ENFORCEMENT OF SUPPORT OBLIGATION

CS 806-2 Notice of Lien-Levy, Financial Institutions – Procedures:  Review and Follow-up

05/98 Revised 05/27/16 Training Completed 06/10/16

42 U.S.C. 666 (a)(17); U.C.A. 62A-11-103(6) and (15), 104, 304.1, 304.5(1)(b), 312.5, 313, 78B-12-112, 78B-14-507; URCP 45; R527-200, R527-430

 

 

Financial Institution’s Responsibilities

 

When a financial institution receives a Notice of Lien-Levy, it must immediately secure (freeze) the non-custodial parent’s (NCP) accounts that are specified in the notice and may not pay over, release, sell, transfer, encumber, or convey the assets in the account to any person or entity other than CSS unless/until a full or partial release is received from the Office of Recovery Services/Child Support Services (ORS/CSS), or a court order that orders the release of funds because the debt does not exist or has been satisfied.  If the NCP’s account is a join-account, the financial institution is responsible to notify all joint-owners of the lien-levy action and instruct the joint-owners to contact CSS if they wish to contest the action.

After 21 calendar days of receiving the notice (unless all or part of the funds have been released by CSS or a court), the financial institution must send the funds, up to the past-due support amount listed on the Notice of Lien-Levy, to CSS.  If subsequent funds are deposited in the account up to 60 calendar days after receipt of the notice, the financial institution must also send those funds to CSS, not to exceed the past-due support amount, unless the Notice of Lien-Levy action is released by CSS or court order.

 

If a financial institution does not honor the Notice of Lien-Levy, and the action is consistent with CSS procedures, consult with your Manager, ARD, RD, CSS Director, as needed and the AGO to decide if it is appropriate to send a referral packet to the AGO to pursue legal action against the financial institution.

 

 

Non-custodial Parent’s Options

 

When the NCP receives the concurrent notice of the Notice to Obligor of Lien-Levy, a copy of the Notice of Lien-Levy, s/he may:

 

1.                   Do nothing and allow the levy action to proceed.

 

2.                   Contest the action and/or amount of past-due support by making a written request for an administrative review or adjudicative proceeding under the Utah Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA).

 

NOTE:  A review may be requested on an incoming intergovernmental lien-levy only case.  Because a full services case is not opened for these types of actions, review requests are worked by the Central Registry Unit (CRU), located in the Salt Lake Office.  CRU is only responsible for conducting an administrative review, when requested on these types of actions (incoming intergovernmental lien-levy only cases).  It is not appropriate to conduct an adjudicative proceeding because the case is not a full service case and ORS would not have access to all of the orders, payment histories, etc.

 

The NCP (or his/her current spouse or other joint-owner) may request an emergency senior agent review if s/he believes the lien-levy action is creating an immediate and serious financial hardship on his/her household.  A request for a hardship review does not need to be in writing.  It may be made by a telephone call or office visit. 

 

The senior agent is responsible to gather proof of the hardship from the requestor.  Once the documentation is received, the senior agent must immediately conduct an informal review and based on the information received, if appropriate, release all or part of the funds in the account and notify the requestor of the results of your review.  The requestor may ask for an additional review, which would be conducted by a Presiding Officer [a local Quality Assurance Specialist (QA) or the Children in Care (CIC) Associate Regional Director (ARD)].

 

3.                   The NCP may take the matter to court. 

 

 

Unobligated Joint-Owner Options

 

The notice informs a current spouse or joint-owner how s/he may claim his/her portion of funds in a jointly owned account.  The financial institution should also notify the joint-owners of the lien-levy action at the time the account is frozen and let them know they must contact CSS if they wish to contest the action.

 

If the joint-owner is over the age of 18 and owes no past-due support to CSS, s/he may:

 

1.                   Do nothing and allow the levy action to proceed;

 

2.                   Contest the action by making a written request for a Senior Agent review within 15 calendar days of the date of the notice.  However, if the written request for review is received after the 15 days and the joint-owner does not reside with the NCP, you may accept the request for review. 

 

NOTE: The current spouse or other joint-owner may only request an Agent Review.  An administrative review or adjudicative proceeding is NOT available to the current spouse or other joint-owner; or,

 

3.                   The joint-owner may take the matter to court.

 

NOTE:  Generally, the NCP may not contest an action on behalf of the joint-owner, but if the joint-owner is incapacitated and cannot make the request on his/her own behalf, or is the NCP’s minor child, make an exception.

 

Administrative Review Procedures

 

The NCP may contest a lien-levy action and/or the amount of past-due support by requesting an “administrative review.”  An administrative review is outside the formal RAA/UAPA process and gives the NCP the option to try to resolve disputed issues informally with CSS.   The NCP must contact CSS within 15 days of receiving the notice to request a non-UAPA administrative review. 

 

If an administrative review is requested, the designated Senior Agent will conduct the review to try to resolve the issue(s) informally.  The Senior Agent is responsible to complete the review as soon as possible review as soon as possible by taking all of the steps listed below.  The review should be completed as quickly as possible to allow sufficient time to release all or part of the funds, if appropriate, before the financial institution sends the money to CSS (21 calendar days after the date it received the Notice of Lien-Levy).

 

1.                   Identify the case(s) in dispute.  If the NCP has more than one CSS case, identify the appropriate case (or cases).  If more than one case is involved, handle the review for each case separately.

 

2.                   Review the case(s) for the appropriate actions.  During the review time period, continue with all possible collection/enforcement actions and take the next appropriate action.  For example, if:

a.                   a hardship is discovered, you may need to release all or part of the funds; or,

b.                  the NCP claims that a portion of the funds in the account are SSI benefits and can provide sufficient proof of the SSI amount, release that portion of the funds.

 

3.                   Gather evidence.  The NCP must provide written evidence to support his/her claim.  If you do not receive the evidence within 30 days from the date of the request, proceed with the review and make a determination based on the available facts and evidence.  If necessary, contact the NCP to discuss the evidence.

  

The NCP does not need to appear in person to present or dispute evidence, but may choose to appear in the office.  If the NCP requested to appear in person on the “Request for Review: Notice of Lien-Levy”, send the “Request for Review Appointment Letter”.  The letter informs the NCP of the date and time of the review.  If an attorney has been retained, s/he may also attend the review.

 

4.                   Make a determination.  Review the available facts and evidence and determine if the NCP’s claims are valid. 

 

5.                   Generate the “Results of Review Letter”. 

a.                   Generate and send the letter to the NCP along with the “Written Request for Review: Notice of Lien-Levy” to allow the NCP the opportunity to request an adjudicative proceeding.  For example, if the NCP contested the lien-levy AND the amount of past-due support, address both actions in the letter.  Select the appropriate arrears option depending on whether or not the arrears have already been adjudicated (legally determined by a prior judgment or Decision and Order).

 

The letter gives the NCP the:

i.                     results of the administrative review; and,

ii.                   explains the NCP’s options for appeal.

 

NOTE: If CRU conducts an administrative review on an incoming intergovernmental lien-levy only case, it is responsible for sending the Lien/Levy Only form to the NCP once the review is complete.  The form gives the NCP the results of the review and lets him/her know that there is not an option for an adjudicative proceeding.  CRU must also notify the requesting state of the results of the administrative review.

 

b.                  Mail one letter for each case reviewed to the NCP by first-class mail.

 

6.                   Take the appropriate follow-up action.  Depending on the outcome of the review, take the next appropriate follow-up action; e.g., update ORSIS, send any new or modified forms that may be necessary based on the determination.  This may include releasing part or all of the funds in a lien-levy action.

 

7.                   Write a case narrative.  Write a detailed narrative for each case reviewed. Include the determination and all actions taken.

 

 

Adjudicative Proceeding Procedures

 

In most cases, the person receiving the Notice to Obligor of Lien-Levy form may request an adjudicative proceeding under UAPA within 15 days of receiving the form or within 15 days of receiving the Administrative Review Response:  Past-Due Support and/or Lien-Levy letter form.

 

NOTE:  An adjudicative proceeding may not be conducted on an incoming intergovernmental lien-levy only case.  Because these types of actions/cases are not a full service case, ORS does not have access to the orders applicable to the case, payment histories, etc.   Therefore, if the NCP requests an adjudicative proceeding on this type of a case, CRU will release the lien and notify the NCP that the lien will be released because the office is unable to conduct an adjudicative proceeding on these types of cases.  CRU will also notify the requesting state that the lien has been released.  The requesting state may request a full service case and ask the office to re-issue the lien-levy and/or conduct an adjudicative proceeding.  

 

If the NCP requests an adjudicative proceeding under UAPA on a case other than an intergovernmental lien-levy only case, the Presiding Officer (PO), not the responsible agent, is responsible for the review.  The PO role for this action is filled by a QA. 

 

1.                   Agent’s responsibilities.

a.                   Review the collection and enforcement actions.  During the review time period, continue with all possible collection/enforcement actions and take the next appropriate action.  For example, if:

i.                     A hardship is discovered, you may need to release all or part of the funds; or,

ii.                   The NCP claims that a portion of the funds in the account are SSI benefits and can provide sufficient proof of the SSI amount, release that portion of the funds.

 

b.                  Compile the state’s evidence.  Gather the facts and evidence from the CSS case narratives and ensure that any necessary documents are available on Content Manager and present it to the PO.

 

2.                   Presiding Officer’s responsibilities.

a.                   Gather the NCP’s evidence.  The NCP must provide written evidence to support his/her claim.  If you do not receive the evidence within 30 days of the request for information, proceed with the review and make a determination based on the available facts and evidence.  If necessary, contact the NCP to discuss the evidence.

 

The NCP does not need to appear in person to present or dispute evidence, but may choose to appear in the office.  If the NCP requested to appear in person on the Request for Review:  Notice of Lien-Levy form, send the Request for Review:  Appointment Letter.  The letter  informs the NCP of the date and time of the review.  If an attorney has been retained, s/he may also attend the review.

b.                  Make a determination and issue a Decision and Order.

i.                     Review all of the facts and evidence presented by the agent and the NCP, and make a determination.

ii.                   Generate and issue the Decision and Order:  Past-Due Support and/or Lien-Levy form for each case.  Select the options on the form that correspond to the action being reviewed.

 

The form informs the NCP of:

A.                  The adjudicative proceeding decision; and,

B.                  His/her options for appeal.  The NCP may request reconsideration or file a court action. 

For more information on both of these options, refer to the corresponding sections below.

c.                   Process the Decision and Order.

i.                     Sign and date the form.  The form allows 20 days for the NCP to request reconsideration on the determination.  Include the Courtesy Copy:  Decision and Order form.

ii.                   Make any necessary copies of the form as described below.

iii.                  Send the original form to the Central Docket Unit (CDU) to be recorded and approved.  Once CDU approves the order, they will forward it to the Central Imaging Unit (CIU) to be imaged into Content Manager.

iv.                 Mail by first-class mail or deliver a copy of the forms to the NCP personally.

v.                   Send by first-class mail a copy of the form and the Courtesy Copy of Administrative Order – Obligor/Initiating State form to the:

A.                  NCP’s attorney if s/he is represented by legal counsel, and/or,

B.                  The initiating agency on a full services incoming interstate case.

d.                  Take the appropriate follow-up actions.  Depending on the outcome of the review, take the next appropriate follow-up action; e.g., update ORSIS, send any new or modified forms that may be necessary based on the determination, which may include releasing part or all of the funds in a lien-levy action.

e.                  Write a case narrative.  Write a detailed narrative for each case reviewed based on the facts and evidence.  Include the determination and all actions taken.

 

A Decision and Order that has been issued by CSS is subject to reconsideration if the NCP makes a written request within 20 days after the Decision and Order was issued.  Refer to the corresponding section below.

 

 

Reconsideration Procedures

 

“Decision and Orders” that have been issued by CSS are subject to reconsideration if a written is made within 20 days of issuing the Decision and Order”.  A reconsideration request does not have a specific form, but must be in writing and state the specific grounds for which relief is sought. 

 

If you receive a request for reconsideration, forward it to the Presiding Officer responsible for issuing the order.  The PO is responsible for taking the steps listed below.

 

1.                   Review the case for appropriate actions.  During the review time period, continue with all possible collection/enforcement actions and take the next appropriate action.  For example, if:

a.                   a hardship is discovered, you may need to release all or part of the funds; or,

b.                  the NCP claims that a portion of the funds in the account are SSI benefits and can provide sufficient proof of the SSI amount, release that portion of the funds.

 

2.                   Grant or deny the reconsideration request. 

a.                   Deny Reconsideration:  If you deny the request for reconsideration, complete the following:

i.                     issue the “Order: RAA Reconsideration Denied” /“Order: RAA Reconsideration Denied.  Sign and date the order.

ii.                   Mail a copy of forms to the NCP.  Include the “Courtesy Copy of Administrative Order”. 

 

NOTE:  The order provides the NCP with information about his/her appeal options.

 

If the request for reconsideration is denied (i.e., the original “Decision and Order” stands), resume all collection and enforcement activity as appropriate.

b.                  Grant Reconsideration:  If you grant the request for reconsideration, complete the following:

i.                     issue the “Order: RAA Reconsideration Granted” /Order: RAA Reconsideration Granted”. 

 

NOTE:  The order provides the NCP with his/her appeal options.

ii.                   Review the facts and evidence of the case, as well as any new pertinent information received from the applicant/recipient. 

iii.                  Issue the “Order Based on Reconsideration: Non-cooperation”.  The order affirms or amends the original “Decision and Order”.

 

NOTE:  A conference may be conducted to facilitate full reconsideration.

iv.                 Mail by first class mail or deliver a copy of the forms personally to the NCP.

 

NOTE:  The NCP is not required to appear in person to present the new evidence, but may choose to appear to review and dispute the evidence.

v.                   Mail by first class mail a copy of the forms to the:

A.                  NCP’s attorney if s/he is represented by legal counsel, and/or,

B.                  the initiating state on an incoming interstate case. 

 

If the request for reconsideration is granted, resume collection/enforcement activity on these cases AFTER the original order is replaced with an “Order Based on Reconsideration: Obligation”.

c.                   Neither Grant nor Deny Reconsideration:  If  the request for reconsideration is not granted or denied within 20 days, the request is considered denied and the original “Decision and Order” stands.

 

3.                   Take the appropriate follow-up actions.  Depending on the outcome of the review, take the nest appropriate follow-up action(s).  For example, update ORSIS, send any new or modified forms that may be necessary based on the determination.  This may include releasing part/all of the funds in a lien-levy action.

 

4.                   Write a case narrative.  Document all the action(s) taken on the case and the reason(s) for those actions.

 

If the NCP wants to appeal the reconsideration decision or the new order based on reconsideration, s/he may file a court action.  Reconsideration is not a prerequisite for a court action.

 

 

Court Action Filed by the Non-Custodial Parent Procedures

 

The NCP may choose to file his/her own court action instead of, or in addition to, requesting an administrative review or an adjudicative proceeding.  The NCP must provide CSS with evidence that an action has been filed. The evidence of the filing will generally be notice of the legal pleadings.  Once you are notified of the filing, send a referral packet to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

 

Do not release the lien-levy unless stayed by the court.

 

 

Current Spouse/Joint-Owner Requested Review

 

The joint-owner may only contest the lien-levy action and not the amount of past-due support.  If the joint-owner requests a review, the Senior Agent is responsible to:

 

1.                   conduct an immediate review;

 

2.                   make a decision based on the evidence and facts.  The joint-owner is responsible to provide documentation of income and/or documentation of the source of the funds that have been deposited into the joint account.  All documentation must be legitimate and complete.  Examples include: copies of pay records; receipts; bank statements; and/or tax records.  The burden for obtaining documentation is on the joint-owner; but you may wish to seek clarification or verification of the documentation, e.g., request that the bank send additional bank records. 

 

Review both the joint-owner’s and the NCP’s documentation along with the case information to determine if all or part of the money in the account belongs to the joint-owner.  Calculate the joint-owner’s share by pro-rating the amount based on his/her percentage of income and/or on his/her percentage of deposits made to the account.

 

EXAMPLE:                          

Total income and/or deposits:            $l6,000.00

NCP's income/deposits:                      $l2,000.00

Joint-owner’s income/deposits:         $ 4,000.00

 

Divide the joint-owner’s income/deposit amount by the total income and/or deposits ($4,000.00 divided by $16,000.00 = 0.25 or 25%).  The joint-owner's percentage of the amount in the account is 25%.  Release 25% of the funds in the account.  If the total amount in the account is $3000, release $750.00.  This is calculated as follows, ($3,000.00 X .25 = 750.00).  The remaining $2,250.00 will be applied to the NCP’s past-due debt; and,

 

3.                   send the “Notice of Results of Administrative Review of Lien-Levy” to the joint-owner.  When generating the notice, notify the joint-owner that s/he has 5 business days from the date of the notice to appeal the decision to the QA level, if needed.

 

If requested, the Quality Assurance Specialist (QA)/CIC ARD is responsible to conduct an immediate review and sends the letter to the joint-owner.  The joint-owner may contest the determination by taking the matter to court.  The joint-owner has 15 calendar days to present proof that s/he has appealed to court. 

 

Release of Lien-Levy Action

 

If you have conducted an administrative review, adjudicative proceeding or agent review and have decided that releasing all or part of the funds in the account is appropriate, complete the following:

1.                   Generate the appropriate release form.

 

2.                   Mail the release notice by regular mail and FAX the form to the financial institution before 21 calendar days elapses from the date the financial institution received the Notice of Lien-Levy.

 

 

Follow-up Procedures

 

The financial institution must surrender the property in the account to CSS after 21 calendar days of receipt of the Notice of Lien-Levy unless the money has been released all or in part by CSS or by court order.

 

1.                   Distribution of funds.  ORSIS will distribute lien-levy money according to standard distribution rules.  Current support will be paid first if it has not already been met by another payment type (other than federal tax).    The lien-levy only applies to the arrears for which the NCP was given notice, which means the lien-levy money can only be applied to the lien-levy arrears.  If the arrears have been paid down after the lien-levy was issued and more arrears have accrued since the original notice, you msut issue a new lien-levy for the subsequent time period.  

 

EXAMPLE: a lien-levy was sent in March for $1400.00 based on arrears that were due through March ($200.00/month current x 7 months).  Since then CSS received a tax payment of $400.00 on this case, but more arrears accrued during the months of April and May, making the total arrears balance $1400.00 through May.  CSS has received the $1400.00 asked for in the original March lien-levy, but the money has not yet disbursed due to the 90-day hold.  CSS may keep $1000.00 for arrears and $200.00 for current support during the month the lien-levy funds were received.  The remaining $200.00 must be refunded to the NCP unless s/he allows CSS to apply the money to the arrears balance not covered in the original lien-levy notice.  CSS may also do a new lien-levy for the new arrears and time periods, if appropriate.

 

2.                   Disbursing funds.  If CSS receives lien-levy money, a hold was placed on the case, and the money now appears on your Funds Remaining Report (as a participant hold), a senior agent, manager, ARD, or RD may release the hold if:

a.                   it’s been 21 calendar days after a copy of the lien-levy notice was sent to the NCP (and spouse);

b.                  the NCP or joint-owner has had sufficient time to exhaust his/her administrative review and adjudicative proceeding requests; and,

c.                   the court has rendered a final decision, if the matter was taken to the district court.

 

 

Action Contested After 15 Calendar Days

 

The NCP, his/her spouse, or another joint-owner residing with the NCP should request a review of the lien-levy action within 15 calendar days of the date of the concurrent notice. 


NOTE:   However, there may be times when it is appropriate to allow an exception; e.g., the NCP can verify s/he was away on business and did not receive notice until after 15 days.

A joint-owner who does not reside with the NCP should also request a review within 15 calendar days of the date of the notice.  However, if such a joint-owner requests a review after 15 calendar days, consider whether there is good cause to allow the review; e.g., the bank did not notify the joint-owner of the lien-levy action, or notified the joint-owner late. 

 

Be more lenient in extending the 15 day limit for joint-owners who receive notice from the financial institution.  If you are not sure whether to allow the review, consult with your Manager, ARD, RD, and CSS Director as needed.

 

If a determination is made to:

1.                   Not conduct a review:

a.                   Contact the requestor (NCP, spouse, joint-owner) and explain your decision; and,

b.                  Document in the case narrative all decisions made, the reason(s) for the decision, and any actions taken on the case.

 

2.                   Conduct a review - determine if the financial institution has sent the money and check for the posting note that asked accounting to hold the money.