Escrow & Child Support

Prominent Escrow is a leading provider of escrow services in the state of California with four offices here in the Orange County. As part of the escrow process escrow companies are sometimes called upon to provide services for seemingly unrelated legal issues.

One aspect in the final transacting of an escrow account in this state and county may sometimes include the issue of unpaid child support. In California escrow companies will often be called upon to play an important role in the collection of unpaid child support.

Throughout the state of California child support agencies are required to file liens and abstracts of judgment in all cases where one of the principal parties in the real estate transaction have an open and active obligation for child support payments.

Anytime the principal party or “support obligor” buys, sells or refinances a piece of real estate property their obligation for child support takes priority and precedence. As a consequence abstracts and liens can be filed against the property, and these must be cleared before the final closing of escrow.

In California it is not uncommon for an escrow officer or escrow company to encounter such liens and abstracts in regards to a clients obligations for child support. According to the data available the Orange County Department of Child Support Services (DCSS – read more here) has over ninety-nine thousand (99,000) cases pending. Of these, sixty thousand (60,000) have active support orders in place including any necessary liens and abstracts.

It is no coincidence that when interest rates drop or the housing market improves there is a surge in business activity for the DCSS. Responsible child support obligors seeking to purchase or refinance a home or mortgage will find that escrow companies must include this legal obligation as part the escrow process.

Escrow companies thus would ask anyone in this situation to help expedite the finalization of the escrow process by responding quickly and completely for any additional or needed information or action by the support obligor.