Q. When the escrow company discovers
the support lien or abstract of judgment recorded by DCSS, whom do they contact
and what information do they need to request a "demand"?
A. You may fax your demand request and a copy of the abstract or lien to
the DCSS Demand Team at 909 478-6002 or 909 478-0490, ATTENTION: Demand Desk.
Your request must be submitted in writing using your company letterhead with your
telephone and fax numbers. You must include the following information
1. Your client's full name
2. Social Security Number
3. Date of Birth
4. Driver's License Number
5. Property Address
6. Attach a copy of the Abstract of Support Judgment
You may also print out and complete the Escrow
Company Inquiry Form.
All of the information is required. It is important to obtain your client's information
(Social Security Number, date of birth, CDL etc.) directly from your client. Do not
use information taken from the copy of the Abstract of Support Judgment or lien,
because DCSS wants to verify that the abstract is actually for your client and no
mis-identification has occurred. Incomplete information may result in your request
being delayed or not being processed.
Q. Why is a copy of the abstract
or lien necessary?
A. To prevent mis-identification, DCSS wants to make sure that your client
is the obligor named on the abstract and that our department issued the abstract
or lien. Every county in the State has a child support agency and each agency files
its own abstracts or liens. We want to make sure the money we collect is actually owed on one of our
Q. How can the Escrow or Title
Companies avoid delay at the close of escrow, when they discover their client has
a Judgment Lien filed by DCSS?
A. Typically the lien search is done by the title company on the property
at the beginning of the escrow and one of the last things that is completed is a
name search on the persons involved in the transaction. Because the abstracts
and support liens do not attach to a particular piece of property, they are typically
discovered at this later stage of the process and then the escrow is delayed because
a "demand" is needed from DCSS. DCSS needs to determine how much support is owed
by the obligor before it can issue the "demand".
One of the easiest ways to avoid last minute delay is to ask your client at the
beginning of the escrow process whether he/she has a child support case open for
enforcement with any county. By finding this out at the beginning of escrow your
request for a demand can go out at the earliest stage of the process.
Another way to find out whether your client has a child support lien is to check
your client's credit report. The credit report is typically included in the lender's
information that comes over with the other escrow documents. DCSS is required to
report obligors to the major credit reporting agencies.
DCSS strives to act promptly on all requests, but it is imperative that complete
information is received in a timely manner. Please double check the information
and fax number you are using. The fax number indicated above is a dedicated fax
number for the Demand Desk. If the information gets sent to a different number or
is mailed in, it may result in a delay in processing your request.
If you have any other questions you may contact the Demand Desk directly at 866.901.3212.
Q. What happens when the escrow
company or title company discovers a judgment lien or abstract recorded against
an obligor who is buying, selling or refinancing a piece of real property?
A. The escrow or title company will request a "demand" from the creditor
(the agency or person who has caused the lien to be recorded). A "demand" is a statement
of how much is owed on the judgment. In the case of an on-going child support order,
if the debtor is behind in his payments the demand will be for the amount of the
Q. What happens after a demand
for payment is received from DCSS by the Escrow Company?
A. If the obligor is selling or refinancing the property and there is sufficient
money being realized in the sale or refinance to pay the full amount of the demand,
DCSS will send a "matured installment" if future support is still owed, or a "release
of lien" if the arrears have been paid and there is no future support owed. These
documents will be recorded by the escrow company after payment on the demand is
If the obligor is buying a piece of property and owes past due support one
of two things could happen: If the obligor is currently on a wage assignment and
his pay history is good even though he owes arrearages, DCSS may subordinate
its lien in favor of the first deed of trust on the new purchase; If the obligor
has a poor pay history and is not currently on a wage assignment, then DCSS will
demand that the debt be paid in whole or in part before a subordination will be
Q. To what address should the
payments to be sent?
A. Please make all checks payable to County of San Bernardino. For
proper identification, your client's full name and D.C.S.S. file number and Social
Security number must be indicated on the face of the check.
San Bernardino County Child Support Services
10417 Mountain View Avenue
Loma Linda, CA 92354
Payment Address for Overnight Delivery:
San Bernardino County Department Child Support Services
Attn. Reception - Lobby
10417 Mountain View Avenue
Loma Linda, CA 92354
Q. If the child support debtor
is current on his child support obligation and owes only future support what process
A. If the obligor is current with his/her child support payments and owes
nothing on the obligation except for future support, then a matured installment
is sent to the escrow company in response to the demand request. This document indicates
that all support obligations are paid up to date.
Q. If a child support debtor
is attempting to refinance his property to lower his interest rate and payment but
isn't taking any money (equity) out of the property, will DCSS subordinate their
lien in favor of the new Mortgage?
A. It depends. If the obligor is paying regularly by wage assignment or shows
a good steady pay history and his/her arrearages are not excessive, then as long
as he is not taking equity out of the property to pay off other bills or taking
out cash for him or herself, DCSS may offer to subordinate its lien to
the new first trust deed (mortgage). If, however, the obligor is not paying his/her
support obligation regularly or his arrearages are excessive or if he/she is taking
money out of the transaction to pay off other creditors, then DCSS will demand payment
of the arrearages before subordination or matured installment will be issued. Occasionally
if there are insufficient funds to pay the entire debt owed, a partial payment will
be accepted and the remainder of the debt will be subordinated to the first trust
deed (mortgage). The decision will be made after a thorough review of the obligor's
payment record and consultation with the custodial parent.
Q. Should the escrow company
be concerned with prior quit claimed deeds issued on the property?
A. Yes! California law provides that when a grantor quitclaims his interest
to another party, he transfers his entire interest including all the defects and
equities, which could then have been asserted against him.
If the escrow you are handling involves a property where quit claimed deeds have
been filed, a name search will need to be performed for the grantor of the quitclaim
to avoid problems and future litigation.
Q. Why are judgment liens filed
in support cases?
A. One of the enforcement tools that DCSS is required by state regulation
to use in enforcing its cases is the recording of a "judgment lien for installments
under a support order". In every case with a support order that is open in our office,
an abstract of the support order or judgment is filed with the county recorder's
office in as many as three counties. This recording will occur in the county or
counties where the obligor resides, works, and where his / her parents reside. Because
the abstracts do not reference a specific property, they do not appear on the initial
title search of the property address. They will appear during the final title search
of the obligor's name and / or social security number.
Q. Does the lien or abstract
A. No. As long as the support debt is owed the lien or abstract remains active.
The California Civil Code exempts support judgments from renewal requirements and
the support order or judgment is enforceable until paid in full.
Some title and escrow companies have a practice of going back only 10 years on a
name search because of renewal requirements. This practice should be avoided when
there is a possibility that the client could have a child support obligation because
it could result in a child support abstract or lien being overlooked since they are
not subject to renewal requirements.