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Back child support can rack up interest quickly

Springfield, Massachusetts, residents probably already realize that not paying child support can lead to some significant penalties. One of the penalties is that the person who is behind in payments may get assessed interest on the delinquent amount of support, as well as incur a penalty fee. These penalties specifically apply when the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is collecting child support. However, a parent who is trying to collect support directly from the other parent can also request interest, among other penalties.

Both the penalty and the interest each get assessed at a rate of 0.05 percent per month. In total, this means, for example, a person with $1,000 in back child support will pay about $1,120 at the end of the year, with $120 being the penalty. As this shows, if a person is considerably behind in paying child support, the interest and surcharge can quickly add up until the amount one owes is overwhelming.

Fortunately, there are some rules that protect people who are behind for reasons that might be beyond their control. For instance, someone who is unemployed but actively seeking employment may be able to get an exemption from paying interest and penalties. Likewise, someone who is dealing with an illness, a military deployment or even an unexpected financial emergency may also be able to avoid paying these extra fees. Likewise, even after interest has been imposed, the Department may be willing to waive some of it if a person pays off their back support.

The interest and penalties for delinquent child support are quite steep. Someone facing them, or facing other enforcement actions based on back child support, will want to make sure they seek the professional guidance they need to address the issue.