New Missouri system uses $2 million in unclaimed property for 18,000 overdue child support cases

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photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications

Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick and the Department of Social Services have partnered to launch a newly-automated method that uses unclaimed property held by the Missouri State Treasurer’s Office to pay delinquent child support.

“In the first phase over $2 million has been applied to 18,724 child support cases,” Jennifer Tidball, Acting Director, Department of Social Services, says in a press release. “When a parent fails to pay child support, children who rely on these critical dollars to live and thrive are the ones who suffer.”

“This is a perfect example of good government,” Fitzpatrick says. “By working with the Department of Social Services to automate this system, we are increasing efficiency and ensuring more children in Missouri will receive money that is rightfully theirs.”

Electronic files of past-due child support cases are matched against the State Treasurer’s Office unclaimed property database. If a match is found, it sends a payment to the Department of Social Services. Doing so enables the Department to withhold unclaimed property before a parent owing child support can claim it.

The electronic process pays child support and eliminates the manual paperwork between agencies to improve efficiency and timeliness. It also enables the State Treasurer’s Office to reduce the number of unclaimed property accounts.

In some cases, the collection of these funds is significant; more than $28,000 was collected from one parent with overdue child support.

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