Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 17. SUPPORT SERVICES [17000 - 17804]

  ( Division 17 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. )

CHAPTER 2. Child Support Enforcement [17400 - 17714]

  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 1.5. Delinquent Child Support Obligations and Financial Institution Data Match [17450 - 17460]
  ( Article 1.5 added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 806, Sec. 6. )

17450.
  

(a) For purposes of this article:

(1) “Child support delinquency” means a delinquency defined in subdivision (c) of Section 17500.

(2) “Earnings” shall include the items described in Section 5206.

(b) (1) When a delinquency is submitted to the department pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 17500, the amount of the child support delinquency shall be collected by the department in any manner authorized under state or federal law.

(2) Any compensation, fee, commission, expense, or other fee for service incurred by the department in the collection of a child support delinquency authorized under this article shall not be an obligation of, or collected from, the obligated parent.

(c) (1) The department may return or allow a local child support agency to retain a child support delinquency for a specified purpose for collection where the department determines that the return or retention of the delinquency for the purpose so specified will enhance the collectibility of the delinquency. The department shall establish a process whereby a local child support agency may request and shall be allowed to withdraw, rescind, or otherwise recall the submittal of an account that has been submitted.

(2) If an obligor is disabled, meets the federal Supplemental Security Income resource test, and is receiving Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payments (SSI/SSP), or, but for excess income as described in Section 416.1100 and following of Part 416 of Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations, would be eligible to receive as SSI/SSP, pursuant to Section 12200 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and the obligor has supplied the local child support agency with proof of eligibility for, and, if applicable, receipt of, SSI/SSP or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, then the child support delinquency shall not be referred to the department for collection, and, if referred, shall be withdrawn, rescinded, or otherwise recalled from the department by the local child support agency. The department shall not take any collection action, or if the local child support agency has already taken collection action, shall cease collection actions in the case of a disabled obligor when the delinquency is withdrawn, rescinded, or otherwise recalled by the local child support agency in accordance with the process established as described in paragraph (1).

(d) It is the intent of the Legislature that when the California Child Support Enforcement System (CSE) is fully operational, any statutes that should be modified based upon the status of the system shall be revised. During the development and implementation of CSE, the department, as the Title IV-D agency, may, through appropriate interagency agreement, delegate any and all of the functions or procedures specified in this article to the Franchise Tax Board. The Franchise Tax Board shall perform those functions or procedures as specified in Sections 19271 to 19275, inclusive, of the Revenue and Taxation Code until the director, by letter to the executive officer of the Franchise Tax Board, revokes the delegation of Title IV-D functions. Sections 19271 to 19275, inclusive, of the Revenue and Taxation Code shall be effective for these purposes until the revocation of delegation to the Franchise Tax Board.

(e) Consistent with the development and implementation of the California Child Support Enforcement System, the Franchise Tax Board and the department shall enter into a letter of agreement and an interagency agreement whereby the department shall assume responsibility for collection of child support delinquencies and the Financial Institution Data Match System as set forth in this article. The letter of agreement and interagency agreement shall, at a minimum, set forth all of the following:

(1) Contingent upon the enactment of the Budget Act, and staffing authorization from the Department of Finance and the Department of Human Resources, the department shall assume responsibility for leadership and staffing of the collection of child support delinquencies and the Financial Institution Data Match System.

(2) All employees and other personnel who staff or provide support for the collection of child support delinquencies and the Financial Institution Data Match System at the Franchise Tax Board shall become the employees of the department at their existing or equivalent classification, salaries, and benefits.

(3) Any other provisions necessary to ensure continuity of function and meet or exceed existing levels of service, including, but not limited to, agreements for continued use of automated systems used by the Franchise Tax Board to locate child support obligors and their assets.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 153. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

17452.
  

(a) Subject to state and federal privacy and information security laws, the Franchise Tax Board shall make tax return information available to the department, upon request, for the purpose of collecting child support delinquencies referred to the department.

(b) For purposes of this article, the Franchise Tax Board shall incur no obligation or liability to any person arising from any of the following:

(1) Furnishing information to the department as required by this section.

(2) Failing to disclose to a taxpayer or accountholder that the name, address, social security number, or other taxpayer identification number or other identifying information of that person was included in the data exchange with the department required by this section.

(3) Any other action taken in good faith to comply with the requirements of this section.

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that any provision of income tax return information by the Franchise Tax Board to the department pursuant to this article shall be done in accordance with the privacy and confidential information laws of this state and of the United States, and to the satisfaction of the Franchise Tax Board.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 806, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2005.)

17453.
  

(a) The department, in coordination with financial institutions doing business in this state, shall operate a Financial Institution Data Match System utilizing automated data exchanges to the maximum extent feasible. The Financial Institution Data Match System shall be implemented and maintained pursuant to guidelines prescribed by the department. These guidelines shall include a structure by which financial institutions, or their designated data-processing agents, shall receive from the department the file or files of past-due support obligors compiled in accordance with subdivision (c), so that the institution shall match with its own list of accountholders to identify past-due support obligor accountholders at the institution. To the extent allowed by the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193), the guidelines shall include an option by which financial institutions without the technical ability to process the data exchange, or without the ability to employ a third-party data processor to process the data exchange, may forward to the department a list of all accountholders and their social security numbers, so that the department shall match that list with the file or files of past-due support obligors compiled in accordance with subdivision (c).

(b) The Financial Institution Data Match System shall not be subject to any limitation set forth in Chapter 20 (commencing with Section 7460) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code. However, any use of the information provided pursuant to this section for any purpose other than the enforcement and collection of a child support delinquency, as set forth in Section 17450, shall be a violation of Section 17212.

(c) (1)  Until implementation of the California Child Support Automation System, each county shall compile a file of support obligors with judgments and orders that are being enforced by local child support agencies pursuant to Section 17400, and who are past due in the payment of their support obligations. The file shall be compiled, updated, and forwarded to the department, in accordance with the guidelines prescribed by the department.

(2) The department shall compile a file of obligors with support arrearages from requests made by other states for administrative enforcement in interstate cases, in accordance with federal requirements pursuant to paragraph 14 of subsection (a) of Section 666 of Title 42 of the United States Code. The file shall include, to the extent possible, the obligor’s address.

(d) To effectuate the Financial Institution Data Match System, financial institutions subject to this section shall do all of the following:

(1) Provide to the department on a quarterly basis, the name, record address and other addresses, social security number or other taxpayer identification number, and other identifying information for each noncustodial parent who maintains an account at the institution and who owes past-due support, as identified by the department by name and social security number or other taxpayer identification number.

(2) Except as provided in subdivision (j), in response to a notice or order to withhold issued by the department, withhold from any accounts of the obligor the amount of any past-due support stated on the notice or order and transmit the amount to the department in accordance with Section 17454.

(e) Unless otherwise required by applicable law, a financial institution furnishing a report or providing information to the department pursuant to this section shall not disclose to a depositor, accountholder, codepositor, or coaccountholder, that the name, address, social security number, or other taxpayer identification number or other identifying information of that person has been received from, or furnished to, the department.

(f) A financial institution shall incur no obligation or liability to any person arising from any of the following:

(1) Furnishing information to the department as required by this section.

(2) Failing to disclose to a depositor, accountholder, codepositor, or coaccountholder, that the name, address, social security number, or other taxpayer identification number or other identifying information of that person was included in the data exchange with the department required by this section.

(3) Withholding or transmitting any assets in response to a notice or order to withhold issued by the department as a result of the data exchange. This paragraph shall not preclude any liability that may result if the financial institution does not comply with subdivision (b) of Section 17456.

(4) Any other action taken in good faith to comply with the requirements of this section.

(g) (1) With respect to files compiled under paragraph (1) of subdivision (c), the department shall forward to the counties, in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the department, information obtained from the financial institutions pursuant to this section. No county shall use this information for directly levying on any account. Each county shall keep the information confidential as provided by Section 17212.

(2) With respect to files compiled under paragraph (2) of subdivision (c), the amount collected by the department shall be deposited and distributed to the referring state in accordance with Section 17458.

(h) For those noncustodial parents owing past-due support for which there is a match under paragraph (1) of subdivision (d), the amount past due as indicated on the file or files compiled pursuant to subdivision (c) at the time of the match shall be a delinquency under this article for the purposes of the department taking any collection action pursuant to Section 17454.

(i) A child support delinquency need not be referred to the department for collection if a jurisdiction outside this state is enforcing the support order.

(j) (1) Each county shall notify the department upon the occurrence of the circumstances described in the following subparagraphs with respect to an obligor of past-due support:

(A) A court has ordered an obligor to make scheduled payments on a child support arrearages obligation and the obligor is in compliance with that order.

(B) An earnings assignment order or an order/notice to withhold income that includes an amount for past-due support has been served on the obligated parent’s employer and earnings are being withheld pursuant to the earnings assignment order or an order/notice to withhold income.

(C) At least 50 percent of the obligated parent’s earnings are being withheld for support.

(2) Notwithstanding Section 704.070 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if any of the conditions set forth in paragraph (1) exist, the assets of an obligor held by a financial institution are subject to levy as provided by paragraph (2) of subdivision (d). However, the first three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500) of an obligor’s assets are exempt from collection under this subdivision without the obligor having to file a claim of exemption.

(3) If any of the conditions set forth in paragraph (1) exist, an obligor may apply for a claim of exemption pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 703.510) of Chapter 4 of Division 2 of Title 9 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure for an amount that is less than or equal to the total amount levied. The sole basis for a claim of exemption under this subdivision shall be the financial hardship for the obligor and the obligor’s dependents.

(4) For the purposes of a claim of exemption made pursuant to paragraph (3), Section 688.030 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall not apply.

(5) For claims of exemption made pursuant to paragraph (3), the local child support agency responsible for enforcement of the obligor’s child support order shall be the levying officer for the purpose of compliance with the provisions set forth in Article 2 (commencing with Section 703.510) of Chapter 4 of Division 2 of Title 9 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure except for the release of property required by subdivision (e) of Section 703.580 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(6) The local child support agency shall notify the department within two business days of the receipt of a claim of exemption from an obligor. The department shall direct the financial institution subject to the order to withhold to hold any funds subject to the order pending notification by the department to remit or release the amounts held.

(7) The superior court in the county in which the local child support agency enforcing the support obligation is located shall have jurisdiction to determine the amount of exemption to be allowed. The court shall consider the needs of the obligor, the obligee, and all persons the obligor is required to support, and all other relevant circumstances in determining whether to allow any exemption pursuant to this subdivision. The court shall give effect to its determination by an order specifying the extent to which the amount levied is exempt.

(8) Within two business days of receipt of an endorsed copy of a court order issued pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 703.580 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the local child support agency shall provide the department with a copy of the order. The department shall instruct the financial institution to remit or release the obligor’s funds in accordance with the court’s order.

(k) Out of any money received from the federal government for the purpose of reimbursing financial institutions for their actual and reasonable costs incurred in complying with this section, the state shall reimburse those institutions. To the extent that money is not provided by the federal government for that purpose, the state shall not reimburse financial institutions for their costs in complying with this section.

(l) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Account” means any demand deposit account, share or share draft account, checking or negotiable withdrawal order account, savings account, time deposit account, or a money market mutual fund account, whether or not the account bears interest.

(2) “Financial institution” has the same meaning as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (d) of Section 669A of Title 42 of the United States Code.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 806, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2005.)

17454.
  

(a) At least 45 days before sending a notice to withhold, the department shall request that a depository institution provide the department with a designated address for receiving notices to withhold.

(b) Once the depository institution has specified a designated address pursuant to subdivision (a), the department shall send all notices to that address unless the depository institution provides notification of another address. The department shall send all notices to withhold to a new designated address 30 days after notification.

(c) If a notice to withhold is mailed to the branch where the account is located or principal banking office, the depository institution shall be liable for a failure to withhold only to the extent that the accounts can be identified in information normally maintained at that location in the ordinary course of business.

(d) The department may by notice, served by magnetic media, electronic transmission, or other electronic technology, require any depository institution, as defined in the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C.A. Sec. 461 (b)(1)(A)), that the department, in its sole discretion, has reason to believe may have in its possession, or under its control, any credits or other personal property or other things of value, belonging to a child support obligor, to withhold, from the credits or other personal property or other things of value, the amount of any child support delinquency, and interest, due from an obligor and transmit that amount withheld to the department at the times that it may designate, but not less than 10 business days from receipt of the notice. The notice shall state the amount due from the obligor and shall be delivered or transmitted to the branch or office reported pursuant to subdivision (a), or other address designated by that depository institution for purposes of the department serving notice by magnetic media, electronic transmission, or other electronic technology.

(e) For purposes of this section, the term “address” shall include telephone or modem number, facsimile number, or any other number designated by the depository institution to receive data by electronic means.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 806, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2005.)

17456.
  

(a) Any person required to withhold and transmit any amount pursuant to this article shall comply with the requirement without resort to any legal or equitable action in a court of law or equity. Any person paying to the department any amount required by it to be withheld is not liable therefore to the person from whom withheld unless the amount withheld is refunded to the withholding agent. However, if a depository institution, as defined in the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C.A. Sec. 461(b)(1)(A)) withholds and pays to the department pursuant to this article any moneys held in a deposit account in which the delinquent obligor and another person or persons have an interest, or in an account held in the name of a third party or parties in which the delinquent obligor is ultimately determined to have no interest, the depository institution paying those moneys to the department is not liable therefore to any of the persons who have an interest in the account, unless the amount withheld is refunded to the withholding agent.

(b) In the case of a deposit account or accounts for which this notice to withhold applies, the depository institution shall send a notice by first-class mail to each person named on the account or accounts included in the notice from the department, provided that a current address for each person is available to the institution. This notice shall inform each person as to the reason for the hold placed on the account or accounts, the amount subject to being withheld, and the date by which this amount is to be remitted to the department. An institution may assess the account or accounts of each person receiving this notice a reasonable service charge not to exceed three dollars ($3).

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 806, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2005.)

17460.
  

(a) As necessary, the department shall seek reciprocal agreements with other states to improve its ability to collect child support payments from out-of-state obligated parents on behalf of custodial parents residing in California. The department may pursue agreements with the Internal Revenue Service, as permitted by federal law, to improve collections of child support delinquencies from out-of-state obligated parents through cooperative agreements with the service.

(b) The California Child Support Enforcement System shall, for purposes of this article, include the capacity to interface and exchange information, if feasible, with the Internal Revenue Service, to enable the immediate reporting and tracking of obligated parent information.

(c) The department shall enter into any interagency agreements that are necessary for the implementation of this article. State departments and boards shall cooperate with the department to the extent necessary for the implementation of this article. Out of any money received from the federal government for the purpose of reimbursing state departments and boards for their actual and reasonable costs incurred in complying with this section, the department shall reimburse those departments and boards. To the extent that money is not provided by the federal government for that purpose, and subject to the annual Budget Act, the state shall fund departments and boards for their costs in complying with this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 474, Sec. 18. (AB 2882) Effective January 1, 2017.)

FAMFamily Code - FAM1.5