The State of Florida is so bad at helping parents collect child support, many are now turning to collection agencies to get it. They'd rather pay someone to get what they're due rather than do without.
Dave Bowman has a stack of papers that demand payments from his ex-wife. He says he's owed more than $13,000.
But Bowman says his big stack is miniscule to the courts and Florida's Child Support Enforcement Office.
\"All you do is get pushed to the side. And that's how I feel, that the state is pushing me to the side,\" said Bowman.
That sentiment among custodial parents is fueling a growing business in Florida. Private collection agencies are getting in the game the state is losing. Samir Jhina is in that very business.
\"It's very difficult when you have a parent, a non-custodial parent that just ignores their children, and wants nothing of it,\" said Jhina.
Local parents may have received one of Jhina's mailers. Like many collection services, Jhina's company charges 30-percent to collect when the state fails.
I don’t know what to say about that 30% fee. It seems very high to me. I think a 20% or a 25% maximum would have been the right amount. I understand that in some cases, these collection agencies need to do a lot of legwork to get the money back but still. I would also do a good company background search before choosing such a collection agency. I want to make sure they deliver and don’t have shady business practices.
Anyway, it’s clear that people choose to use these companies since the state is just doing its thing like usual. You’d rather get 70% than none at all, no?