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Three Collection Agencies to Track Down Parents Who Owe Child Support

Canadian News Wire

TORONTO, June 3 /CNW/ - More parents who owe child support will be the target of 3 collection agencies recently selected by the Ontario government.

"Our goal is to ensure families and children get the support money they need and deserve," said Attorney General Jim Flaherty. "These collection agencies are part of the Family Responsibility Office's (FRO's) enforcement initiative to make delinquent parents honour their responsibilities to pay court-ordered support."

Starting early summer, the collection agencies will deal with cases where support has not been paid for more than six months. Today's announcement is the second phase of a project that began in October 1998 using the expertise of private-sector collection agencies to search and to locate the assets of parents in arrears. Phase one of the project targeted 21,000 of the most difficult cases involving parents who had defaulted on support payments for at least three years. So far, more than $9 million in overdue support has been collected and $2 million is scheduled through negotiations as voluntary arrears payments.

"Delinquent payors are ingenious at hiding from their parental responsibilities, and we are pleased that the government is targeting these defaulters" said Regina May, Co-Chair of Mothers Against Fathers In Arrears.

"Thanks to the government's aggressive approach more children who hadn't received a penny of support in years are finally getting the money to which they are legally entitled," added Kaarina Pakka, Co-Chair of Mothers Against Fathers In Arrears.

The collection agencies project is one of a number of enforcement measures that FRO is using to deliver record levels of support to children. Others include:

In the 1999-2000 fiscal year, FRO collected more $534.8 million for families and children. That's up 46 per cent from the $367 million collected five years ago.

"It's unconscionable that some parents don't do the right thing. They don't pay support and they don't pay on time," added Flaherty. "Our government has built one of the most aggressive enforcement programs in Canada so that more money gets to more families faster than ever before."

The 3 agencies taking part in the private collection project are:

The Family Responsibility Office works under the authority of the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, which took effect in 1997.

The law mandates FRO to enforce court-ordered child and family support, domestic contracts and paternity agreements filed with the Office. FRO collects court-ordered support payments either directly from the payor, the payor's income source(s), or through enforcement actions. - 30 -

Ce document est aussi disponible en franšais. -0- 06/03/2000

For further information: Brendan Crawley, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210; Bronwen Evans, Minister's Office, (416) 326-4443

Release sent courtesy of Canada NewsWire Portfolio Email.