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Child support lien

Discussion in 'Other Family Law Matters' started by Ashleymullins71, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. Ashleymullins71

    Ashleymullins71 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    A lien was placed against my bank account for unpaid child support. The child support became unpaid during the time I was out of work and looking for a job (4 months). Prior to receiving the paycheck, child support was taken out in the amount of $742. This amount and the amount in my bank account at the time of seizure exceeds the back support owed by $400. With the seizure of my complete monthly wages I have become financially destitute. I am now unable to pay any of my bills and will be evicted. What can I do to recover my funds to avoid financial hardship?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You appear to be the obligor in this drama. The obligor is the person owing child support to the other party, the obligee.

    If you're an obligor and you're concerned about a lien being filed against your wages, you should know that Texas law protects obligors. Obligees are not allowed to send liens to employers or attach them to disposable earnings. Self-employed obligors enjoy similar protections.

    A child support lien notice must be delivered to the financial institution when the obligor has a bank account there. The bank must supply the obligee with the obligor's last known address and notify anyone else with an interest in the account about the lien, such as a joint account holder. The bank will then freeze the account in the amount of the lien.

    You can contact the bank in person. You need to speak with a bank officer. You will then begin the process of seeking certain exemptions against that lien. This must be done quickly. It must be done correctly.

    The law says:

    § 157.328. Notice of Levy Sent to Obligor awww.childsupportliens.com_images_spacer.gif (a) At the time the notice of levy under Section 157.327 is delivered to a financial institution, the claimant shall serve the obligor with a copy of the notice.
    awww.childsupportliens.com_images_spacer.gif (b) The notice of levy delivered to the obligor must inform the obligor that:
    awww.childsupportliens.com_images_spacer.gif awww.childsupportliens.com_images_spacer.gif (1) the claimant will not proceed with levy if, not later than the 10th day after the date of receipt of the notice, the obligor pays in full the amount of arrearages identified in the notice or otherwise makes arrangements acceptable to the claimant for the payment of the arrearage amounts; and
    awww.childsupportliens.com_images_spacer.gif awww.childsupportliens.com_images_spacer.gif (2) the obligor may contest the levy by filing suit under Section 157.323 not later than the 10th day after the date of receipt of the notice.
    awww.childsupportliens.com_images_spacer.gif (c) If the claimant is the Title IV D agency, the obligor receiving a notice of levy may request review by the agency not later than the 10th day after the date of receipt of the notice to resolve any issue in dispute regarding the existence or amount of the arrearages. The agency shall provide an opportunity for a review, by telephone conference or in person, as appropriate to the circumstances, not later than the fifth business day after the date an oral or written request from the obligor for the review is received. If the review fails to resolve any issue in dispute, the obligor may file suit under Section 157.323 for a hearing by the court not later than the fifth day after the date of the conclusion of the agency review. If the obligor fails to timely file suit, the Title IV D agency may request the financial institution to release and remit the funds subject to levy.
    awww.childsupportliens.com_images_spacer.gif (d) The notice under this section may be delivered to the last known address of the obligor by first class mail, certified mail, or registered mail.

    Release of a child support lien:

    Texas Family Code section 157.3171 establishes a process by which an obligor may obtain the release of a child support lien against the obligor’s homestead. The procedure involves the filing of an affidavit and is identical to that contained in Property Code section 52.0012 (discussed above). The procedure involves the filing of an affidavit and is identical to that contained in section 52.0012 (discussed above). The law states that "the obligor is considered to be a judgment debtor under that section and the claimant under the child support lien is considered to be a judgment creditor under that section." The person claiming the lien may file a contradicting affidavit: "If the claimant files a contradicting affidavit as described by Subsection (d), the issue of whether the real property is subject to the lien must be resolved in an action brought for that purpose in the district court of the county in which the real property is located and the lien was filed." If the property is in the same county in which a divorce or action for child support was had, then the court that heard the case would likely have jurisdiction over the lien issue as well.

    http://www.13network.com/trustees/hup/hupdocs/exemptproperty.pdf

    You should endeavor to speak with an attorney ASAP, before visiting the bank.

    You can get a smallish exemption to have some money to eat, live, etc....

    That's not easy, and its too complicated for me to instruct you here.

    A defense you might assert is you lacked the ability to pay the amount of child support ordered by the court. The court must be convinced of all of the following:

    1. You lacked the ability to provide support in the amount ordered;
    2. You had no property that could be sold, mortgaged, or otherwise pledged to raise the funds needed;
    3. You actually attempted to borrow the funds needed but were unsuccessful; AND
    4. You knew of no source at all from which you could have borrowed or obtained the money by ANY legal means.
    You can't wait, ignore, or just do nothing. It'll only get worse. You may also have already lost any professional license you held, including your drivers license. If you continue to fail to assert your defenses, you could even do SIX MONTHS in the pokey.
     
  3. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    Is there a lien or were your assets frozen? I doubt it would get to lien process without court. Was there a court ruling were you served? Did you show up?
     
  4. Ashleymullins71

    Ashleymullins71 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Never received anything or was served. Deposited first check in bank account. Child support was automatically deducted out of the check before it was deposited. Tried to use my debit card the next day when the bank said the funds would be in my account. The card kept getting declined for insufficient funds, but online banking showed that the money was in my account. I called the bank and they said that it was a lien placed on the funds for child support. Never received any documents to appear at a court ruling.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If what you describe is true, you can still seek an equitable remedy.
    You must see an attorney ASAP Monday morning.
    The funds seem to only have been frozen.
    You are entitled to some exemptions.
    You can't wait, lest you lose EVERYTHING.
    At least discuss your remedies with an attorney.
    Don't delay, don't hope it'll get better, do something.
     

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