The public policy related to the collection of child support is extremely aggressive and intolerant. Anyone behind on child support payments is subject to the vast array of tools at the disposal of an ex-spouse and Utah’s state support enforcement agency to compel the cure of any delinquency.
These tools include methods of taking money directly, such as the garnishment of wages and bank accounts, as well as seizing income tax refunds. Further, an ex-spouse and support enforcement agency may place liens on real and personal property, which may later be taken and sold to pay the support arrearages.
An obligor of child support who is delinquent making payments may have his or her driver’s license suspended, including a commercial driver’s license, which may inhibit the ability to work and earn income. An individual’s professional or occupational license may also be suspended for having child support arrearages. Thus, an obligor working as a nurse, doctor, physical therapist, lawyer, realtor, insurance agent, or mortgage broker, may lose their privilege to work. A person may even lose a fishing, hunting, boating, or other recreational licenses because of child support arrearages. Even the eligibility to receive a U.S. passport may be lost.
Because of the aforementioned strict public policy on providing support, individuals may not discharge or legally write off unpaid child or spousal support, and rightfully so. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not directly stop, or even pause, any form of compelling the payment of child support.
However, the filing of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case and plan of reorganization will stop the collection of unpaid support. Those obligors with unpaid and delinquent child support arrearages may schedule the payment of their child support arrearages as part of their Chapter 13 plans of reorganization. These arrearages may be paid over time no less than three years and no greater than five years. Note that the obligation to pay ongoing monthly support after filing the Chapter 13 case will continue.
Thus, when on the brink of bankruptcy, it may be a valid, logical reason to avoid making a support payment to use the money for another extremely urgent purpose. It is important to remember that this option is available only when filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Only a Chapter 13 plan of reorganization provides this protected and extended method of becoming current on unpaid child support.
Theron Morrison cares about protecting your rights. Theron Morrison and the attorneys at MLG are experienced in battling creditors and will assert a debtor’s rights and demand that lenders respect the same! Talk to the Morrison Law Group about your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy options. Call 801.456.9933 today to schedule a FREE consultation. We are Utah’s only statewide bankruptcy law firm and have locations in Ogden, Logan, Sandy, and St. George to serve the residents of the counties of Weber, Cache, Salt Lake, Utah, Morgan, Davis, Washington, and surrounding areas.