|Enforcement||Social Security Act
§452(k) and (l) Duties of the Secretary45 CFR 302.60 Collection of past-due support from Federal tax refunds
45 CFR 302.70(a)(7) Required state laws
45 CFR 303.72 Requests for collection for past-due support by Federal tax refund offset
|Administrative Enforcement Remedies||Wyo. Stat. § 20-6-106(m)(iii), (v), and (xi) and (w) Powers and duties of department regarding collection of support
Wyoming Child Support Enforcement Rules
Chapter 7 Federal Offset Program
Chapter 8 Consumer Credit Reports and Reporting
Chapter 9 Financial Institution Data Match
|Policy Number||Effective Date|
|9.2||October 1, 2010|
In order to help parents support their children financially, the Wyoming Child Support Program relies on a wide range of enforcement tools including those enforcement remedies that require little to no “manual” intervention. These administrative enforcement actions shall meet certain criteria. Once the criteria for the administrative action are met, the Wyoming CSE Program computer system, POSSE, automatically certifies eligible non-custodial parents to one or more administrative enforcement programs.
The Wyoming Child Support Program utilizes automated enforcement remedies through both federal and state programs.
The following are the federal administrative enforcement remedies used by the Wyoming Child Support Program::
- Federal Tax Offset Program;
- Federal Administrative Offset Program;
- Passport Denial;
- Multistate Financial Institution Data Match;
- Insurance Match Program, and
- IRS Full Collection
Since 1999, the federal TOP has been operated by the United States Department of Treasury Financial Management Service (FMS) in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the federal OCSE. The purpose of this program is to provide a simple and administrative mechanism to offset federal tax refunds where a non-custodial parent’s child support arrears meet the criteria listed below. When the federal TOP began, it focused on those cases where the child support arrears were assigned to the state through public assistance cases. The program has been expanded a number of times and now includes non-public assistance cases.
Note: In some instances, a custodial parent may be required to pay a $25.00 federal TOP fee. For more information, please see 5.4 Fees – Federal Offset Fee.
In order for the Wyoming Child Support Program to submit a non-custodial parent for the federal TOP, the following criteria shall be met:
- Open IV-D case;
- Past-due support greater than
- $150.00 assigned arrears for public assistance cases or past public assistance cases; or
- $500.00 for non-assigned arrears in non-public assistance or past public assistance cases;
- Non-custodial parent name and social security number (SSN); and
- Non-custodial parent’s address – either current or historical (“old”) address.
Note: If Wyoming is the Initiating State in an intergovernmental action, Wyoming will submit the non-custodial parent to the federal TOP.
Non-custodial Parent Notification
Non-custodial parents will receive notification of federal offset programs – tax refund and administrative payments - along with the passport denial program at least 30 days prior to submission. Currently, Wyoming sends out its own pre-offset notices to non-custodial parents.
Note: These letters are usually mailed in October before the next federal tax season.
Collections and Distribution
For a more detailed description of distribution, please see Chapter 14 Collection and Distribution. Any money received through the TOP will be applied to the certified arrearages that are updated on a bi-weekly basis. Tax offsets are not applied to a current support obligation.
Federal tax refunds are collected and distributed in the following manner:
- Single Return – The federal tax refund will be applied to the certified arrears amount. Anything in excess of the certified arrears amount will be refunded to the non-custodial parent unless the non-custodial parent grants the Wyoming Child Support Program permission to apply the overage to an uncertified debt. See 14.4 – Collection and Distribution - Distribution for more information.
- Joint Returns – Unless a non-custodial parent’s spouse files an Injured Spouse Allocation Form with the tax return, the IRS will intercept a joint tax refund to offset the past-due support obligation if either spouse is certified through the TOP. If an Injured Spouse Allocation Form is submitted, the IRS will process both the tax return and injured spouse claim at the same time and any approved injured spouse claim will be deducted from the offset.
Unless the IRS processed an Injured Spouse Allocation Form in conjunction with a tax return or the non-custodial parent and current spouse have signed an affidavit authorizing the release of the federal tax refund, the Wyoming State Disbursement Unit (SDU) shall hold a joint refund for 6 months before applying it to the past-due support to allow time for submission of an injured spouse claim.
TOP Administrative Review
A non-custodial parent may request a records review. If such a review is requested, the case worker shall:
- Update POSSE with the administrative records review request to ensure the federal tax refund is not disbursed;
- Ask the non-custodial parent to provide proof of his or her claims to complete the review;
- Monitor the case for 30 days for information from the non-custodial parent;
- Review the child support case and update if necessary;
- Receive approval from the District CSE Office Manager or designee that the review is complete and accurate; and
- Send the non-custodial parent an arrears calculation along with a notice that: or
- the certified arrears amount stands and the non-custodial parent remains certified to the federal TOP;
- the certified arrears amount changed but the certification remains in place; or
- the certified arrears amount changed and the non-custodial parent is no longer certified to the federal TOP.
Note: The non-custodial parent may request a review by the state submitting the certified arrears, the state with the order, or the state where the non-custodial parent lives. If the non-custodial parent wants the review conducted by a state other than Wyoming, the Wyoming Child Support Program will transfer the review request within 10 days, and the other state has 45 days to render a decision. Both states will be bound by the decision.
The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 authorized the administrative offset of certain federal payments. The following federal payments may be intercepted:
- Vendor payments from the federal government;
- Miscellaneous payments (e.g. expense and travel reimbursement from the federal government);
- Federal retirement payments; and
- Federal salary payments.
Note: The Wyoming Child Support Program utilizes income withholding for those non-custodial parents working for the federal government, including the military. See Chapter 15 Military for more details.
- At least $25.00 in arrears;
- The arrears are at least 30 days past due; and
- The non-custodial parent must be notified at least 30 days in advance of any certification. See above in the TOP section for the advance notification details.
Once submitted, the OCSE will work directly with the Financial Management Service (FMS) and forward any recurring or intermittent federal payments to the Wyoming Child Support Program. The SDU will apply the administrative offset payment to the appropriate case on POSSE.
The Wyoming Child Support Program is a “zero tolerance” state meaning a non-custodial parent shall pay off the entire arrears balance to receive a passport denied by the Secretary of State for nonpayment of child support.
In order to the federal Passport Denial Program, the Wyoming Child Support program shall:
- Notify the non-custodial parent at least 30 days prior to certification to the Passport Denial Program as described above in the TOP section; and
- Ensure the arrears balance is greater than $2,500.00.
Note: As the Responding State, Wyoming will submit the non-custodial parent for passport denial.
The OCSE will transmit the certification information to the federal Secretary of State who will refuse to issue a passport to the non-custodial parent. If the federal Secretary of State denies a non-custodial parent his or her passport, the non-custodial parent will receive a letter explaining the denial and providing contact information for the Wyoming Child Support Program.
The non-custodial parent will contact the Passport Denial State Liaison.
When a non-custodial parent contacts the State Child Support Office, the Passport Denial State Liaison shalll:
- Explain the zero tolerance policy;
- Provide contact information for the appropriate District CSE Office; and
- Update POSSE with a case note and send an e-mail to the case worker.
Note: Only the Wyoming IV-D Director may settle a passport denial dispute with a non-custodial parent for less than the entire arrears balance.
As part of the Federal Offset Program, MSFIDM matches asset/account information from financial institutions to the non-custodial parent and order information found in the FCR. The Wyoming Child Support Program uses the same file used in the TOP, FAOP, and passport denial program for the MSFIDM submittal. In order to submit a non-custodial parent for the MSFIDM match, the Wyoming Child Support Program must:
- Determine the non-custodial parent owes at least $25.00, and
- Provide the non-custodial parent’s name and social security number.
Once received by the OCSE, the file is matched on a quarterly basis against deposit accounts of those financial institutions participating in the program. All asset/account data is sent to the Wyoming Child Support Program via the FCR screens. The case worker will review the information to determine if a lien and levy against the account is appropriate as discussed in 9.6 Liens. Finally, on a monthly basis the District CSE Office Manager will provide the State CSE Office with MSFIDM levy and collection information for the month.
The Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 amended the Social Security Act to allow insurance companies to share claim, settlement, and award information from civil lawsuits with the federal OCSE. The Wyoming Child Support Program uses the same file used with the other federal programs for submittal.
Once received by the federal OCSE, the file is matched against the information received from the insurance companies. All insurance match information is sent to the Wyoming Child Support Program via the POSSE Asset screen. The case worker will review the information to determine if a lien and levy is appropriate as discussed in 9.6 Liens or a wage withholding is appropriate as referenced in 9.9 Wage Withholding.
The Wyoming Child Support Program may request assistance from the IRS to enforce a child support order. This enforcement remedy should only be used when all other enforcement remedies are exhausted and is rarely, if ever used, by the Wyoming Child Support Program. If a District CSE Offices decides to use this enforcement method, the criteria for IRS Full Collection include:
- A valid child support order;
- At least $750.00 in child support arrears;
- At least 6 months since the last request for IRS full collection; and
- A non-refundable fee of $122.50.
In addition to the federal administrative remedies, the Wyoming CSE Program utilizes the following automated enforcement remedies:
- Credit Bureau Reporting;
- Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM); and
- Unclaimed Properties.
As required by federal law, on a monthly basis, the Wyoming Child Support Program submits non-custodial parent arrears information to the credit bureaus. The status of the non-custodial parent’s account may be:
- Current Account - Good Standing;
- Account 30 days past due;
- 60 days past due;
- 90 days past due;
- 120 days past due;
- 150 days past due;
- 180 days or more past due;
- Account Satisfied; or
- Account Deleted.
In order to report a non-custodial parent to a credit bureau as an initial submission, the Wyoming Child Support Program must:
- Determine that the child support arrears exceed $1,000.00, and
- Provide notice to the non-custodial parent prior to the initial submission.
Note: As the Responding State, Wyoming will submit the non-custodial parent to the credit bureau.
Non-custodial Parent Notification
Prior to submitting a non-custodial parent to the credit bureau, the Wyoming Child Support Program will send an advance notice of credit bureau submission to the non-custodial parent. This notice will explain the submission criteria and process along with information to dispute the submission.
POSSE will initially submit a non-custodial parent to the credit bureau if:
- The past-due support exceeds $1,000.00;
- The credit bureau suppression is not marked (See the Enforcement Suppression section at the end of this section for more details);
- The notice of credit bureau submission was sent to the non-custodial parent more than 30 days ago;
- There is not a pending credit bureau administrative review (see below Disputes); and
- If an administrative review was completed, the notice of the results of the review must have been sent more than 30 days ago.
Once an obligation for the non-custodial parent is sent to the credit bureau, the obligation will be sent on a monthly basis for the duration of the obligation and may be submitted to the credit bureau for up to 7 years after the date the last child emancipates unless the obligation is otherwise deleted.
The non-custodial parent may dispute a credit bureau submission at two points in the process – prior to submission and after submission.
If the non-custodial parent disagrees with the arrears amount in the advance notice, the non-custodial parent may contact the District CSE Office to dispute the submission. In this case the case worker will:
- Update POSSE by opening an administrative review to stop credit bureau submission pending the review;
- Request order or payment information from the non-custodial parent if not provided with the administrative review request;
- Conduct an administrative records review utilizing all order and payment information;
- Update POSSE with the results of the review; and
- Generate a notice with the review results for the non-custodial parent.
If the arrears are less than $1,000.00, the non-custodial parent will not be submitted for initial credit bureau reporting; however, if the arrears exceed $1,000.00, the non-custodial parent will be submitted for initial reporting unless the credit bureau suppression is marked as discussed in the Enforcement Suppression section below.
If the non-custodial parent is submitted to the credit bureau and then disputes the submission, the dispute request is sent to the State CSE Office by the credit bureau. The appropriate State CSE Office designee will:
- Complete the dispute form from the credit bureau by reviewing POSSE;
- Send the dispute form back to the credit bureau; and
- Send a copy of the dispute form to the District CSE Office.
Note: After the initial submission to the credit bureau a non-custodial parent is submitted regardless of the amount of arrearages; however, the status (e.g. current – account good standing, account 30 days past due, etc.) of the submission may change.
Based upon the PRWORA, each state is required to develop and operate an in-state FIDM program similar to the MSFIDM program conducted by the OCSE.
The State CSE Office will enter into agreements with Wyoming financial institutions to match account/asset information on a quarterly basis to non-custodial parents with past-due support in excess of $25.00. All matched asset/account data shows up on POSSE via the FCR screens. The case worker will review the information to determine if a lien and levy against the account is appropriate as discussed in 9.6 Liens.
On a quarterly basis, the Wyoming Child Support Program matches files of delinquent non-custodial parents against those Wyoming citizens with funds held by the Wyoming Unclaimed Property Division. If there is a complete match with both name and social security number, the funds are intercepted by the Wyoming Child Support Program and applied to the non-custodial parent’s child support debt(s) by the SDU. If there is a partial match (e.g. Robert instead of Bob), then the District CSE Manager receives a partial match report from the State CSE Office. At that point, the information shall be researched to determine if there is an actual match before intercepting the funds.
Under certain circumstances, any of the above-listed administrative enforcement remedies may be suppressed along with other enforcement tools. The POSSE enforcement suppressions are:
- Federal Tax Offset
- Federal Salary
- Federal Retirement
- Passport Denial
- Vendor Payment/Misc
- Insurance Match
- Financial Data
- Credit Bureau Reporting
- NCP Billing
- Income Withholding
In order to suppress an enforcement option for a non-custodial parent, the caseworker will mark the appropriate enforcement action on POSSE and enter an end date.
Note: Each action shall be suppressed separately, and if a non-custodial parent has more than one child support case, the suppressions shall be marked on each child support case on POSSE for the suppression to take effect.
|Version Number||Last Revised Date|
|2||October 1, 2015|