Child Support Collection
If you are having trouble collecting child support that you are entitled to, there are several options available to you:
Contact the Department of Human Services, Division of Child Support Services. The State agency that handles child support is the Division of Child Support Services and it offers enforcement services at little or no cost to consumers. All Georgia families have access to these services, which include assistance with locating Non-Custodial Parents, confirming paternity, establishing and enforcing child support and medical support orders, and collecting and distributing payments. OCSS also provides the Georgia Fatherhood Services Program and the Access and Visitation Program, both devoted to increasing Non-Custodial Parent involvement in a child's life.
Hire a private attorney.
Hire a private child support collection company. These companies, which are not associated with any State government agency, contract with custodial parents to collect their child support in exchange for a fee, typically a percentage of the child support collected. Before contracting with a private child support collection company, parents should be aware of Georgia law, which gave the Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit oversight authority over private child support collection companies. This law, which is part of the Fair Business Practices Act, requires private child support collection companies to register and post a bond with the Secretary of State, and to file with the Office of Consumer Protection a sample copy of any contract they use in the State of Georgia.
The law dictates much of what shall be contained in these contracts, including an explanation of the services to be provided; an explanation of the circumstances under which consumers may cancel the contract; and a statement that the consumer may continue to use or pursue services through the state to collect child support.
The law states that there must be three months of child support arrearages before a private collections company can contract to collect past due amounts. It also puts a ceiling on the fees that private child support companies can charge for their services: they may not charge more than one-third of the total amount of child support payments collected.
Importantly, a private child support collector cannot charge a client for collecting anything other than the amount that is past due as of the date of the contract, together with any statutory interest owed on the past due amount. The Governor has expressed his intent that the law be interpreted as limiting fees charged by collection agencies to past due child support, not current or baseline child support payments. In other words, Georgia’s children should not see their current monthly payments decline as a result of the new law.
Remember, unless a private child support collection company has filed a contract with the Office of Consumer Protection, it should not be offering services in the State of Georgia.
See the chart below for a list of private child support collection companies that have filed a contract with the Office of Consumer Protection.
Private Child Support Collection Companies with a Contract on File with the Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit
Support Collectors, Inc., 12201 Champlin Drive, PO Box 131, Champlin, MN 55316-1930
Child Support Recovery Services, Inc., PO Box 547, 529 South 2nd Street, Elkhart, IN 46516-3224