Avoid DCSS Delays

As noted in a previous blog (Escrow & Child Support), issues of unpaid child support can frequently become an obstacle in finalizing the escrow and closing process.

Is there anything that escrow and title companies can do to avoid a delay at the close of escrow if it is discovered that a principal party has a Judgment Lien filed by the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS)?

It’s not uncommon for a lien search to be done by title companies on a piece of property at the beginning of the escrow process. Name searches on the principal parties involved in the transaction tend to come later in the process.

Abstracts and child support liens do not attach to a particular piece of property, and as a consequence are typically not discovered until the later stages of the escrow process. Because of this the escrow process can be delayed due to a “demand” from the DCSS, this is due to the fact that the DCSS must determine how much the support “obligor” owes before it can actually issue the “demand.”

All of the principal professional parties involved in the transaction (real estate, mortgage and escrow) can help avoid any delays due to child support issues by asking the client up front if they have any open enforcement child support cases with the county.

Mortgage professionals can help spot any child support issues by looking for any red flags in the form of liens when they pull the client’s credit-report. They can make note of this and let the escrow company know at the beginning of the escrow process when they send the escrow documents to the escrow provider.

The DCSS is required to report child support obligors to the major credit reporting agencies.

By being proactive on this issue the mortgage and escrow officers can help avoid unnecessary delays by making a request for a demand at the very beginning of the escrow process.