Federal Rules on Collecting Support Payments to be Published
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Regulations cracking down on parents who fail to make child support payments will be published Thursday and go into effect this fall, with the government saying the new rules will ″require states to use ’bite, not bark.‴
The regulations, implementing a landmark child support enforcement law passed by Congress last year, gives state child welfare officials broad authority to take child support money from parents who are not willing to pay it voluntarily.
State child welfare officials will be able to attach the wages of parents who fail to make payments, deduct payments from income tax refunds, impose liens against property owned by delinquent parents and require security bonds or other guarantees that future payments will be made.
The final regulations are being published Thursday in the Federal Register and go into effect Oct. 1.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced the publication and issued a statement by HHS Secretary Margaret M. Heckler saying the new rules ″require states to use ‘bite, not bark’ - strong, proven techniques to collect child support payments.″
″This law will be a lifesaver to millions of single parents and their children,″ Mrs. Heckler said. ″We will be active partners with the states in efforts to quickly get these needed enforcement practices in place.″