Program encourages people behind on child support to make payments

By Ben Watson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A line of people were already standing out front when the Child Support office in Memphis opened early Monday morning.

"I received a thing, Help Us Help You, in the mail," said Steve Mayor, who owes child support. "It said some thing about my license may be suspended."

Mayo was like a lot of men and women who showed for the new Help Us Help You program.  The program allows people to pay an initial $250 and then work out a payment plan for their overdue child support payments.

"The $250 will get them the opportunity to get their license reinstated, but we also want to discuss with them ways to stay current with their obligation, and if they have back support we want to discuss with them also an opportunity on how to stay on track," said Frenchell White Phipps of Child Support Services.

Officials say there is a lot of money at stake in the program, as nearly 57,000 people owe back child support in the amount of almost $700 million.

Child support officials say the Help Us Help You program brought in a lot of back support when they tested it out last month.

"It is to protect the kids," Phipps said. "It is to get the child support out to those children that need support."

And Steve Mayor says, although he does not have a job, he plans to stay current.

"I scraped up some scrap metal and went and hauled it off to get this $250," he said. "I can at least do that once a month - probably pick up tin cans or whatever. If you want to make a payment ,there's a way to make money out there even if you don't have a job."

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