|Friday, July 27, 2001 |
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Department Announces New Child Support Enforcement ToolLiens will be placed on vehicles owned by those who owe back child support
MADISON – Department of Workforce Development Secretary Jennifer Reinert announced today the department will begin the process of placing liens on vehicles owned by parents who owe in excess of $12,500 in back child support, beginning August 7th. If a lien is placed on the title of a vehicle it cannot be sold until the lien is satisfied or the vehicle is released from the lien.
The threshold for those who will have a lien placed on their vehicle will begin with parents who owe $12,500 or more and will eventually decrease to include delinquent non-custodial parents who owe $2,000 or more in past-due child support.
"Parents who owe back child support should understand, the department is not anxious to place a lien on their vehicle but we are very anxious to collect child support payments that will make a big difference in the life of a child," said Secretary Reinert. "It is our hope that these parents who owe back child support will come forward and pay what they owe to avoid the lien being recorded in the first place," she said.
"The local child support agencies do have some discretion in the release of the vehicle from the lien if a parent is willing to come forward and agree to an acceptable settlement. The department and child support agency directors fully recognize that it is beneficial for everyone involved if the non-custodial parent has a reliable vehicle to get to work, make a living, and pay child support. The most important thing is for a parent to pay up or make appropriate arrangements to pay the back child support owed," added Reinert.
The department will submit the names of payers with liens that are fully enforceable on the child support lien docket to the Department of Transportation who will then place a lien on their vehicle title. The vehicle liens follow the implementation of the lien docket, which became effective in October of 2000. The lien docket prevents parents from selling their homes without first satisfying the lien. Since it’s implementation, more than $978,000 has been collected in back child support as a result of the lien docket.
Instances when a parent may be prevented from selling their vehicle include:
- A parent sells their car, buys a new car and registers for a title for the new car. The title for the new car will have a lien placed on it.
- A parent pays off their car loan and after the payoff is sent a new title listing them as the owner of the vehicle (instead of a financial institution), a lien is placed on that title.
- A parent loses the title to their vehicle and applies for a replacement, a lien is placed on that title.
If a non-custodial parent is on the lien docket and has to obtain a title from the Department of Transportation, the lien will be printed on the title.
There are currently 23,640 parents on the lien docket, who will face having a lien placed on their vehicle. Another 8,000 parents will be added when the threshold is lowered to $10,000 in September.
"Even though Wisconsin ranks fourth in the nation for its collection of child support, there is still approximately $2 billion owed in back child support owed across the state and that is simply unacceptable. These new tools should go a long way toward reducing that number in the future," said Reinert.
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