Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Thursday, March 8, 2001


New Financial Institution Data Match system producing results

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced a $136,250 child support collection made possible by the new Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) program. This national system enables state-run child support enforcement agencies to locate assets, held by financial institutions operating in more than one state, of noncustodial parents failing to pay child support. In this instance, the collection comes from an Oklahoma man and has gone to his daughter and the mother in Amarillo.

"Parents failing to pay their child support should know that my office will use every legal means to see that they own up to their responsibilities," said Attorney General Cornyn. "The Financial Institution Data Match program is another useful tool to ensure that parents live up to their moral and legal responsibility to support their children."

The Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) program, operating as a pilot project at the Texas Office of the Attorney General, is designed to improve the collection of delinquent child support. Child support agencies in many states, including Texas, are matching information on delinquent child support obligors with a database of depositors supplied by multi-state financial institutions. When a match occurs, the state seeking the child support payment can place a lien on the delinquent parent's account. Later this year, Attorney General Cornyn's office will begin matching delinquent child support cases with data from the 850 financial institutions operating within Texas and not subject to the national FIDM program.

In the case involving the $136,250 collection, the Office of the Attorney General used the FIDM program to locate the delinquent parent's account with a national stock brokerage. The Attorney General placed a lien on the account, thus freezing the assets. The delinquent parent then sold some of the assets in the account to pay the $136,250 in child support arrears.

For more information about the Office of the Attorney General, please visit the agency's website

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Contact: Mark Heckmann, Tom Kelley or Jane Dees Shepperd at (512) 463-2050.
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