This topic contains information on the following subjects:
2. EFT collections;
3. EFT processing;
EFT is the movement of funds between financial accounts through electronic means rather than paper documents or hard currency. N.C. CSS can enter into agreements with employers and in-state and out-of-state agencies so that funds can be transferred from their financial accounts into CSS’s financial account.
At the request of the noncustodial parent (NCP), CSS can use EFT to automatically draft child support payments from that NCP’s designated bank account. At the request of the custodial parent, CSS can use EFT to make direct deposits upon receipt of child support payments into the custodial parent’s designated bank account. If the custodial parent does not request direct deposit, CSS uses EFT to make deposits into an “ncKIDScard” (debit card) account for the custodial parent.
Employers and other states can submit income withholding payments through EFT. ACTS accepts EFT payments from both employers and other states that use the National Automated Clearinghouse Association (NACHA) standard file in both the CCD+ (Cash Concentration and Disbursement Plus) and the CTX (Corporate Trade Exchange) formats. Automatic bank drafts for child support payments from noncustodial parents' (NCPs') bank accounts and direct deposits to custodial parents' checking accounts can be made, using the PPD (Prearranged Payments and Deposits) EFT format.
Upon request, ACTS sends EFT payments to agencies in other states that have the capability to receive NACHA files in the CCD+ format. These files identify the state receiving the interstate collections and the type of payment (tax, employer, or regular) being transferred.
EFT payments in both CCD+ and CTX formats must include a Child Support Services (CSS) addendum record.
The Electronic Funds Transfer data is transmitted as a file from the employer's or other state's bank through an automated clearinghouse to the N.C. State Treasurer’s contracted bank for EFT. Each day, ACTS retrieves the file via the mainframe and uploads the CSS addendum that contains the receipt detail. Funds are then automatically posted to the appropriate payor accounts.
The Collections Unit at the CSS Central Office receives a Receipts Register each morning, as a result of the previous night's ACTS processing. The appropriate worker in the Collections Unit must certify the deposit in the State Treasurer's account. This certification/verification of funds is achieved by one on-line transaction.
The responsible Collections Unit worker requisitions the amount of the deposit and moves it to the disbursement account for N.C. CSS. EFT funds received by the State Treasurer's account and subsequently posted in ACTS are disbursed in the same manner as funds from NCCSCC. A 24-hour turnaround exists for EFT transmittals, which starts when the payment leaves the employer or other state.
When the CSS addendum record for an EFT payment from an employer contains a Social Security number that matches an NCP’s Social Security number in ACTS, the payment is posted as a “State Electronic Funds Transfer” payment to that NCP's participant account. If no match can be found, the payment is posted to the “Unidentified Payor” account.
If the employer sends a valid pay date with the payment via the CSS addendum, the payment's effective date is set to the supplied date. If the CSS addendum does not contain a valid pay date, ACTS sets the payment's effective date to the date that the funds were transmitted. The EFT payment are distributed accordingly. EFT payments are prorated among all of the payor’s obligations, regardless of case type or income withholding status.
For EFT payments from other states’ agencies, ACTS first matches on the NCP’s SSN and then on the associated CSS case (IV-D) number. EFT payments from other states’ agencies are posted as “Other State” payments, unless they are classified as tax payments. Then they are posted as “EFT for Other State Tax Intercept” payments. Responding states certify and collect only state tax.
The CSS Central Office EFT Unit attempts to have all CSS case (IV-D) numbers from N.C. updated in other state's systems so that these case numbers can be included in all EFT files from other states.
ACTS uses the effective date for the other state's EFT payment (the pay date that was sent via the CSS addendum) to determine whether or not the payments are for a prior month. Once this has been determined, the payments are distributed accordingly. ACTS prorates EFT payments among all obligations, regardless of case type or income withholding status.
Some states elect to recover costs or charge fees for payments that noncustodial parents (NCPs) make. This "cost recovery" fee might be a flat fee per collection or a percentage of the amount collected. The state that charges the fee determines who is responsible for paying the fee.
States that practice "cost recovery" send their EFT payments using the CCD+ format. Cost recovery is not tracked for EFT payments that use the CTX format.
ACTS gives full credit to the NCP for the total collection from an EFT payment. However, only the net collection (the amount that was sent to the bank) is distributed to the payee. The difference between these two is the cost-recovery amount, and it is retained by the other state.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.