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Questions and Myths

 

FACT VERSUS MYTH
MYTH   FACT
My government child support agency will close my case if I hire a private child support collection agency. FALSE Federal law does not allow government child support agencies to close your case just because you have chosen to work with a private agency. By using both you increase your chances of success.
Private agencies receive a huge number of complaints from their clients. FALSE According to research, private child support enforcement agencies receive complaints on less than one-half of one percent of their caseload.
Private agencies are not regulated and can do whatever they want. FALSE Many states require private child support collection agencies to be bonded and licensed and impose numerous restrictions. Even in the states that don't require licensing, private agencies are subject to the scrutiny of the attorney general's office.
Private agencies don't do any work - they just wait for the state to collect and then take fees. FALSE Reputable private agencies are diligent about determining whether they were responsible for the collection and will refund any fees taken if they weren't responsible.
Government child support agencies have better customer service. FALSE According to a report from the United States General Office of Accounting, almost 30% of the parents who use private agencies do so because of their dissatisfaction with the customer service provided by their government child support agency. Unlike government child support agencies, private agencies don't receive their funding from taxpayer dollars and must keep their clients satisfied to stay in business.
Government child support agencies are better at collecting because they have access to more information. FALSE Private agencies use "high-touch" skip tracing to locate non-custodial parents as well as numerous locate databases. This personal attention to your case is what differentiates private agencies from government agencies.
My government child support agency won't help me because my child is emancipated. I guess I'm out of luck. FALSE According to a report from the United States General Office of Accounting, one-half of state child support agencies cannot take your case if your child is emancipated. Private agencies can due to the liberal statutes of limitation in most states.
The non-custodial parent lives in a different state. Can a private agency work my case? FALSE Private agencies specialize in interstate cases, which are the cases the government child support agencies have difficulty enforcing.
I have heard that contracts with private agencies last forever and can never be cancelled. FALSE Most private child support agencies have contracts that set an amount to collect. That amount does not increase - it decreases with each collection and the contract terminates when the full amount has been collected.
Private agencies use misleading, hard to understand contracts. FALSE The last person any private agency wants as a client is one who doesn't understand the terms of the contract. Private agencies strive to make their contracts as easy to read as possible. Always make sure you understand the contract before signing.
The government child support agency collects for most people. I should just wait. FALSE On average, government child support agencies collect nothing at all on 43% of their caseload. If your case is not paying, the worst thing you can do is wait because the chances of collection can diminish over time.