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Bruce from Florida is also caught in the New York child support web. Bruce admits that having a GOOD TIME was always a concern as he entered into young adulthood, but he still maintained the practice of safe sex, not so much due to the threat of sexually transmitted disease, more as a protection from something he feared he was not emotionally or maturely prepared for: fatherhood. Despite using protection his girlfriend became pregnant, now the man averse to parenting due to his outlook on his own emotional maturity, was being requested to join in the parenting fraternity. The couple, according to Bruce, had many discussions on the issue, Bruce maintaining his vigilance against parenting, his girlfriend maintaining her vigilance to be a parent. His girlfriend, of course, had the final say; Bruce was being forced into adulthood, fathering a child that he did not feel capable of parenting.

Against his wishes, Bruce’s girlfriend chose to give birth and raise the child. Bruce had no choice but to adhere to her wishes. He entered into parenting, attempting to do "what was right" after all, he was at least partially responsible for the dilemma; or was he?

Despite his vigilant use of protection during sexual encounters, he had never questioned the fact that he was the child's father, until two years had passed. An argument between the couple would end with Bruce learning that another man was more than likely the biological father of the child he was raising. Heated battles and emotional turmoil soon ended his relationship with his girlfriend; it did not end his responsibility as a legal parent.

Bruce was tangled in a web of child support issues, relocation and changing jobs, Bruce's legal child support obligations fell behind, he would soon find himself involved in the world of New York State's Child Support Collection Unit. This meant that his wages were garnished, an automatic procedure in New York State. His back support was quickly brought up-to-date, but the deductions from his paycheck did not stop. Several telephone calls later, Bruce finally found a customer service representative within the system who assisted him in stopping the excess money from being withdrawn from his paycheck, this did not however, assist him in retrieving the overpayment.

Bruce had kept all of his receipts and check stubs; the total amount of overpayment was $360.00. He spent a great deal of time on the telephone attempting to retrieve his money. At one point a customer service representative from the Child Support Collection Unit (CSCU) agreed with Bruce's figures, indicating that she would "get a check for the over payment in the mail immediately." Two weeks went by before Bruce attempted again to telephone the CSCU. After finally reaching a representative, and explaining his story he was told; "yes, you have an overpayment of $260.00, I'll see that a check for the overpayment gets in the mail immediately." Although Bruce argued the amount, the representative was firm in his calculation. Bruce, feeling somewhat defeated, finally agreed to the dollar amount, hung up the telephone and waited two additional weeks. The process was repeated, this time Brice was informed that his overpayment amount was $165.00. He lost $195.00 in overpayment money that was not refunded him, but at least he managed to get the check that was going to be put in the mail immediately!

Moving from New York State did not mean Bruce would be free of the system. He fell behind during his move and search for a job, he did however, catch up his arrears in a timely manner. Of course, he was behind as the first of the year approached, so New York State, being the ever-conscious money grubbing state that it is, managed to attach his income tax return. That means, that Bruce is now overpaid by nearly $1500.00. However, New York state claims it takes at least five months for them to get the money to credit his account, and promised to return any overpayment immediately. Bruce was told he had nothing to worry about and he could have his account audited at any time if he felt he had overpaid. Since he has already gone through this process, Bruce feels he has just given the CSCU a $1500.00 bonus that will more than likely never be seen again.

Issues has a tendency to agree with Bruce. Next week we will bring you complaints from a variety of people involved in the Erie County New York CSCU's web that includes persons awaiting money from this unit. We will also being you tales of other's involved with Erie County and nightmares they have encountered. Issues has recently passed this information on to a local media investigation team, we are determined to find a adequate solution to this problem.

Child Support

  1. Current Cases: Back Child Support

  2. Is The System Working?

  3. Caught in the Web

  4. Debate: New Child Support Laws

  5. Department of Social Services: Erie County, NY


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Page Last Updated: 6/15/2002
C 2002 L Munro