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State Seizes Thousands of Stimulus Checks (Owed Child Support to a Mainer) Child Support)
Bangor Daily News ^ | Friday, June 06, 2008 | Mal Leary

Posted on 06/06/2008 5:31:51 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay

AUGUSTA — Thousands of Mainers who were expecting a stimulus check from the federal government have gotten an unpleasant surprise. Instead of a check, they received a notice that the money has been seized by the state to pay overdue taxes or some other obligation, including child support.

"As of this afternoon, we have a total of 1,137 stimulus refunds" that were seized, Jerome Gerard, acting executive director of Maine Revenue Services, the state’s tax agency, said Thursday. "That’s a total of $624,000 so far."

Another state agency that benefits from the "offset" provisions of federal law is the support enforcement unit of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is charged with making sure parents pay the child support that has been ordered by a judge. As of May 23, the unit had received nearly $1.2 million from stimulus payments that were diverted from 1,855 individuals, both in Maine and out of state, who owed child support to a Mainer.

"We had estimated we would get about $1.5 million," Barbara Van Burgel, director of the DHHS’ Bureau of Family Independence, said Thursday. "I think it’s clear we will see more than that when the program ends."

Gerard estimated that the number of stimulus refunds seized by the tax agency will at least double by the time the last checks, based on those who filed federal tax returns by April 15, are mailed in mid-July. The Internal Revenue Service will continue to send checks to those who file their returns by Oct. 15, 2008.

"So we will continue to get some offsets for several months," Gerard said. "I would guess the final numbers will be between $1,250,000 and $1,750,000."

He said the state also received money that was destined for direct deposit to the accounts of some Mainers who were scheduled to receive them last month. Instead, they received a mailed notice that their stimulus money had been diverted to pay an obligation they owed the state.

"They have a right to appeal that and I am sure some will," Gerard said. "We always have some that appeal when their income tax refunds are offset."

He said Maine has already issued some checks to correct mistakes in which individuals had met their obligations but still had the stimulus payment taken by the state.

"We always have some timing issues, but they are taken care of," he said.

Van Burgel said one reason the DHHS support enforcement unit is likely to receive more than originally estimated is the federal requirement that a person file an income tax return to get a stimulus payment. She said many low-income Mainers do not normally bother to file a tax return because they have no tax liability.

While more than $1 million is significant to the families who receive the payments, it is quite small compared with the overall child support enforcement effort of the state. Van Burgel noted that last year the state collected $110 million from parents who owed child support.

Gerard said the past-due taxes being collected through the offsetting of stimulus payments is also small compared with all tax collection efforts of the state. He estimated that as much as $65 million in overdue taxes of all types will be collected by Maine Revenue Services this year.

"But it is important to collect what is owed," he said. "This is just one more tool we have this year."

Van Burgel said the collection of past-due child support is crucial to those parents who have custody of children.

"It is one of the ways that families stay above the poverty line," she said. "It is a way that they keep their children clothed and fed. It is a critical program."

Van Burgel said some custodial parents have called and expressed surprise when they received the money from the stimulus offset. She said in these tough economic times with high energy bills, she is happy the parents are getting a little extra help.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; US: Maine
KEYWORDS: childsupport; dhhs; expropriation; govwatch; stimuluscheck
Georgia is leading the nation in the number of stimulus payments intercepted by the state because the recipients owe back income taxes.

What if a person owed back taxes and child support? Is it "all about the children" as the priority recipients?


1 posted on 06/06/2008 5:31:51 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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Please Excuse the poorly edited headline!


2 posted on 06/06/2008 5:34:08 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay

The usual family court royal screwing of men.


3 posted on 06/06/2008 5:34:43 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember (When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.)
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To: fight_truth_decay
What if a person owed back taxes and child support? Is it "all about the children" as the priority recipients?

That's a fine question.

4 posted on 06/06/2008 5:35:02 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (We are going to get McCain or Obama, no ifs ands or buts. I know who I'll vote for.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

How does the state “intercept” a stimulus check? That sounds like “theft of mail” which is a class d felony.


5 posted on 06/06/2008 5:35:25 PM PDT by Liberty 275
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To: fight_truth_decay

How serious is the non=child support problem??

- any numbers? - and what states are worst??


6 posted on 06/06/2008 5:35:47 PM PDT by elpadre
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To: FormerACLUmember

I can’t even cash my little Federal tax refund check without my wife’s signature.


7 posted on 06/06/2008 5:35:54 PM PDT by HoosierHawk
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To: fight_truth_decay
My stimulus check was intercepted by the State of Oregon to pay some City Court thing from twenty years ago which I wasn't even aware of.

Oh well.

8 posted on 06/06/2008 5:38:18 PM PDT by the anti-liberal (Write in: Fred Thompson)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Isn’t putting it back in the government coffers , defeating the purpose?


9 posted on 06/06/2008 5:44:28 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: FormerACLUmember
It is their turn to be screwed. They have been screwing their children, sometimes for years.

Several years ago, our ex son-in-law, an employed engineer making big bucks, refused to pay his child support because he had not wanted the divorce. It was a very modest sum, but he withheld it until it amounted to thousands.

When, over a year after the court ordered him to pay, the police finally picked him up, he parked his fanny in jail for a week until he miraculously came up with over $10,000.

vaudine

10 posted on 06/06/2008 5:48:40 PM PDT by vaudine (RO)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Maine goes after men who won’t/can’t pay their Court ordered child support. They DON’T go after the women as aggressively.


11 posted on 06/06/2008 5:48:45 PM PDT by MrLee (Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalyim!! God bless Eretz Israel.)
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To: CindyDawg
Isn’t putting it back in the government coffers , defeating the purpose?

It's about THE THEIR ECONOMY, stupid.

12 posted on 06/06/2008 5:49:37 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: HoosierHawk
I can’t even cash my little Federal tax refund check without my wife’s signature.

One real negative case scenario against POLYGAMY.

13 posted on 06/06/2008 5:55:25 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay

If I might hazard a guess, I suspect that the way the federal government urged everybody to come forward and file in order to collect a stimulus check was partly a ruse to find those who owed money to government for one thing or another.


14 posted on 06/06/2008 6:00:29 PM PDT by ottbmare
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To: Liberty 275
"How does the state “intercept” a stimulus check? That sounds like “theft of mail” which is a class d felony."

Nope: They're never mailed to you. The funds are "intercepted" by the Feds and given to the states.

15 posted on 06/06/2008 6:04:28 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (McCain could never convince me to vote for him. Only the Marxist Obama can!)
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To: ottbmare
I suspect that the way the federal government urged everybody to come forward and file in order to collect a stimulus check was partly a ruse to find those who owed money to government for one thing or another.

Not just that, but to track down folks who had been lost track of by the 'system'.

Folks who work for cash and who haven't been filing tax returns or paying social security for a number of years were kind enough to turn themselves in.

The 'stimulus' payments will probably turn out to be a profit center for the government in the long run.

16 posted on 06/06/2008 6:08:03 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: FormerACLUmember

BS. Deadbeats that don’t support what they had fun obtaining are not REAL DADS.


17 posted on 06/06/2008 6:13:42 PM PDT by TribalPrincess2U
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To: Graybeard58

Child support always comes before back taxes.

Georgia Dept. of Revenue collected over $4 million in stimulus checks just in May from 16,000 taxpayers, more than any other state.


18 posted on 06/06/2008 6:15:52 PM PDT by Atlantian
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To: MrLee
Not to be too judgmental, but having lived and worked in Maine for seven years I feel obliged to add....

Maine sux.

The best and the brightest in Maine aspire to grow up and buy a skidder.

Few ever do.

Most don't grow up at all and so become career Democrats.

or similar kinds of layabouts.

19 posted on 06/06/2008 6:15:59 PM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: elpadre
Maine reaches across borders to collect. Arizona used to be the worst, Illinois (home state of BHO) was down there as well, but has slightly improved.

If you received Temporary Cash Assistance, any child support payments collected will be kept by the State as reimbursement so says Maryland.

Back in 1993 thousands in a town next to the former Subic Bay Naval Station, instead of pressing individual paternity or child-support suits; they filed a $68 million lawsuit arguing that the United States has a legal responsibility to educate and provide medical care for an estimated 8,600 Amerasians in Olongapo. --Abandoned Filipinos Sue U.S. Over Child Support. Argument made American taxpayers are not responsible for foreigners conceived by consenting adults. The United States was chosen as the defendant, as had more money than the fathers do. Mercedes Gervacio, who has four Amerasian children, teaches other mothers how to sell candy on the street to earn $3 or $4 a day. She said one boyfriend talked of marriage, "but it was just a promise."

But, am getting a little off track now.

20 posted on 06/06/2008 6:18:17 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: TribalPrincess2U
BS. Deadbeats that don’t support what they had fun obtaining are not REAL DADS.

Put on your flame retardant undies.

21 posted on 06/06/2008 6:22:41 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (We are going to get McCain or Obama, no ifs ands or buts. I know who I'll vote for.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

As long as the money goes to the parent/child who is owed, I think this is a good idea.


22 posted on 06/06/2008 6:43:56 PM PDT by Carley
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To: billorites
Some positives #12 about Maine, besides her obvious beauty. Natives, for the most part, are the salt of the earth. Transplants, there too often where lies the problem.

I never sort out to own that skidder; however, do admit to some skidding on Maine roads come winter.

Am definitely not a Democrat.

Layabout needs to be better defined.

;)

23 posted on 06/06/2008 6:52:12 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: billorites

I have to agree. My brother married a girl (big mistake) when he was stationed up. I went up to visit and cried when I got snowed it. Maine was terrible! The airport was the size of a grocery store.

And I’m from Ohio so you know it must be bad!


24 posted on 06/06/2008 6:57:33 PM PDT by proudtobeanamerican1 (Media -)
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To: FormerACLUmember; najida
The usual family court royal screwing of men.

If men are the ones who are not supporting their children then it's appropriate.

25 posted on 06/06/2008 7:01:13 PM PDT by ladyjane
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To: fight_truth_decay

What stimulus checks????

I haven’t seen one. I keep hearing about these mythical objects, but have yet to see one.


26 posted on 06/06/2008 7:01:22 PM PDT by CapnJack
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To: HoosierHawk

forge it..........


27 posted on 06/06/2008 7:04:02 PM PDT by phoenix07
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To: fight_truth_decay

Ohio is really awful, too. Worse, at least last year, they were keeping a double system of books - so even if on one set of books you were all paid up, the other might show you as having paid late, and they add up all kinds of penalties and interest......no wonder they threw the Atty. General out of office........


28 posted on 06/06/2008 7:06:12 PM PDT by phoenix07
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To: proudtobeanamerican1
Ode to Wimp:

Maine, Ohio
Ohio, Maine
Easy Choice.
Maine !

29 posted on 06/06/2008 7:06:40 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay

” Thousands of Mainers who were expecting a stimulus check from the
federal government have gotten an unpleasant surprise.”

Because they didn’t check the irs.gov website for at least the last
three months.
Interception of stimulus rebate checks was spelled out there.

The US guvmint, state agencies and all sorts of organizations are
increasingly powerful in fishing out folks with past debt.
And they snag it without batting an eye!

What bothers me is how on earth someone would challenge a past debt
that still was on the books, even if you’d paid it.
Or it was just entered by error or a computer hiccup.


30 posted on 06/06/2008 7:13:45 PM PDT by VOA
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To: FormerACLUmember

We never see how many women are refusing to own up to their end.


31 posted on 06/06/2008 7:19:27 PM PDT by festus (Tagline removed.)
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To: CindyDawg

Lol, sounds like it was a self-stimulate in some cases.


32 posted on 06/06/2008 7:31:45 PM PDT by commonguymd (Freedom and individual liberty is for everyone, including the odd and weird people like you.)
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To: FormerACLUmember

Mostly men, but also some women. Don’t forget that when child support isn’t paid, usually it is the tax payer that picks up the tab. If parents took responsibility for their children, there would be no taxes to intercept!
When parents support their own children, then taxes could possibly be lower, as welfare wouldn’t be needed.


33 posted on 06/06/2008 7:32:47 PM PDT by mckenzie7 (Lib NO MORE!)
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To: mckenzie7

Yeah but many paying parents are tax payers too and it’s not right when payments must be done thru the courts, and charged an administrative fee.


34 posted on 06/06/2008 8:20:26 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: CapnJack

My husband and I were talking about that the other day. We know of no one who has received a check yet.


35 posted on 06/06/2008 8:22:33 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: TribalPrincess2U

“BS. Deadbeats that don’t support what they had fun obtaining are not REAL DADS.”

Yeah right. The US is full of vast numbers of “REAL DADS” who have been thrown in jail of faked abuse charges, with phony orders of protection, had their kids maliciously alienated from them, not allowed to see their kids, etc. The ferociously anti-father US family courts are a sick, evil joke.

Not to mention that 20% of the “REAL DADS” are not even the biological fathers on DNA testing; yet still get stuck with child support.


36 posted on 06/06/2008 9:54:48 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember (When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.)
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To: CindyDawg

I’ll give you that!


37 posted on 06/07/2008 6:06:16 AM PDT by mckenzie7 (Lib NO MORE!)
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