The Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) program is an enforcement tool used by the Child Support Services Division (CSSD) to collect past-due child support. Using FIDM, CSSD can seize funds from the bank accounts of non-custodial parents (NCPs) who have not paid their child support.
How does FIDM Work?
CSSD compares lists of NCPs who are behind in making child support payments with names of account holders at financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. CSSD then asks the financial institutions to freeze the bank accounts of the delinquent NCPs. When the accounts are frozen, the NCP is unable to access the funds in the accounts. Next, CSSD takes steps to seize the funds in the accounts to use to pay the past-due child support. The FIDM program is authorized by federal and District law.
Who is subject to FIDM?
Only NCPs who are behind in making child support payments are subject to FIDM and can have their accounts seized to pay child support. NCPs who pay child support on a timely basis will not have their accounts taken.
When are accounts frozen?
An NCP is subject to having his or her account frozen (i.e., a Writ of Attachment placed on the account) if:
- He or she owes monthly current child support and makes no payments during the 30 days after the payment is due
- He or she owes a judgment obligation that is 60 days past due
- He or she only owes arrears (and no monthly current support) and the total arrears owed is $500 or more
When are accounts seized?
The NCP is subject to having the account seized (i.e., having an Order of Condemnation placed on the account) in either of the following situations:
- He or she is not paying child support directly from his or her paycheck and the account contains at least twice the monthly child support amount. (Example: If the monthly order is $300, the account can be seized if it contains $600 or more.) If the account is less than $150, however, it will not be seized
- He or she is paying child support from his or her paycheck, owes $5,000 or more in child support arrears, and there is $2,500 in the account
How do you avoid having your account seized?
The best way to prevent your account from being seized is to pay child support on a consistent basis. Your name will not be matched with financial institutions if you are up-to-date on your child support.
What if you think your account should not be seized?
You will be notified after your account is frozen and before it is seized. If you feel that you do not meet the criteria for freezing described above, you should contact CSSD. If you feel that you do not meet the criteria for seizure, you may request a hearing from the Office of Administrative Hearings.