ENFORCEMENT OF SUPPORT OBLIGATION

CS 803 Electronic Reporting of Liens to Court, Definitions, Criteria and General Information

04/00 Revised 03/24/16 Training Completed 02/27/16

U.C.A. 62A-11-312.5

 

 

Statutory Authority

 

U.C.A. 62A-11-312.5 states as follows:

“(1) Each payment or installment of child support is, on and after the date it is due, a judgment with the same attributes and effect of any judgment of a district court in accordance with Section 78B-12-112 and for purposes of Section 78B-5-202.

(2) (a) A judgment under Subsection (1) or final administrative order shall constitute a lien against the real property of the obligor upon the filing of a notice of judgment-lien in the district court where the obligor's real property is located if the notice:

(i) specifies the amount of past-due support; and

(ii) complies with the procedural requirements of Section 78B-5-202.

(b) Rule 69, Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, shall apply to any action brought to execute a judgment or final administrative order under this section against real or personal property in the obligor's possession.”

    

The Office of Recovery Services/Child Support Services (ORS/CSS) electronically files liens every Tuesday night with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) on all qualified IVDS and Children in Care cases (including incoming interstate) through the AOC’s computer system, known as CORIS (Courts Information System), in the county of the non-custodial parent’s (NCP) residence in the state of Utah.  

 

Electronic filing has the same effect as filing a paper notice of judgment-lien.

 

If any of the information about the lien has changed during the week, the next weekly electronic filing will replace and update the prior information.

 

 

Definitions

 

1.                   Lien – A lien establishes a legal claim against property.

 

2.                   Real Property – Land, buildings, and improvements attached thereto, such as houses, commercial buildings, fencing, storage sheds, etc.

 

3.                   Personal Property – The two types of personal property are:

a.                   Tangible property such as vehicles, jewelry, tools, portable equipment, etc.; and,

b.                  Liquid, cash, or “paper” assets such as a checking or savings account, tax refunds, insurance settlements, stocks, bonds, etc.

 

4.                   Satisfaction – An electronically reported lien is considered “satisfied” only when the total arrears debt balance reaches zero ($0.00).  Judicial judgments for specific amounts and time periods may also be satisfied when paid-in-full.  For additional information, see CS 816 Satisfaction of Judgment.

 

 

Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) Terms

 

When talking with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), refer to the terms listed below.

 

1.                   Release of a lien – The withdrawal or satisfaction of a lien.

 

2.                   Withdrawal of a lien/Retraction of a lien – This may occur because the lien should never have been reported or CSS chooses not to report it (even though a balance may still be due).

a.                   Automatic Withdrawal – A condition where the system determines that the lien should be withdrawn.

b.                  Manual Withdrawal – A condition where a worker manually requests withdrawal through ORSIS.

 

3.                   Satisfaction of a lien – An electronic satisfaction is reported automatically only when the total arrears balance reaches “zero” ($0.00).

 

4.                   Added record – A record which has not previously been reported or which is newly reported after a release of a lien.

 

5.                   Amended record – A change being reported to a previously reported record.  After an “Add Record” is sent, all changes, including Lien Releases, are sent as an “Amend Record”.

 

 

Form Overview

 

1.                   Current Balance Letter.  When an NCP or a title company, etc. requests a “paper” satisfaction or information in writing about the balance due on a case, you may generate the Current Balance letter, which indicates the current lien amount for all of the NCP’s CSS cases.  The letter includes the option of reporting that current child and/or spousal support is still due.

 

2.                   Release of Lien Against Real Property.  Use this letter to release a lien against real property when it is appropriate and the NCP, CP or a title company requests a release of a lien (usually due to a pending short sale of the property).   The lien release must be reviewed by the AGO and approved through the management chain.  

               

 

Electronic Lien Filing Criteria

 

All arrears (excluding balances on judicial judgments) on ORSIS are filed electronically with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) every Tuesday night, when the criteria below have been met.  A lien reports automatically:

 

·                     For the first time when the IV-A arrears balance is greater than $150 or the Non-IV-A arrears balance is greater than $500, and the total accruing arrears balance for the case is greater than three times the current support due;

 

·                     When a lien was previously withdrawn manually, you remove the manual withdrawal, and the NCP’s case and debt now qualify;

 

·                     When a lien was previously satisfied or automatically withdrawn and the NCP’s case and debts now qualify for lien reporting and/or,

 

·                     When the NCP moves and the new address is within a different county. ORSIS will automatically add the new county if lien reporting criteria are met.  The lien will continue reporting to all counties that were previously entered.    

 

 

Data to Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)

 

AOC receives the following information about the NCP except for cases in which the information has been safeguarded:

 

·                     The NCP’s name,

·                     Social security number,

·                     Current address,

·                     Date of birth, and his/her

·                     Driver’s license number, if available;

·                     The county code;

·                     The lien number;

·                     The participant ID (PID);

·                     The lien filing period (period to and from);

·                     The case number; and,

·                     The total amount of past-due support, less any judicial judgments.

 

If any of the information about the lien has changed, the electronic lien is replaced with a new copy that reflects the changes.

 

Safeguarded Information

 

Case information about the NCP is reported to the court electronically unless CSS has safeguarded the information on ORSIS (the State Case Registry).  If the information has been safeguarded on ORSIS, only the NCP’s name and date of birth (in addition to lien amount information) is transmitted to AOC.  If the case information was safeguarded after it was initially transmitted to the court, the additional information will not be transmitted in the next weekly update and blanks will overlay the other information, such as address, etc., already on record with the court.  Once the lien has been released, safeguarding the information is not possible.

 

The custodial parent’s (CP’s) case information is not reported to the court.

 

 

Bankruptcy Reporting

 

If a case is opened with an active bankruptcy and the bankruptcy information has been added to ORSIS, ORSIS will not electronically report the lien to the court.  If the lien was reported and later the NCP files bankruptcy and the bankruptcy information is added to ORSIS, ORSIS stops electronically reporting the lien.  The lien amount previously electronically reported to the court prior to a bankruptcy filing will “freeze” at the time of the filing (including the time period for “plan confirmed”).  The lien amount will modify downward if the balance amount is reduced but will not modify upward.

 

Once the bankruptcy status is discharged or dismissed, the lien will once again begin to report to AOC every Tuesday night.  The amount reported will be upward or downward, according to the balance owed on the case.

 

 

Subordinating on Liens

 

CSS child support liens establish a legal claim against real property and they hold a high priority.  It is preferable that they be cleared by payment in full at the time the real property is sold or refinanced.  Sometimes CSS will be asked to subordinate a child support lien to outside claims or interests, e.g., a title company may want CSS to subordinate so that the NCP can refinance his house.  To subordinate means we agree that our interest in the real property should have a lower priority than other persons or entities that have similar interests in the same property.  Normally CSS will not agree to subordinate a lien as this can result in prolonging the time it will take to pay off the debt; however, occasionally it will be appropriate.  The decision to subordinate is made on a case by case basis after considering the unique circumstances of the case and determining if the request to subordinate is reasonable and in the best interest of the state and/or the family.  If we subordinate, it would only be on a lien for state money, not money that is owed to the family unless the CP agrees to the subordination.

 

If you are asked to subordinate a lien, take the question up your management chain (Manager, ARD/RD, and CSS Director) who will consult with the AG as needed to determine if there is a good reason to agree to the subordination.  An example of when it may be appropriate to subordinate a lien is when the NCP is attempting to refinance his house, has a current agreement for repayment of arrearages and is complying with that agreement.  The anticipated house payment will not increase the debt ratio substantially and may actually reduce his monthly payments.  Another example is when a house was jointly owned by the CP and NCP, the CP was given the house in the divorce decree, and the CP is trying to refinance the loan.  Because the debt is owed by the NCP and not the CP, it is reasonable to subordinate our lien and wait, if needed, to collect the support debt from the NCP’s portion of the equity when the property is sold (unless the divorce decree specifically states the NCP has no rights to the equity, or the title to the property was transferred to only the CP’s name).

 

 

Releasing Liens

 

There may be situations when it is appropriate for ORS/CSS to release a lien that has been placed on real property owned by the NCP.  For example, the NCP, CP, or a title company may request that ORS/CSS release a lien due to a short sale.  Because the proceeds from a short sale will fall short of the balance owed on the debts secured by liens against the property, there will be no available funds due to the sale of the property.  Some of these types of situations may also involve the CP who has been awarded the property in the divorce decree and the NCP signed a Quit Claim Deed over to the CP for the property, but the lien still remains in place on the property.  However, if ORS/CSS agrees to release the lien in these types of situations, it does not constitute a satisfaction of judgment for the NCP’s debts, and ORS does not waive its right to continue collection and to pursue the remainder of the judgment owing. 

 

If you receive a request from an NCP, a CP or a title company to release a lien due to a pending short sale or other similar situation, discuss the case with your manager and if appropriate, take the following steps:

 

1.                   Obtain a Settlement Statement from the title company.

 

2.                   Review the Settlement Statement with the team manager.  If appropriate, include the ARD and RD. 

 

3.                   Generate the Release of Lien against Real Property form. 

 

                NOTE:  You will need to obtain the court case number, the physical address of the property and                the legal property description from the requesting party.  The legal property description is             different from the physical address.  An example of a legal property description is:  “Lot 63,   Summit Park Extension Unit No. 5, Phase 1 as shown by the official plat thereof recorded    October 24, 1989, as Filing No. 539911 in the office of the Recorder of Cache County, Utah.”

 

4.                   Forward the Release of Lien against Real Property form to the ARD for review and approval.

 

5.                   If the ARD approves the Release of Lien Against Real Property form, s/he will forward it to the RD for review and approval.

 

6.                   The RD will review the Settlement Statement with the attorney assigned to the case.  The AG will determine what the settlement statement represents and advise regarding the validity of the release.

 

7.                   The RD will approve the Release of Lien Against Real Property form or forward it to the ORS Director for approval:

a.                   Approve the Release of Lien Against Real Property form:  The RD may approve the form if the NCP will not be receiving any money due to the release of lien; e.g., the CP is getting a divorce and is only trying to get the NCP’s name off of the house.

b.                  Forward the Release of Lien Against Real Property form to the ORS Director:  If the NCP is expected to receive money as a result of the result of the release of lien, then the RD must forward the Release of Lien Against Real Property form to the ORS Director for approval.        

8.                   If appropriate (see #6 above), the ORS Director approves the release of the lien, the RD (or other ORS Representative) will sign and notarize the Release of Lien Against Real Property form and return the signed and notarized form to the assigned caseworker.

 

9.                   The assigned caseworker  will:

a.                   Provide the signed and notarized Release of Lien Against Real Property form to the requesting party.

b.                  Forward a copy of the form to the Central Imaging Unit (CIU) to be imaged.

c.                   File the form in the case file.