OIG Report "State Use of Debt Compromise to Reduce Child Support Arrearages"
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
DATE: December 13, 2007
TO: ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Transmission of Office of the Inspector General’s Report “State Use of Debt Compromise to Reduce Child Support Arrearages” (OEI-06-06-00070); Other Resources on Debt Compromise and OCSE Follow-up
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently published a report entitled: “State Use of Debt Compromise to Reduce Child Support Arrearages” (OEI-06-06-00070). The OIG recommends that States that operate these programs routinely monitor cases that remain open following debt compromise to ensure that noncustodial parents meet their agreements, such as regular payment of current support and arrearages, and that those states develop standards and alternatives for corrective action. The full report can be accessed on the OIG Website.
States interested in a debt compromise program may find the document “Managing Child Support Arrears, A Discussion Framework – Summary of the Administration for Children and Families Regions I, II, III Third Meeting on Arrears” a useful resource as they seek to develop new programs or revise current practices. This document can be accessed on the OCSE Website, arrears report.
Additionally, the summary document from the Peer-To-Peer Training Conference held May 16-18, 2006 also addresses debt compromise. That summary is available on the OCSE Website, DCL-06-04.
While States are not required to implement debt compromise programs and States may use discretion in implementing the guidance, the OIG noted there is a high level of interest in the use of debt compromise.
To further the discussion on this issue, OCSE is interested in how States are administering debt compromise programs and seeks to include State and/or county practices as the focus of a technical assistance conference call. We are interested in material which addresses:
- the criteria used for determining which cases are eligible for debt compromise,
- the proportion or nature of the debt to be settled,
- suggestions for training staff in making case determinations,
- effective practices for monitoring and follow-up, and
- use of debt compromise to close child support cases in which only arrearages are owed.
If your State/county has instituted a program of debt compromise from which you believe others could benefit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with information that addresses any or all of the bullets above.
OCSE looks forward to sharing your experiences with others.
Office of Child Support Enforcement