UIFSA

CS 154-5 DCO Procedures – Reconciliation of Arrears (ROA)

01/28/02 Revised 09/29/16 Training Completed 07/15/15

45 CFR 303.7; U.C.A. 62A-11-304.2(3)(b), 78B-14-207, 305; IRS Publication 1075

 

 

Introduction and Statutory Authority

 

Under the Full Faith and Credit of Child Support Orders Act (FFCCSOA) and UIFSA there are specific rules for determining the controlling order (DCO) -- the one order to be recognized for prospective enforcement.  Once a tribunal determines the controlling order, the arrears and/or interest owed under all other order(s) can no longer accrue.  The arrears (including interest due) are locked in as of the date of the DCO.

 

A reconciliation of arrears (ROA) determines the total amount of the arrears due under all of the previous support orders as of the point of the DCO.  Reconciliation of arrears (ROA) is a process in which all necessary information is gathered on the accruing orders; e.g., the amount of accruing support, the amount of interest accrued, the amount of fees due, the amount of support paid and/or other methods of satisfying the obligation.  Once the information is gathered, a determination is made of the remaining arrears balance.  A ROA may include, but does not have to include, an allocation of arrears (a determination as to whom the arrears are owed).

 

Many states are operating under the 1996 version of UIFSA; for those states, the ROA at the time of DCO is a recommended “best practice,” but not required.  Under the 2001 version of UIFSA (effective in Utah as of May 16, 2004) it is required that a reconciliation of the arrears (ROA) occur as part of the DCO.  UCA 78B-14-207(6) states:

“(6) A tribunal of this state that determines by order which is the controlling order under Subsection (2)(a), (b) or, (3) that issues a new controlling order under Subsection (2)(c), shall state in that order:

(a)    the basis upon which the tribunal made its determination;

(b)   the amount of prospective support, if any; and,

(c)    the total amount of consolidated arrears and accrued interest, if any, under all of the orders after all payments made are credited as provided by Section 78B-14-209.”  (Emphasis added.)

 

An ROA completed in conjunction with a DCO has the effect of a sum-certain judgment and should be given full faith and credit by all states per UCA 78B-14-207(8): 

“(8) An order that has been determined to be the controlling order, or a judgment for consolidated arrears of support and interest, if any, made pursuant to this section must be recognized in proceedings under this chapter.”

 

From the point of the DCO forward, child support and interest (on all existing arrears as of the point of the reconciliation of arrears and on all prospective arrears) accrue according to the laws of the state that issued the controlling order.  Like DCO, an ROA resulting in a judgment should only occur one time.

 

45 CFR 303.7(a)(6) states: 

“Within 30 working days of receiving a request, provide any order and payment record information requested by a State IV–D agency for a controlling order determination and reconciliation of arrearages, or notify the State IV–D agency when the information will be provided; . . .”

 

 

When to Complete a Reconciliation of Arrears (ROA)

 

1.                   Complete an ROA at any time that Utah will complete a formal DCO according to the implementation priorities listed: 

a.                   The initial review indicates that no existing order qualifies as the controlling order;

b.                  New incoming interstate cases with multiple orders;

c.                   New in-state cases with multiple orders;

d.                  A case with multiple orders is being referred to another state for a two-state action;

e.                  Prior to registering an order (on a case with multiple orders) in a Utah court;

f.                    Prior to a modification (on a case with multiple orders);

g.                   Prior to judicial enforcement action (on a case with multiple orders); and,

h.                  An NCP contests the arrears balance or ongoing support amount on a case with multiple orders.  (This may be in response to an “Annual Notice of Past-Due Child Support”) or may be a request for administrative review that will result in an arrears sum-certain  judgment.)

 

2.                   Complete an ROA in the following situations when Utah has already completed a final DCO under UIFSA 1996, but the ROA was not completed at that time.

a.                   A case that previously had multiple orders is being referred to another state for a two-state action;

b.                  The determined controlling order (on a case that previously had multiple orders) is being registered  in a Utah court;

c.                   An NCP contests the arrears balance on a case that previously had multiple orders.  (This may be in response to an “Annual Notice of Past-Due Child Support” or may be a request for administrative review that will result in an arrears sum-certain judgment.)

 

 

Procedures – Another State Conducts ROA

 

If Utah does not have jurisdiction to conduct a formal DCO/ROA process, CSS will gather information about orders and payment records, forward the information to the state with personal jurisdiction over the parties, and request that state to complete the formal ROA.  Generally, these steps will occur at the same time as a request for a formal DCO process, but can occur separately if a DCO was completed at an earlier date.  Reminder:  If another state has not passed UIFSA 2001, that state is not required to complete an ROA.   

 

 

Procedures:  Utah Conducts Review, Calculating the Reconciled Arrears Balance

 

If the preliminary arrears balance is being calculated in preparation for a judicial action such as registration of a foreign support order or other judicial enforcement action, the ROA adjudication and final order will also be completed judicially.  The agent sending the referral packet to the AGO is responsible for the following steps below and to prepare the necessary ROA information prior to the AGO referral.

 

When the preliminary arrears balance is not being completed in preparation for a judicial action, the ROA process can be completed using the Utah Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA).  Senior agents will conduct the preliminary arrears calculation and Presiding Officers (QA’s) will conduct the ROA proceeding resulting in a final order. 

 

1.                   Attempt to gather all information needed for the ROA.

a.                   Obtain or request the information below:

i.                     Copies of all existing support orders; 

ii.                   All payment records.  This includes records from:

A.                  all states that issued a support order

B.                  IVDS agencies where the CP has received child support services,

C.                  the CP,

D.                  ORSIS QMF Case Payment History and, if applicable, the Pre-ORSIS Case Payment History, etc.;

iii.                  All claims for interest due under existing orders (a claimant must calculate interest accrued, subtract payments made, and assert a claim for the balance due to be included in the ROA, otherwise, CSS will consider the claim for interest waived);

iv.                 All claims for fees due under existing orders (a claimant must calculate fees accrued, subtract payments made, and assert a claim for the balance due to be included in the ROA, otherwise CSS will consider the claim for fees waived);

v.                   Timeframes of child support arrears assigned to any state under the IV-A assignment of rights;

vi.                 Child and custody information; and,

vii.                Emancipation information.

b.                  Use the following tools to obtain or request the information you need:

i.                     Information provided with the incoming interstate referral.

ii.                   Federal Case Registry

iii.                  “Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #3—Request for Assistance/Discovery” for non-CSENet states.

iv.                 CSENet.

v.                   “Request for Information:  Determination of Controlling Order and Reconciliation of Arrears.”

vi.                 “Statement of Arrearage Claimed.”

vii.                ORSIS.

viii.              Court records.

 

NOTE:  If Utah was responsible for the initial or final determination, you should already have a certified copy of the order(s) and a payment history from each state issuing an order in the case.  If the order is payable through a state’s IV-D Child Support Enforcement agency, request the payment history at the same time you request a certified copy of the order via CSENet.  If the order is payable directly to an individual or to the courts for any period of time, ask that individual or the court to complete an affidavit of arrears.            

c.                   Monitor for the requested information.  If not using CSENet to obtain the information, set a “SELF” alert for 35 days after the requests are sent to determine if you have received all of the information needed.

i.                     Yes (all information received) - proceed with the arrears calculation.

ii.                   No (information not received) - obtain the minimum necessary information from alternative sources; e.g., telephone the other state, send another CSENet message, contact the state Interstate Coordinator and work with the other state’s representatives to get the needed information.

 

NOTE:  “Minimum necessary information” only includes information about child support orders and payments that is required to calculate the total support due and the total support paid.  Other information, such as interest, fees, assignment of support rights, etc. is only necessary if a party wishes to make a claim as part of the ROA process.  If a party fails to provide the other information as requested, consider that the party has waived its claims to those issues and continue with the ROA process.

 

2.                   Create a worksheet for the ROA. 

 

3.                   Calculate the accrual of child support due per each existing order.

a.                   Determine if there are adjudicated arrears.

b.                  Determine the date that child support began accruing.

c.                   Determine if there is an ending date for child support accrual.

d.                  Identify the points at which any child issues such as emancipation or custody changes occur that may impact the obligation.  Describe each change on the worksheet at the point at which it occurs.

e.                  Repeat this step for each existing order.

 

NOTE:  Add this information to the “Order Information” page of the Reconciliation of Arrears Calculator. 

 

4.                   Calculate the gross total amount of child support due from the NCP.  When the orders overlap or run simultaneously, charge the debt according to the highest amount due that month.  Calculate the gross amount accruing on a monthly basis and the gross total due for the entire period in question.

 

5.                   Interest.  The law of the issuing state governs the computation and payment of arrearages and the accrual of interest.  Each state’s order accrues interest at that state’s specific rate.  Basic interest information can be found on the on-line IRG; however, you must give each state that issued an order an opportunity to claim the amount of interest it wants to have included in the  balance.  If another state declines to provide an interest calculation, consider its claim waived and complete the ROA without it.  Do not calculate interest accrual for other states’ orders.  Instead, rely on the interest calculations provided to you.  Add those figures to your worksheet and determine the gross total amount of interest due from the NCP.

 

6.                   Calculate the gross total amount of fees due from the NCP.  CSS will not calculate fees due to other states.  Rely on the fee calculations provided to you with the payment records and add those figures to your worksheet.

 

7.                   Apply any credits.  Credits include any payments made and any credits given to the NCP per the laws of the other jurisdictions.  Apply the payments using all of the information available.  Payments may be demonstrated by official pay records, handwritten receipts from the parties, any documentation of credit for something other than money received, payment of the children’s portion of medical benefits, etc.  Be careful not to allow double credits for payments collected by one state then sent to another state as part of a two-state action.   

 

8.                   Apply any legal limitations (may be state-specific issues) and the appropriate statute of limitations to each order’s arrears.  Obtain this information from the other state(s) or from the online IRG. 

 

9.                   Determine the total arrears balance owed.  This is the accrual of arrears plus accrued interest and fees, less any payments and credits, and less any debt that may now be unenforceable due to operation of law.

 

10.               Allocate the IV-A assigned support time periods.  Under UIFSA 2001, the allocation of the arrears balance is optional; however, this information is useful to states when dividing the total balance due among the states.  Because of the limited information which is likely to be available regarding the disbursement of payments between IV-A and Non-IV-A debts within each state, CSS will only indicate the months that are permanently assigned to each state agency and the gross support due to each state agency for those months.  Each state agency can then apply its own payment records to the gross total and calculate its own exact portion of the total arrears balance.

 

EXAMPLE 1:  One Order. 

 

NOTE:  The timeframes have been condensed to one year for illustration purposes.

 

a.                   You are completing an ROA on January 1, 2004.  You gather the following information about existing orders:

 

Order

Issuing State

Ongoing Amount

Effective Date

Order 1

Kansas

200.00/month

January 1, 2003

 

b.                  Create a Reconciliation of Arrears Calculation.  Complete the following information:

i.                     Amount due per each existing order;

ii.                   Highest Due - Gross monthly amount due from the NCP;

iii.                  Payments - Credits toward support (includes payments, parent-time, insurance);

iv.                 Unpaid balance; 

 

Year:  2003

Month

Kansas

Highest

Due

Payments

Unpaid Balance

Notes

January

$200.00

$200.00

 

$ 200.00

 

February

$200.00

$200.00

$100.00

$ 100.00

 

March

$200.00

$200.00

 

$ 200.00

 

April

$200.00

$200.00

$100.00

$ 100.00

 

May

$100.00*

$100.00

 

$ 100.00

*Parent-time

June

$200.00

$200.00

$50.00

$ 150.00

 

July

$200.00

$200.00

 

$ 200.00

 

August

$200.00

$200.00

 

$ 200.00

 

September

$165.00*

$165.00

$800.00

$(635.00)

*Insurance Credit Starts

October

$165.00

$165.00

$200.00

$ (35.00)

 

November

$165.00

$165.00

 

$ 165.00

 

December

$165.00

$165.00

$50.00

$ 115.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totals

 

$2,160.00

$1,300.00

$ 860.00

 

 

c.                   Calculate the total interest and fees due based on information provided to you.  In addition to the payment information, you receive the following:

i.                     Kansas charged:

A.                  $27.50 Interest.  NCP has not paid anything toward interest.

B.                  $70.00 fees.  NCP has paid $40.00 toward fees.

 

d.                  Determine the total arrears balance owed.

 

Category

Total Due

Total Paid

Balance Due

Child Support

$2,160.00

$1,300.00

$  860.00

Interest

$    27.50

$      0.00

$    27.50

Fees

$    70.00

$    40.00

$    30.00

Total Balance

 

$  917.50

 

EXAMPLE 2:  Multiple Orders.  (NOTE:  The timeframes have been condensed to one year for illustration purposes.)

 

a.                   You are completing an ROA on January 1, 2004.  You gather the following information about existing orders:

 

Order

Issuing State

Ongoing Amount

Effective Date

Order 1

California

200.00/month

January 1, 2003

Order 2

Utah

400.00/month

April 1, 2003

Order 3

Idaho

250.00/month

October 1, 2003

 

b.                  Create a Reconciliation of Arrears Calculation.  Complete the following information:

i.                     Amount due per each existing order;

ii.                   Highest Due - Gross monthly amount due from the NCP;

iii.                  Payments - Credits toward support (includes payments, parent-time, insurance);

iv.                 Unpaid balance; 

 

Year:  2003

Month

California

Utah

Idaho

Highest

Due

Payments

Unpaid Balance

Notes

January

$200.00

 

 

$200.00

 

$200.00

 

February

$200.00

 

 

$200.00

$100.00

$100.00

 

March

$200.00

 

 

$200.00

 

$200.00

 

April

$200.00

$400.00

 

$400.00

$100.00

$300.00

 

May

$200.00

$300.00*

 

$300.00

 

$300.00

*Parent-time

June

$200.00

$400.00

 

$400.00

$50.00

$350.00

 

July

$200.00

$400.00

 

$400.00

 

$400.00

 

August

$200.00

$400.00

 

$400.00

 

$400.00

 

September

$200.00

$375.00*

 

$375.00

$800.00

$(425.00)

*Insurance Credit Starts

October

$200.00

$375.00

$250.00

$375.00

$200.00

$175.00

 

November

$200.00

$375.00

$250.00

$375.00

 

$375.00

 

December

$200.00

$375.00

$250.00

$375.00

$50.00

$325.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totals

 

$4,000.00

$1,300.00

$2,700.00

 

 

c.                   Calculate the total interest and fees due based on information provided to you.  In addition to the payment information, you receive the following:

i.                     California charged:

A.                  $10.00 interest for their balance from 1/1/2003 to 12/31/2003.  None of the interest due has been paid.

B.                  $25.00 fees.  NCP has paid $15.00 toward fees.

ii.                   Utah charged:

A.                  No interest.

B.                  $25.00 fees.  NCP has paid the full fee amount.

iii.                  Idaho charged:  No interest or fees.

 

d.                  Determine the total arrears balance owed.

 

Category

Total Due

Total Paid

Balance Due

Child Support

$4,000.00

$1,300.00

$2,700.00

Interest

$    10.00

$      0.00

$    10.00

Fees

$    50.00

$    40.00

$    10.00

Total Balance

 

$2,720.00

 

 

ROA Procedures – Judicial Process.

 

If the preliminary calculation is being completed in preparation for a judicial action such as registration of a foreign support order or other judicial enforcement action, the ROA adjudication and final order will also be completed judicially.  Once all of the necessary information has been gathered and there is an alleged arrears calculation, prepare the case for referral to the AGO. 

 

1.                   Prepare documentation:  Ensure that Content manager contains the DCO order, the Reconciliation of Arrears Calculation with a signed and notarized “Verification/Certification” section, copies of all orders, and copies of all payment records received from other agencies.  Also include address information for all interested parties and tribunals (including the initiating state IV-D agency if Utah is the responding state in a 2-state action) that must be notified as part of the ROA process. 

 

2.                   Send the referral packet to the AGO. 

 

 

ROA Procedures-- Administrative Process

 

When the ROA is not being completed in preparation for a judicial action, the ROA process can be completed using the Utah Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA).  Normally, the ROA is completed at the same time as the DCO.  However, if Utah completed a final DCO order prior to UIFSA 2001 being effective, but did not complete an ROA at that time, follow the steps below to complete the ROA as a separate process.

 

1.                   Prepare a “Notice of Agency Action:  Reconciliation of Arrears” packet.  The packet includes:

a.                   Notice of Agency Action;

b.                  “Courtesy Copy of Notice of Agency Action:  Determination of Controlling Order and Reconciliation of Arrears” cover letter;

c.                   “Hearing Request:  Notice of Agency Action:  Determination of Controlling Order and/or Reconciliation of Arrears”;

d.                  “Reconciliation of Arrears Calculation”;

e.                  Copies of all orders considered;

f.                    Copies of all payment records;

g.                   Copies of any additional supporting documentation.

 

2.                   Maintain a paper copy of the Notice of Agency Action packet.  Keep the original packet signed by the Presiding Officer until service on the party/parties is successful.

 

3.                   Send the Notice of Agency Action packet by first-class mail or serve the packet by certified mail on all interested parties as indicated below.

a.                   NCP(s) (certified mail);

b.                  CP (certified mail) – if the CP’s address is not on ORSIS, obtain it from the interstate transmittal (received from the other state).  If the Interstate transmittal does not list the CP’s address, contact that state and get the address;

c.                   Specified relative or guardian (first-class mail);

d.                  All tribunals that have issued support orders (first-class mail) – If the tribunal is a court in another state, you can obtain the address and phone number for the court by accessing the on-line Intergovernmental Reference Guide (IRG);

e.                  Any state with assigned arrears (first-class mail);

f.                    Initiating jurisdiction in a two-state action (first-class mail); and,

g.                   Any other party with an interest in the arrears balance (first-class mail).

 

NOTE:  All parties must be notified, so if you are unable to notify one of the parties; e.g. you cannot locate an address for the party, do not continue with the process until you are able to locate an address and notify the party.

 

4.                   Monitor for service to be returned and imaged.

 

5.                   Forward the packet to the Central Imaging Unit.

 

6.                   Refer the packet to he appropriate Presiding Officer once the parties have been served.  The Presiding Officer will complete the remaining steps.  

 

7.                   Monitor for responses from any interested parties for 30 days after the last party was served.  Parties may respond in the following ways:

a.                   Any party can contest the alleged arrears balance. 

i.                     If the contesting party provides additional information (orders, payment records, etc.)

A.                  Send copies of the new information to all of the interested parties with the “Notice of Additional Information Received” letter. 

B.                  Monitor for another 20 days for any additional responses.  If any party continues to contest  the reconciled arrears balance, refer the case to the AGO with all of the supporting documentation to complete the ROA judicially.

ii.                   If a party contests the arrears balance but doesn’t provide additional information, refer the case to the AGO with all of the supporting documentation to complete the ROA judicially. 

b.                  Any party can request a judicial hearing to reconcile the arrears by completing the “Hearing Request:  Notice of Agency Action, Determination of Controlling Order and/or Reconciliation of Arrears.” 

i.                     Consider any additional information provided and recalculate the balance as appropriate.

ii.                   Refer the case to the AGO with all of the supporting documentation to complete the ROA judicially.

c.                   No contest to the controlling order or the reconciled arrears balance.  Begin procedures to finalize the ROA.

 

 

ROA Procedures –Final Reconciliation of Arrears, Administrative Process

 

If the ROA is being completed as a separate action (not in conjunction with a final DCO), follow the procedures below. 

 

1.                   Prepare the “Order: Reconciliation of Arrears” packet.  The packet should include the following:

a.                   “Order: Reconciliation of Arrears;”

b.                  “Courtesy Copy of Order:  Determination of Controlling Order and Reconciliation of Arrears;”

c.                   “Reconciliation of Arrears Calculation;”

d.                  Copies of all orders; and,

e.                  Copies of all payment records.

 

2.                   Add balance information to ORSIS.  Adjust the arrears balance to the portion of the reconciled arrears amount that is being collected by Utah. 

 

3.                   Send copies of the “Order: Reconciliation of Arrears” packet to all parties.  This includes:

a.                   NCP(s);

b.                  CP;

c.                   Specified relative or guardian;

d.                  All tribunals that have issued support orders;

e.                  Any state with assigned arrears;

f.                    Initiating jurisdiction in a two-state action; and,

g.                   Any other party with an interest in the arrears balance.

 

4.                   Forward a copy of the order, minus the payment record to the Central Imaging Unit to be imaged.

 

5.                   Place a copy of the packet, minus the payment records and “Reconciliation of Arrears Calculation,” in the physical case file.  The calculation and payment records must be secured as restricted information.

 

 

Options after a Final Administrative Reconciliation of Arrears

 

If any of the parties wish to contest a final administrative ROA order issued by Utah, they have the options of requesting reconsideration (if the requesting party participated), requesting set aside (if the requesting party defaulted), or filing an action for judicial review.