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Child support amnesty program extended

BISMARCK -- A program to help parents catch up on past-due child support has been extended through July. "With the extension of time, we hope more parents will contact our program to see if they qualify for the project and enter into a reliable p...

BISMARCK -- A program to help parents catch up on past-due child support has been extended through July.

“With the extension of time, we hope more parents will contact our program to see if they qualify for the project and enter into a reliable payment plan for their children,” said Jim Fleming, director of the North Dakota Human Services Child Support Program.

Known as the "Amnesty Project," the program is targeted at parents whose drivers licenses are suspended or have warrants out for their arrest, because they are far behind on child support.

During the amnesty period, delinquent parents who set up payment plans may not be required to make down payments. And for every $2 they pay towards past-due support, the agency kicks in $1 towards accrued interest or state-owed money. They can also get back their licenses and clear their warrants.

Since the program launched in June, 22 parents have taken advantage of it, Fleming said. Three of those people have paid their full past-due amount.

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According to the department, about 2,000 people have their licenses suspended because of child support obligations. About 600 have warrants for their arrest. In total, nearly $259 million is owed in past-due support.

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