PAYMENT METHODS

CS 708P Special Circumstances: Uncollectible Arrears Only Cases

08/20/03 Revised 11/21/14 Training Completed 08/11/14

R527-038; 45 CFR 303.11

 

 

Statutory Authority

 

“45 CFR 303.11 Case closure criteria.

(a) The IV-D agency shall establish a system for case closure.

(b) In order to be eligible for closure, the case must meet at least one of the following criteria:

(1) There is no longer a current support order and arrearages are under $500 or unenforceable under State law;”

 

“R527-38.  Unenforceable Cases.

R527-38-1.  Authority and Purpose

            1.  The Department of Human Services is authorized to create rules necessary for the provision of social services by Section 62A-1-111 and 62A-11-107.

            2.  The purpose of this rule is to establish the criteria which a support case must satisfy to be categorized as unenforceable pursuant to 45 CFR 303.11.

 

R527-38-2  Unenforceable Case Criteria.

            1.  All of the following criteria must be met for a support case to be categorized as unenforceable:

            a.  The case is currently not a paying case; in that payments shall not have been posted to the case during the last 12 months; and payments are not expected to be posted in the near future.

            b.  No federal offset money has been received by the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) during the last two years.

            c.  No state tax money shall have been received by ORS within the most recent two years.

            d.  ORS shall have collected $1,000 or less on the case over the last two years by methods other than federal offset or state tax.

            e.  There are no financial institution accounts belonging to the non-custodial parent that can be attached.

            f.  No executable assets belonging to the non-custodial parent have been identified.

            g.  If the matter concerns a Title IV-E case, all of the children identified as being part of the case shall have been emancipated or parental rights shall have been terminated.”

 

NOTE 1:  Title IV-E cases referred to in “g” above are in reference to Children in Care (CIC) foster care/youth correction cases. 

 

NOTE 2:  An example for criteria “d” above is the last RWD (Income Withholding) payment of $100.00 posted 18 months ago and an RCM (Regular Receipt) payment of $250.00 posted 13 months ago, totaling les than $1,000.00 posted to the case during the past 24 months.

 

Before a case can be reviewed for the uncollectible case criteria, the obligation must be open for at least two years.  For example, if a case was opened on 01/13/2008, the obligation was effective and added to ORSIS on 08/01/2008, the case would not potentially meet the uncollectible criteria until 08/01/2010.  An arrears only case may be considered uncollectible if ALL of the criteria listed above are met.  However, the steps you take on the case, and whether you can close the case, will be different depending upon the specific type of case and other factors described later in this section.

 

 

Multiple Cases

 

If the NCP has multiple cases and not all of the cases meet the uncollectible criteria found in subsection “Statutory Authority” above (e.g., payments are being received on one or more of the cases), you may still apply the criteria to the case(s) that qualifies, if it appears unlikely that the NCP will ever be able to pay the debts owed in the qualified case(s).

 

1.                  If the NCP is making regular payments on a case multiple that will be paid off within five years, because the payments will distribute to the qualified case at that time, do not close the case. 

 

EXAMPLE:  The NCP is making current support payments on a case that is current support only.  No arrears are being paid on the qualified case.  In three years the child on the current support only case will emancipate and the payments can then distribute to the arrears only case.

 

2.                  Consider the size of the debts and other factors.

 

EXAMPLE 1:  The NPC has three cases, two Non-IV-A cases and one IV-A arrears only case.  The NCP owes more than $20,000 to the two families on the Non-IV-A cases.  Currently, the NCP is not able to meet the total current support on the Non-IV-A cases.  Therefore, it is unlikely that payments will ever distribute to the IV-A arrears only case. 

 

EXAMPLE 2:  The NCP has three cases, two Non-IV-A cases and one CIC IV-E arrears only case.  The NCP owes more than $20,000.00 on the Non-IV-A arrears only case and the other Non-IV-A case has a current support debt of $310.00 per month.  Payments must distribute to the current support debt on the Non-IV-A case first, then they can be applied to the two Non-IV-A arrears only cases.  However, the NCP is not able to meet the full current support amount each month.  Therefore, it is unlikely that payments will ever distribute to the CIC IV-E arrears only case.  

 

Procedures – IV-A Arrears Only Case

 

If a IV-A arrears only case meets all of the criteria listed in 708.1, refer to the procedures below.

 

1.                  Complete the “Uncollectible Case Checklist and Reviewing Tool.”  Document your research in the case narratives.   

 

2.                  Conduct review to unassign arrears, if appropriate.

 

3.                  Manually withdraw the electronic court lien, if appropriate.  This will stop ORSIS from transmitting a “satisfaction” of the debt. 

 

4.                  Write off the state’s debt by adjusting the IV-A debt(s) to zero.  Written off debts are permanently written off.  Once the debt is written off, it is permanently written off – do not reinstate it.

 

5.                  Document your action in the case narratives.

 

6.                  Determine if the case meets the criteria to close it unenforceable.

 

NOTE:  If the case is an incoming intergovernmental case, contact the other state to see if they will agree to close the case as unenforceable before proceeding.  If the initiating state confirms that the case is unenforceable and can be closed, document this in the case narratives along with the name and phone number of the other state’s caseworker that you spoke with.  Proceed with closing the case.  If the initiating state does not agree that the case is unenforceable and wants the case to remain open, you must continue to work the case until it meets one of the approved federal closure criteria.

 

 

Procedures – Non-IV-A Arrears Only Case

 

If a Non-IV-A arrears only case meets all of the criteria listed in the Statutory Authority subsection above, refer to the procedures below.

 

1.                  Complete the “Uncollectible Case Checklist and Reviewing Tool.”  Document your research in the case narratives.

 

2.                  Make sure the CP is the applicant and send the “Applicant/Recipient Information Request”.

 

3.                  If the CP/applicant does not respond within ten days by calling, faxing, e-mailing, coming into the office, or returning the bottom portion of the letter to either provide new information about the NCP’s location and/or income or assets, OR to request that the case remain open, you may conclude that s/he does not want the case to stay open. 

 

4.                  If the CP/applicant responds and provides new information, follow up on the information to the extent possible and take the next appropriate action.

 

5.                  If the CP/applicant responds in writing or by calling, faxing, or e-mailing and is unable to provide any new information, but s/he requests that the case remain open, do NOT close the case until/unless the case meets a federal closure reason. 

 

Procedures – Mixed IV-A Arrears Only and Non-IV-A Arrears

 

If you have a case with IV-A and Non-IV-A arrears only first follow the steps in the “Procedures – Non-IV-A Arrears Only Case” section.  If you are able to end the Non-IV-A arrears debts, follow the steps in the “Procedures – IV-A Arrears Only Case” section to determine if the IV-A arrears debts can be “written off”.

 

Procedures – IV-E and Non-IV-E Arrears Only Case

 

If an arrears only case meets all of the criteria listed in 708.1, refer to the procedures below. 

 

1.                  Complete the “Uncollectible Case Checklist and Reviewing Tool.”  Document your research in the case narratives.

 

2.                  IV-E Debts Only:  Manually withdraw the electronic court lien, if appropriate.  This will stop ORSIS from transmitting a “satisfaction” of the debt. 

 

3.                  Adjust the debts.

a.                   IV-E Debts:

i.                    Write off the state’s debt by adjusting the IV-E debt(s) to zero.  Once a debt is written off, it is permanently written off.  Do not reinstate it.

b.                  Non-IV-E Debts:  End the Non-IV-E arrears debts.  The debt may be reinstated if the case is reinstated.

 

4.                  Document your action in the case narratives.

 

5.                  Determine if the case meets all of the closure criteria.

 

Payment Received After an Uncollectible Obligation is “Written Off”

 

Once a IV-A or IV-E arrears debt/obligation is written off based on the uncollectible criteria found in this section, it is permanently written off.  Do not reinstate the debt/obligation.  If a payment is received after the debt/obligation and/or case is closed, the Senior Agent is responsible to refund the payment accordingly, and document in the case narratives the reason why the payment was refunded.