$5M in child support goes unclaimed, AG's office pushing to find custodial parents
Five million dollars in child support money is still sitting in a bank account waiting to be distributed. The Office of the Attorney General says its redoubling efforts to find the custodial parents, some of whom have gone unpaid for more than a decade.
Technically its called the undistributed collections fund, but it's been accumulating in a bank account since 2002 it has its own nickname.
"We call it the $5 million dollar elephant in the room and Andrew our deputy and his team have basically taken it upon themselves to prioritize this and try everything they can to get that money back to the families it was intended to get to," AG Leevin Camacho said.
Deputy AG Andrew Perez says they have begun the tedious process, starting with a review of more than a thousand returned checks.
"These checks total just below a million dollars but in the last month we identified, we located parents, we identified where these checks needed to go, and it totaled about $60,000," he said.
Obviously, they've got a long way to go.
"Twenty percent of the checks that are there are those that were sent out and returned," Camacho said. "I think 40 percent are checks that were sent out or were never cashed. So again this team is gonna go check by check, name by name."
But how do millions of dollars worth of support go unclaimed for years? The AG's office says there are probably lots of reasons.
"Maybe their child has aged out, they think they don't have child support anymore, that they cant come to our office to verify whats the status of their case, but if they come into our office we can give them a clear status of whether or not they're part of this UDC fund," Perez said.
By the way, if your child has aged out, you're still entitled to that check. AG Camacho says to make it easier for custodial parents to get their questions answered, they've set up a website.
"If you go to oag guam .org there's a contact list there that has the extensions to child support," Camacho explained. "Be patient we get over a hundred calls every day, but we'll try our best to answer the calls and get back to you."
With $5 million still to be claimed, custodial parents are urged to call in.