Friday, February 13, 2015

2015 Indiana Senate Bill SB 0106 - Child Support Arrearage Reporting to Credit Agencies

Indiana SB0106 has been introduced by Senator Brent Steele who has been a longtime advocate for parental equity in child custody matters. This bill would amend IC 31-25-4-22 by prohibiting a prosecuting attorney or Title IV-D agency from reporting a person’s child support payment arrears to a consumer credit reporting agency if the obligor has established a payment plan with the prosecutor or IV-D agency and is not behind on that plan in an amount equivalent to at least five weeks of support payments. If an obligor’s arrears has previously been reported to a consumer credit reporting agency and the obligor has made consistent payments under the child support payment plan for sixth months then the prosecutor or agency shall report the compliance to the consumer credit reporting agency within 14 days.

This legislation seeks to eliminate some of the disparity among the various jurisdictions or intra-jurisdiction disparities in reporting child support payment arrears to consumer credit reporting agencies. This uniformity will be more equitable to the parties involved.

This legislation is useful and promotes greater uniformity in the reporting of child support payment arrears and should therefore be passed. However, it is important to not overlook that consumer credit reporting agencies’ reports on individuals are used for the purpose of assessing whether an individual can repay a debt or be financially responsible. While child support payment orders are often excessive, taking on additional debt while not paying child support is incongruous at best. More aptly asking someone else to pay now for items you desiderate rather than save and pay when you are able is irresponsible. Even though the law specifically bifurcates custody and support matters, financial irresponsibility has often been used tacitly when deciding child custody and parenting time matters.

Click here to see other 2015 Indiana Child Custody and Child Support Payment bills.

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