Efforts to collect child support in some cases could stop


Continued attempts to collect child support that is proving to be uncollectible is not a productive use of state’s county attorneys time, say supporters of HF1470.

The bill would allow cases to be closed where there is no current order for support but the debt owed is under $500; three years have passed; and all tools to collect support have been used or attempted with no indication of any ability to obtain future collection.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Rena Moran (DFL-St. Paul), was passed by the House 72-56 on Monday. It now moves to the Senate where Rep. John Marty (DFL-St. Paul) is the sponsor.

Prior to discontinuing services, there would need to be notification to the party owing the child support and the recipient of the plan to close the case. It could be reopened if the person who receives child support provides information that could lead to collection.

Mark Ponsolle, assistant Ramsey County attorney, testified in committee earlier this year that there are approximately 3,500 cases where there hasn’t been payment in three years. He said that these cases would have to be further defined to determine if they meet the case-closed criteria.