How Do Child Support Arrears Affect My Credit?

Unpaid Child Support & Your Credit Score

Did you fail to pay child support? Have you repeatedly failed to pay child support?

If that is the case, you could be looking at serious trouble. As of April 2017, 2.5 million delinquent noncustodial parents owed over $114 billion in past-due child support, according to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. Typically, noncustodial parents don’t pay child support for common reasons such as:

  • Insufficient income
  • Loss of employment
  • Incarceration
  • Remarriage
  • Relocation
  • Poor relationship with children
  • Forgot
  • “Payback” at the custodial parent

However, these reasons are not good excuses in the eyes of the government. Even if you genuinely forgot to pay child support (which happens often), you must ensure to pay it back right away and explain your situation honestly if asked. As mentioned before, billions of dollars in past-due payments accumulated in 2017, and they do not go unpunished.

With this in mind, it is not surprising that state and federal governments will take the necessary measures to collect late child support payments, or arrears. This means that you should be proactive and pay your past-due child support payments to avoid penalties such as:

  • A civil or criminal warrant for your arrest
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Professional license suspension
  • Wage garnishment
  • Jail times and/or fines
  • Passport revocation
  • Property and bank account liens
  • Income tax refund intercept
  • Unemployment insurance benefits (UIB) intercept
  • Lottery intercept
  • Credit bureau submission

As you can see, your credit score will be affected if you owe past-due child support payments in New York. If the government reports your arrears to the credit reporting agencies, it will be known that you have been delinquent in the past and your delinquency may appear on your credit report for up to 7 years. As a result, your credit score may be negatively affected. A low credit score is the last thing you need.

What are the consequences of a bad credit score? To say the least, they are damaging. The following outcomes could occur if you have bad credit:

  • Disqualification from loans or credit cards
  • Increased interest rates on loans
  • Higher insurance premiums
  • Disqualification from housing
  • Mandated deposit for utility or internet
  • Barriers to employment
  • Trouble getting a cell phone

If you are looking at penalties for your child support arrears, it is in your best interests to fight for the most favorable outcome possible in your situation. With the help of our Dutchess County family lawyers, your situation may have a chance at a brighter outcome. Contact us at (845) 605-4330 to get started!

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