Deadbeats' Wallets Pried Open Collections Agencies Retrieve Millions

Article excerpt

Computer technology, along with friends and families of deadbeat

parents, has helped two private agencies collect more than $70

million in child support for Florida's children.

Since January 1996, RSI Enterprises Inc. and Lockheed Martin

IMS have collected $78,358,329 in 171,000 state child support

cases.

The collections were made from people who are difficult to

locate, move around a lot, don't respond to state employees

inquiries and have not paid anything for six months, said Chuck

Springston, a Florida Department of Revenue spokesman.

"These are hard-core people who are not paying," he said. "The

collection efforts have gone very well."

Using computer data bases to contact neighbors, relatives, old

employers and to get information about assets, RSI Enterprises

-- based in Scottsdale, Ariz. -- has collected money on about 34

percent of its Florida cases.

"A lot of our effort is in finding these people," said Tim

Brainerd, president of RSI Enterprises Inc. "They're trying not

to be found."

Lockheed Martin IMS -- which operates its collections work from

Austin, Texas -- collects 12 percent to 15 percent of its

Florida cases.

Harry Wiggins, vice president of child support services of

Lockheed Martin IMS, said neighbors, friends and relatives of

deadbeat parents often cooperate with workers seeking

information.

"Most people think kids should be supported by their parents,"

he said. "The only people who don't think that are the folks who

should be paying. If the dad or mom is not supporting their

kids, generally the taxpayers are."

Both collection agencies are paid based on a formula that ties

their reimbursement to the amount of child support they collect. …