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WNCN Investigates started looking into how much child support goes unpaid in North Carolina. For the past five years the states has only collected about 65 percent of the money owed.
According to numbers provided by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, almost $815 million dollars in court-ordered child support was due in 2014. That same year, more than $280 million went unpaid.
“A lot of it is because the non-custodial parents don't have jobs,” explained Mary Flounoy, who runs the child support department for Durham County. She says they've collected about 69 percent of the current support that's due.
“We intercept tax refunds, driver's license suspension, passport denial, and we also report to the credit bureau,” explained Flounoy.
But even with a court order to pay child support, payments aren't being made. Flounoy said the problem still goes back to enforcement because of how easy it is for people who don't want to pay to stay under the radar.
“People call us all the time and say I know he lives at that address but if we can't get them served, we don't have a case,” explained Flounoy. Local sheriff's offices are tasked to carrying out court orders, but Flounoy said since they are civil cases, there isn't much they can do.
“They go and ring the doorbell and if he or she is not there, that's the end of that. Unless we can find a new address or new location,” Flounoy said.
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