Franklin County Attorney Rick Sparks said the poor economy has meant that child support payments are down 1 percent.
"Simply put, people just aren't working," he told The State Journal. "We have seen a lot of requests to modify, reduce or hold child support payments in abeyance."
County attorneys work with the state to help collect arrears by filing criminal or civil suits. Several local factories have closed in the last year and put hundreds out of work, including Bendix, Certified Tool and Topy.
Sparks said collections would be down more if he had not been able to intercept federal stimulus tax rebates.
A total of about $1.4 billion in child support payments are owed in 325,000 cases across the state. In Franklin County, 72 parents owe a total of approximately $890,000. Dean Thornton, of 7400 McCracken Pike, owes the most - more than $55,000.
During the last fiscal year, Sparks said about $5.8 million was owed and his office collected $3,351,000 - about 57 percent. Between June and December 2008, Sparks said he collected 56 percent, $1.6 million, of $2.9 million in child support obligations.
He said he expects collections to be down about $100,000 to $120,000 this year.
However, Steve Veno, deputy commissioner for the Department for Income Support, said he's only seen a minor dip in child support payments across the state.
"It's not significant, just a slight downturn in payments," he said. "We attribute that to the economy."
A number of other tools are available to help the agency collect child support arrearages, but Veno said they usually only collect about 22 percent of what's owed.
"Many times we are dealing with low-income parents," he said. "It's difficult to collect in those situations."
Confiscating tax refunds due to delinquent parents is one tool available for collecting child support arrearages, Veno said.
"This is the time of year where we start hitting tax refunds," he said.
The agency works with the Kentucky Department for Revenue and the federal Internal Revenue Service to match tax returns with parents who owe child support. If they find a match, the department for income collects the tax return and sends the money to the custodial parent.
The federal stimulus package last year that included a $300 tax rebate resulted in the collection of an additional $8 million, Veno said.
"Some people were disappointed they didn't get the check," he said. "But the mother or child were usually happy."
Collections are down by 1 percent this year, but intercepting the stimulus money has prevented numbers from falling any lower, Sparks said.
Veno said the agency can employ a number of methods when attempting to collect child support, including wage assignments and suspending a license. He said wage assignments are the easiest way to collect if the debtor is employed.
"It comes directly out of their paycheck," Veno said.
Sparks said parents are willing to make wage assignments at lower wages. If they lose a high-paying manufacturing job Sparks said parents are willing to take two or three part-time jobs in order to keep making child support payments.
"People want to take care of their kids," he said.
Other options include suspending a hunting or fishing license, professional license or driver's license.
Veno said he expects more families to start seeking help from his agency in collecting child support. Families on public assistance automatically become a client for Veno if their support payments are in arrears.
"As more people receive public assistance we expect to see an increase in our case load," Veno said.
Here is the list, according to the Department of Revenue, of local child support cases that are in arrears:
Dean Thornton, 7400 McCracken Pike, $55,499
Christopher Shields, 2126 Sheep Pen Road, $41,884
Brandon Janeway, 110 Sweetberry Lane, $39,911
Charles Latvala, Franklin County Regional Jail, $38,431
Timothy Satterly, 560 Mccann Lane, $28,675
Michael Dean, 519 Williamsburg Road, $27,636
Gary Tillman, 301 Greenbrair Lane, $26,561
Ronald Rogers, 430 Harrodswood Road #19, $25,648
Terry Mynhier, 855 Louisville Road, $24,186
James Ewing, P.O. Box 538, $23,617
Jason Smith, 253 Desha Drive, $23,294
Dustin Elam, 74 Riley Road, $22,554
David Austin, 1420 Versailles Road, $21,692
Davis Norton, Franklin County Regional Jail, $21,069
Teri Cox, 114 Willow St., $20,208
Michael Jackson, 115 Creekstone, $19,662
Thomas Dennis, 139 Meredith Ave., $17,993
Luis Del Sol, 101 Pinnacle Court, $17,771
Franklin Heizer, 809 Holmes St. #1, $17,524
Dennis Aldridge, 313 Swigert Ave., $15,391
Wayne Moore, 237 Hickory Drive, $14,858
Bobby Hensley, 29 Still House Hollow, $14,329
Clem Northington, 712 Bryant Benson Road, $14,202
Ray Hopper, 1320 Lebanon Road, $13,767
Millard Thurman, 968 Bryant Benson Road, $13,659
Melvin Anthony, 106 Quachita Trail Apt 4, $13,044
Ray Hopper, 110 Willow St., $12,599
Charles Moore, 149 E. Main St., $12,477
Donna Crabb, 252 Johnson Ave., $12,350
Sandra Espy, Apt. 1 B 247 Centennial Ave., $11,358
Matthew Reynolds, 3509 Russellville Road, $11,124
Jamie Smith, 925 Wash Road, $10,685.58
Demetrius Walker, 322 1/2 Holmes St., $10,230
Antoinne Whitlock, 834 Fifth Ave., $10,115
Charles Kiper, 112 Strawberry Lane, $10,060
Troy Senn, 5134 Georgetown Road #88, $9,887
Terry Christian, 2429 Camp Pleasant Road, $9,429
Douglas Williams, 331 St Clair St., $9,107
William Banta, 415 North Stoney Creek Road, $9,029
Jennifer Fernandez, 323 E. Main St., $8,729
David Stanley, 2150 Louisville Road, $8,684
Tony Brown, 200 Adams Lane Lot #10, $8,394
James Redmon, 519 Warsaw St., $8,384
Tiffany Lewis, 507 Prince Hall Village, $8,298
Ernest Howard, 306 Shelby St., $8,038
Glenn Tracy, 241 Wright St. #1, $6,709
Rhonda Kelley, 152 Woodgate Apt. #152, $6,536
Edward Bryant, 129 Springhill Road, $6,278
Ray Mitchell, 207 Landings Drive Apt. 4, $6,077
Duane Nichols, 812 Fifth Ave., $5,770
Robin Hopkins, 122 Rolling Acres Apt. 2, $5,743
Sommer Mcgaughey, 615 Benson Valley Road, $4,993
Henry Stevens, 345 Bypass Plaza Drive A, $4,802
Timothy Whalen, 278 Johnson Ave., $4,649
James Walker, 330 Holmes St., $4,329
Arthur Grigsby, 308 Forest Hill Drive, $4,323
Justin Centers, 3389 Camp Pleasant Road, $3,971
John Ford, 1115 Louisville Road Apt. D, $3,860
Ricky Warner, 6501 Georgetown Road, $3,466
James Heathcock, 531 Steele St., $3,066
Dana Miller, 800 Leawood Drive Apt. 43, $2,714
Bobby Pitcock, 1800 Mink Run Road, $2,693
Kelly Hammond, 418 Buffalo Terrace Apts., $2,616
Andrew Chilton, 211 Wildwood # 3, $2,284
John Rogers, 10 American Way, $1,967
Sherry Obanion, 162 Thistlewood Drive Apt. 6, $1,624
William Manns, 259 Lyons Drive, $1,282
Tonya Nichols, 686 Green Wilson Road, $1,123
James Ware, P.O. Box 4112, $643
Kimberly Owens, 343 Holmes St., $509
Michelle Spencer, 214 Brookfield Drive, $375
Troy Ricketts, 316 Logan St., $271