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Even when the picture looked bleak, Dakota County and the Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Support Enforcement Division didn’t give up. They worked for years to collect child support from a noncustodial parent who owed thousands of dollars in past due child support. However when the parent recently tried to renew his passport, he discovered he had to pay the $32,000 he owed to get it. The result: Payment in full.
The collection technique, called passport intercept, enables the state to deny the issuance or renewal of a passport if a child support debt is due. Of the $32,000 collected from the parent, only $655 went to collection fees with the rest going to the child’s family.
“This is a good example of what it takes, sometimes, to collect from people who clearly have the means but not the will to meet their responsibilities to their children,” said Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “Every child deserves support from both parents, and it is a top priority for us at DHS to work with the counties to make sure children get it.”
In another case, McLeod County’s diligent efforts also recently paid off using the same passport intercept method. The county and DHS recently collected payment in full of almost $30,000 in back child support from a noncustodial parent who had been paying regularly but was behind in payments. Of that, $599 paid for cost recovery fees with the rest going to the children’s family.
“This is one of numerous collection and enforcement methods the department and counties use to get children the funds they deserve and need,” said Jesson
In Federal Fiscal Year 2011, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, in cooperation with counties, collected and disbursed $602 million in child support. During that period the child support program had approximately 242,000 cases involving 268,000 children. As of September 30, 2011, cumulative past due child support, or arrears, totaled about $1.65 billion. Every dollar spent on child support recovery brings in $3.59 in child support for Minnesota families.