Update on the Child Support Saga

As I shared in an earlier post Past Due Child Support, in spite of the fact that Mr. A and I have remarried, he is still liable for child support due to the state of Arizona.

I called my child support caseworker and explained that we had been unable to come up with the entire $6000. She was sympathetic, but said there was nothing that could be done to lessen the amount. I told her we could come up with half, but not the entire amount. Her advice was to pay as much as we could, and continue to make payments, and she wouldn’t bring anyone’s attention to the case, and we will just cross our fingers and hope that no one notices it hasn’t had interest tacked on for the past fifteen years. She reiterated that I had agreed to pay within 20 days, and she would close the case completely, so that it could not be reopened and audited. Without full payment, it just hangs open, liable to have those 15 years worth of 10% interest tacked on.

Well, I kind of lied about not being able to come up with the money. If I meant cash, that isn’t a lie. We don’t have that kind of cash lying around. But I do have plenty of credit cards that I could use for making that payment.

The problem comes in when you take a cash advance, interest begins accruing immediately and it’s usually higher than if you’d charged the item.

Okay – I got curious and wanted to know how much the interest fees were going to be for my current credit cards, if I took a cash advance. That information doesn’t seem to be available on the Internet, so I decided to call my 9.5% interest card, which is also my card through my credit union account.

The nice lady on the phone asked me how much money I wanted and I told her I guess I’d be needing $2000. She says, “Let me see what we can do for you.” Then she told me she could give me that $2000 at 1% interest until November 2008. As long as I didn’t make any late payments, in November the fee will go up to 9.5%.

She told me it would cost 3% of the amount, so $60 and she said she could wire the money to my checking account. For no additional fees. She quickly read the fine print to me and asked me if she could have my permission to complete the transaction.

At that point, I hesitated. My brain had started to whir at that point, and I realized I could pay off some of the 14.24% interest credit card.

So, I explained my hesitation and said maybe with such a low interest rate, I should have gotten more money. I quickly explained our weirdo situation, where I married my ex-husband and he owes child support, which we now have to repay the state. She actually had a similar story to tell – she commiserated, saying “Know the story, he’s been back three times, only I didn’t remarry him!

So… I went ahead asked for $6000 (I had $7300 available in funds on that card). The transfer fee now becomes $75 (as opposed to the $60 when it was only $200, so that is actually a savings there of some sort). It will in my checking account by Thursday morning at 8am. I always do the company banking (we use the same bank) and I’ll be able to get a cashier’s check for the full amount that is due, and send it to the caseworker.

So the answer to my question — 1% interest for cash advance from my credit union credit card. Just for fun I looked to see what my other card would charge: 23.24%.

We had actually come up with a great deal of the money for this lump sum payment.

Mr. A has his own business on the side and has been earning money for the past six months. We are finally able to bill the client. The invoice was for $3000.00. We are waiting for that check to arrive in the mail.

The place where Mr. A works full time also straightened out the insurance mess, where they were taking out too much money. He picked up that check today from work; the refund came to $919.00.

Mr. A’s job has been taking child support from his check and sending it to me. Hey, this means his check will go up – but we will take that additional $76 and apply it to the credit card debt. The state has been putting the payments into an electronic account, and I can only remove it using the debit card. I’m not sure where to go to remove the money, or if there is a fee. I’m unsure how it works. There is ~$400 in that account. We will also need to watch Mr. A’s check and make sure no more mistakes occur, and make sure that child support stops coming out.

My part time job from which I earn $225 each quarter (January/April/July/October) paid me this past week.

So the money we’ll have on hand within the next week for the child support will be:

$3000
$ 919
$ 400
$ 225

$4544

We will be able to use some of the $6000 from the balance transfer that I arranged tonight. We’ll use $1456 of that, get a cashier’s check and be done with the child support saga.

I also asked the lady on the phone which amount will be paid down first. She said every bit of money that I pay on the card will first go to the $6000. The amount I owe on the card currently is $2810. The interest will continue to accrue at $23 on that amount. She cautioned me against using this card for purchases.

I can not let myself think of how much credit card debt this we could have paid off, had this child support not cropped up. Drat and double drat!

I guess the only thing I can do is continue to be grateful that we had the available credit since we were able to avoid the finance charges being added to the total amount owed.

Yours Truly,

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