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Since 2001, child support collections has risen 56 percent in the United States and Illinois has been deemed the most improved program in the nation.
According to the national child Support Enforcement Association, Illinois collected $1.14 billion in child support in the last fiscal year, which ended on June 30, a significant increase since 2001 when the state collected $729 million.
As part of the program designed to shame parents into paying up, Illinois launched a Web site (www.ilchildsupport.com/deadbeats) that documents the names, addresses, and photos of parents who owe over $5,000 in unpaid child support.
The Child Support Enforcement program also involves numerous upgrades such as new computers, a customer call center, and a reorganization of the customer service department.
State officials say Illinois is doing a better job getting employers to automatically subtract child support payments from employees’ paychecks, with a New Hire Directory Web site and other endeavors.
Now, over 16,000 employers who previously failed to report new hires are taking action and the New Hire program is collecting about $3.8 million a month, compared to $1.5 million in 2004.
Also, the Illinois has become more aggressive in taking hold of payor’s bank accounts and working with the State Department to deny non-payor’s passports.
“You have got to pay up, and if you don’t, we are going to find you and make you pay up,” said Gov. Blagojevich at a news conference.
One Illinois woman claimed her ex-husband owed her $250,000 in child support for his two children. He attempted to flee to his native country Nigeria without paying the support, but was denied a passport and has since paid up.
“I’m so thankful they held that passport,” Deborah Harris said.
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