just today but they sent them back because thier license(RJB) was EXPIRED! So anyone who hasn't signed up with RJB yet, DON'T! I did and now I am so regretting it for me and my daughters sake!! We need to stop these people from taking our money! My question is, where is my tax check from my ex going because I don't knwow if its going to find its way to me anytime soon.This whole situation has me sick to my stomache!! We need a lawyer or something. We need to all get together and fight these people, for our kids sake!

Anonymous said...

OK here is an update on Dirty ole Supportkids.
CHILD-SUPPORT COLLECTION

Dallas company buys SupportKids of Austin
ParentFinancial to relocate to Austin.
By Tim Eaton

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF


Saturday, August 15, 2009

An Austin-based child-support collection company has been sold to a smaller Dallas-based company that operates the same type of business.

SupportKids Inc.'s caseload, computers, intellectual property, Web site and other assets now belong to ParentFinancial Services Inc., said Rob Feito, president and CEO of the Dallas company, on Friday.

Feito declined to disclose the terms of the deal, which closed Aug. 7.

SupportKids was purchased to expand the 8-year-old Dallas company, Feito said.

"Our intention moving forward is to operate in 35 states," he said.

But the immediate goal is to ensure that there is no negative effect on clients, he said. The Austin company once operated in 47 states.

"This is a positive transition for SupportKids, for its clients," Feito said. "We don't anticipate any disruption in services."

SupportKids encountered financial difficulties earlier this year. After defaulting on a loan, it was forced to turn over 20,000 of its 38,000 child-support collection cases to a New Hampshire-based law firm. The cases had been used as collateral on the loan.

ParentFinancial will continue to honor that contract, Feito said.

ParentFinancial, which will move its headquarters to Austin, expects to hire 25 to 30 former SupportKids employees, Feito said.

The Austin company once had 200 employees but laid off an undisclosed number when it lost the 20,000 cases earlier this year.

Some of the first rehires will include workers who have been working without pay, Feito said.

SupportKids CEO Bryon Sehlke and some other executives also will work for Parent-

Financial, Feito said.

Sehlke was unavailable for comment.

Depending on growth, more people could be brought on board next year, Feito said.

teaton@statesman.com; 445-3631

Discouraged Parent said...

My wife is going through the same thing. In March of 2009 the IRS garnished her ex-husbands tax return in the amount of 1755.00. According to the State of Florida, the check was received and deposited on March 10th 2009. One week after supportkids received the money from the IRS garnishment they tranferered her account to RJBA & Assoc. Supportkids claims that since they transferred the account, they have no obligation. RJBA claims that since they aquired the account after the money had been sent to supportkids, they are also under no obligation. I have contacted the local new agency in Austin Texas where the company is located.
They had asked me to get as many people as I can find to send them letters, emails, or anything they could use in their story. Please, Please , PLEASE send an email to newsdesk@news8austin.com with information regarding your situation with these scam artists. Also, you can send an email or letter to the attorney generals office in Austin, TX.

Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
PO Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548

Also, please file a report with the BBB.
https://odr.bbb.org/odrweb/public/complaintlink.aspx

It is obvious that no one cares about this. The only way we can make a difference is to make sure our voices are heard, LOUD AND CLEAR!

Lori said...

Thanks for the info Discouraged Parent. I hope it helps put them out of business.