You aren’t alone in your struggle to track down child support. Single parents all over the United State have similar difficulties getting the money they’re owed. In fact, in 2013, less than half of custodial parents received their court-ordered support. Their non-custodial parents (NCPs) are simply failing to provide, and the government agencies in charge of securing these payments aren’t helping. Their offices are often short-staffed and overwhelmed by cases, so they lack the resources necessary to track down NCPs. As a result, many single parents have a huge hole in their budgets. Luckily, private child support collection agencies are offering critical services to fill that gap.
Because a child support enforcement agency works for profit, they have an advantage over the public offices. They have the resources they need to give each client their undivided attention. That means they can take on cases previously thought of as tough. They have the time, money, and energy to devote personalized care when unique solutions are needed. As a result, they’re more likely to track down delinquent NCPs. In the case of an agency like Support Collectors, they have ways of garnishing wages and using property and other assets to get support when voluntary payments aren’t forthcoming.
These private agencies do charge a fee for their services, but some, like Support Collectors, will only take payments once they’ve successfully connected their clients with the support they are owed. Like anything else you spend your money on, it’s important you do some research to determine if their services are right for your situation. A reputable company with a proven track record will have a variety of features that set them apart from the rest, including:
- Licensing — Some states require enforcement agencies to be licensed and bonded before they can help single parents. If your home state has these legal regulations, it’s important to confirm the company of your choosing meets all government guidelines. They were put in place to protect you, the customer, after all.
- Transparency — You should never be confused about the length or rate of your contract. If a company uses complex or vague language in any of their communications, it’s in your best interest to find another agency. You should always know the exact term of your contract, in both dollar amount and length of time.Some contracts automatically renew while others detail fees of up to 35% of the amount collected. Make sure you understand what you’re signing up for and consider having your attorney review the document.
- Credentials —There are voluntary affiliations that further prove the validity of their services. Membership with the trade association,Child Support Enforcement Council, is a good indicator of the way they do business, as the council has a strict code of ethics all members must follow. An A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau is another way to ensure the value of their services. It’s also wise to request and verify references from an agency.
When other channels have failed you, private child support collection agencies can be an excellent way to get the money you’re owed. As is true in all legal issues, however, it is crucial that you do your homework and make sure you hire reputable and effective help. Though it pays to be cautious, the right private collectors can get you the support you’re owed and your child deserves.