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Pennsylvania unclaimed property seized for unpaid child support

Obtaining back-due child support can be difficult and even sometimes impossible for many Pennsylvania custodial parents. Part of the problem may be that the non-custodial parent is facing financial hardship and is truly unable to meet his or her financial obligations. However, a lot of times it may not even be possible to locate the non-custodial parent, making it all the more difficult to procure child support.

Whatever the case may be, there are fortunately several options available to the custodial parent to protect the best interests of the child and obtain the necessary child support. When the non-custodial parent can be located, those options may include garnishment of wages, liens on property and interception of tax refunds. Yet even if the non-custodial parent cannot be located, there is one other option -- through the seizure of unclaimed property owned by that parent.

According to the Office of the Pennsylvania Treasurer, there are roughly $1.8 billion in unclaimed property within the state. These funds can come from abandoned bank accounts, uncashed checks and from safe deposit boxes. Yet as with other forms of property, the state may be able to seize the unclaimed property of a non-paying, non-custodial parent for the benefit of the child in question.

Since January 2010, the Pennsylvania treasury has been working in conjunction with the Department of Public Welfare to redirect unclaimed property to the custodial parent when the non-custodial parent who owns that property owes back-due child support. Since instituting the joint effort, over $110,000 has been seized and redirected. For the children who need that support, that may be good news indeed.

Source: Pennsylvania Treasury, "PA Treasurer McCord Says Over $110,000 in Unclaimed Property Seized For Overdue Child Support via Partnership with Department of Public Welfare," March 6, 2012

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