MEMPHIS, TN – Some relief for deadbeat parents who owe so much child support, there is a warrant out for their arrest, is on tap.
The Shelby County Child Support Office is preparing to issue a “get out of jail free card”; well- almost free.
“Project NOW” stands for Negotiating Outstanding Warrants and it’s not free; it is relatively cheap.
“Project NOW” will allow deadbeat parents to buy their way out of any outstanding warrants, with anything leftover going directly to affected kids and families.
Make no mistake, there are a lot.
“In Shelby County we have approximately 5000 outstanding child support warrants,” said Frenchell White-Phipps.
She is the top administrator of Shelby County Child Support Services.
If there was a warrant out on you- Saturday October 20, 2012 was your chance to get rid of it at the Orange Mound Community Center.
“For a Reduced fee of $500,” said White-Phipps, “you could pay to have the warrant dismissed, a child support warrant.”
“Project NOW” was tried once before, in July 2012- with good success. More than 200 people eliminated warrants.
“And we were able to collect $80,000 that went back to the families,” White-Phipps told abc24.com.
Part of the goal of “Project NOW” is to remove fear. If you showed up, but still could not pay- you did not go to jail.
“No, that would not happen,” said White-Phipps, “we did not contact the local authorities to have anyone arrested.”
Removing the fear meant making everyone comfortable.
“Instead of them coming to us,” White-Phipps told abc24.com, “we want to go to them in their community.”
Keep in mind- no matter your status- payments must be made.
“Being unemployed does not mean that you don’t take care of your obligation,” said White-Phipps, “do not ignore the obligation; because it is not going to go away.”
In addition to eliminating warrants, Child Services can also help restore suspended drivers and professional licenses.