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Be on guard for child support enforcement scams in Maryland


Many Maryland parents who struggle to meet the financial needs of their children may be desperate to get some assistance with enforcing their child support orders. When a parent does not receive the help they are expecting from a non-custodial parent, it can create a serious financial crisis for a single parent and some of the desperation is very understandable.

Nevertheless, officials in another state are warning parents not to get so desperate to collect support that they fall prey to a business deal that some are calling a child support "scam". In this business deal, a parent grants a private collection agency the right to pursue back child support for him or her instead of the parent's relying on the court or a state enforcement agency.

While these private collection agencies sometimes do manage to collect delinquent child support as they promise, that service comes at a hefty price. These agencies can collect up to one-third of the back child support for themselves. This means that in the long haul, a family may wind up seeing less in child support than they would have had they relied on some more conventional enforcement channels.

These private child support collection agencies operate in several states, and some Marylanders may have encountered them or even used them. While some of these agencies may be reputable, it is important that parents know what they are getting in to.

While private agencies are alluring and may even be right for some parents, it may be safer to rely on a Howard County child support lawyer or the state child support enforcement agency to collect child support. Even if the enforcement process takes longer initially, using a more conventional mechanism for support enforcement may mean a bigger payout for one's family.

Source: WISTV, "State officials warn parents to avoid child support payment scams," PJ Randhawa, July 12, 2013

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