Frequently Asked Questions
- What is CSEC?
- Why are private child support enforcement agencies necessary?
- How many private agencies and individuals are involved in child support enforcement?
- Whom do private agencies serve?
- Why do some custodial parents choose to hire a private agency?
- How much do private agencies charge and how are they paid?
- Why do private agencies use written contracts?
- Are private agencies regulated?
- How much child support has been collected by CSEC members?
What is CSEC?
The Child Support Enforcement Council is a national association of the leading private child support enforcement agencies. CSEC is committed to ensuring that parents seeking collection of their court-ordered child support have effective options available to them. CSEC promotes responsible and professional private child support enforcement to ensure that custodial parents receive the highest possible levels of ethical and professional service from the private sector.
The increasing number of non-custodial parents who deliberately avoid their responsibilities to their families is a national concern. Today, more than $106 billion dollars in child support remains unpaid. Private child support enforcement agencies are an important part of the solution to this growing problem. Despite the government’s efforts, less than half of all parents who go to state enforcement agencies for help ever receive any of their court-ordered child support. Private enforcement agencies provide a critical option to families who have been unable to secure their child support payments.
How many private agencies and individuals are involved in child support enforcement?
Thousands of private attorneys and about 40 private enforcement agencies have joined in the effort to help collect child support and many have been successful in doing so, even in the toughest cases (source: U.S. General Accounting Office March 2002 Report).
Whom do private agencies serve?
Custodial parents come to private enforcement agencies for help when they have been unsuccessful in collecting their child support. On average, CSEC clients have not received child support for four years and are owed approximately $25,000.
Private enforcement agencies are an important option to custodial parents who have not been able to secure a consistent payment stream into their home. CSEC member agencies have served more than 50,000 children in the United States in the last 15 years.
Why do some custodial parents choose to hire a private agency?
Ninety two percent of parents who hire a private enforcement agency or attorney to help them collect their court-ordered child support cite the failure of their state agencies to collect the child support owed (64%) and frustration with governmental customer service (28%) as the primary reasons. (Source: U.S. General Accounting Office March 2002 Report).
How much do private agencies charge and how are they paid?
CSEC member agencies do not charge fees if nothing is collected for the custodial parent. Some member agencies charge a nominal application fee. CSEC member agencies work on contingency fees, which are between 18-40% of the total amount of child support collected.
Why do private agencies use written contracts?
All CSEC member agencies use written contracts to protect both the client and the private enforcement agency. Our member agency contracts clearly outline the responsibilities of both parties, including the terms of the arrangement, fee structures and contract termination guidelines.
Are private agencies regulated?
Yes. In all states, private enforcement agencies must operate in accordance with consumer protection laws that apply to all or most businesses and professional service providers. In addition, some states also regulate private enforcement agencies through licensing or registration requirements established specifically for private child support enforcement or consumer debt collection.