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Library: Policy

340:25-5-140.1. Interest

Revised 9-16-19

(a) Legal authority.Oklahoma Department of Human Services Child Support Services (CSS) collects and enforces interest on past-due Oklahoma court-ordered child support payments, per Section 114 of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes (43 O.S. § 114).

(b) Support for a prior period.CSS collects interest on support for a prior period, per Oklahoma Administrative Code  (OAC) 340:25-5-179.1 and is calculated at a rate, per 43 O.S. § 114.  • 1

(c) Accrual date.

(1) Interest accrues on any unpaid portion of the monthly current child support obligation on the first day of the month following the:

(A) due date specified in the court order; or

(B) entry date of the child support order when a support order does not specify a due date.  • 2

(2) Interest accrues on a lump sum judgment for support for a prior period from the first day of the month after the judgment is entered, per 43 O.S. § 114.

(d) Grace period and accrual.CSS has a grace period when interest is not charged.Interest begins to accrue from the first day of the month following the date the arrears are in excess of one month's current support. • 3

(e) Interest on cash medical support.CSS does not calculate or collect interest on unpaid cash medical support.

(f) Servicemember relief.

(1) Upon a servicemember's written request, an interest rate cap of 6 percent applies to child support arrearages of members of the military service incurred prior to the start of military service, per Section 3937 of Title 50 of the United States Code.    • 4

(2) The servicemember must provide a written request for reduced interest and a copy of the military orders calling the servicemember to service and any orders further extending military service to CSS no later than 180-calendar days after the date of the servicemember's termination or release from military service.

(3) Upon receipt of these documents, CSS applies the 6 percent interest rate to child support arrearages existing as of the date when the servicemember is called to military service and throughout the active military service.

(4) CSS may initiate a court action to challenge the claim that the servicemember's military duty materially affected his ability to pay an interest rate over 6 percent. • 5

(g) Interest rate.

(1) CSS calculates simple interest, per 43 O.S. § 114.

(2) For orders established in other states, the law of the state entering the order determines the amount and rate of interest due until a determination of controlling order is made. • 6 through 9

(3) For orders established in Oklahoma, Oklahoma law determines the amount and rate of interest due.

(4) When there are multiple child support orders and Oklahoma is determining the controlling order, CSS determines the rate of interest charged, per 43 O.S. § 601-604.  • 6

(h) Order silent as tointerest.When an order that settles or determines a past-due child support amount is silent as to interest, the party with the right to collect has not waived the interest.   • 9

(i) Enforcement.Accrued interest is considered child support.Interest is included in enforcement remedies.

(j) Incoming interstate cases.In the absence of an Oklahoma order, CSS collects interest on incoming interstate cases when an initiating state calculates the interest owed and requests that CSS collect it.  • 7  & 10 

(k) Outgoing interstate cases.Before requesting a responding state to enforce a child support order(s) entered in a state other than the responding state, CSS calculates the arrears including the accrued interest claimed. 7

(l) Application of payments to interest.CSS applies payments to interest per OAC 340:25-5-351.

(m) Waiver of interest.CSS acknowledges the rights of the custodial person (CP) and noncustodial parent (NCP) to mutually waive, with approval of the court, all or a portion of the interest due to the CP.

(1) CSS may negotiate the right to collect all or part of the interest owed to

Oklahoma.

(2) Settlements of interest must be memorialized in a court order and may include:

(A) an NCP's lump sum partial payment or a series of payments; or

(B) an agreement for the NCP to pay:

(i) a specified number of current child support payments in the future; or

(ii) non-cash support.  • 11

(n) Reopening closed cases.CSS does not reopen closed child support cases at the request of a customer for the purpose of collecting interest.

(o) Interest on spousal support.CSS does not calculate or collect interest on spousal support.

Revised 9-17-18

1. Orders for support for a prior period are obtained in paternity and notice of support debt cases, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:25-5-179.1. Support for a prior period is defined, per OAC 340:25-1-1.1.

2. Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Support Services (CSS) staff attempts to calculate interest from the accrual date in the original child support obligation, unless interest was calculated and included in a judgment provision in a subsequent order. CSS staff uses Form 03EN002E, Affidavit of Child Support Payments Received, to obtain child support payment information from a custodial person (CP).

(1) When CSS staff does not have information on how a judgment was determined or on the amount of past-due child support accrued prior to when CSS opened the child support case, CSS staff mails the Interest Disclosure Notice document, available on the CSS InfoNet Library page, to the CP to gather information and determine the calculation period.

(2) When the CP fails to supply the information within two weeks or the information is not available, CSS staff updates the automated Oklahoma Support Information System (OSIS) with interest balances that have accrued on child support arrearages from the date adequate payment documentation exists. CSS staff includes the amount and time period of the interest accrued on the child support judgment in the child support order.

3. (a) Example 1: Noncustodial parent (NCP) is ordered to pay $150 per month in current child support effective February 1. NCP pays $0 in February and $0 in March. NCP's child support arrears are not in excess of one month's current support until the March payment is missed. Therefore, interest accrues beginning April 1.

(b) Example 2: NCP is ordered to pay $150 per month in current child support effective February 1. NCP pays $75 in February and $75 in March. At the end of March, NCP's child support arrears are not in excess of one month's current support. Therefore, no interest accrues as of April 1. If the NCP does not pay the full child support amount in April, interest will accrue beginning May 1.

4. Any arrearage incurred after the date the servicemember is called to active military service accrues interest at the statutory rate.

5. CSS challenges the six percent interest rate when the servicemember is earning as much income in the military service as in non-military service.

6. When using the one-state process to enforce an order established in another state, it is the responsibility of CSS staff to calculate interest using the interest rate of the state that established the order, also known as the issuing state.

7. (a) When there is no initiating state, CSS staff calculates the interest due on all existing child support orders in an action to enforce those arrears, even when the order was entered in another state.

(b) To determine the current applicable interest rate for orders from other states, CSS staff looks in the Support Details section of the Intergovernmental Reference Guide (IRG) on the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) website.

(c) CSS staff consults with the district office CSS state's attorney to determine if the interest rate changed during the period when the arrears accrued.

8. CSS requests an Oklahoma court determine the accrued principal and interest and registers the order with the responding state for enforcement, when:

(1) Oklahoma asks another state to enforce arrears due under an Oklahoma child support order; and

(2) service of process is obtained on all parties.

9. If the settlement or waiver is silent or ambiguous as to interest, CSS staff consults the CSS state's attorney for the steps to determine the intent of the parties as to settlement or waiver of principal and interest arrearage balances. This includes contacting the parties to determine their intent, memorializing the agreement, and may include filing an action to determine the total principal and interest arrearage amount.

10. When using the two-state process in interstate cases, per Section 601-604 of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes, it is the initiating state's responsibility to calculate whether the NCP paid all current support, arrears, and interest under the law of the state that issued the order.

11. Waiver of interest.

(1) CSS staff uses the legal settlement document on OSIS, Custodial Person's Waiver of Interest in Conjunction with a Settlement.

(2) CSS staff includes the settlement terms of the waiver of interest in the court order. The district office CSS state's attorney must approve all interest settlements owed to Oklahoma.

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