Debt Compromise Programs: Program Designs and Child Support Outcomes in Five Locations

Center for Policy Research; Jessica Pearson, Ph.D. Nancy Thoennes, Ph.D. and Rasa Kaunelis, M.A.
September 2012

To generate empirical information on the populations served in actual debt compromise programs, the treatments they receive and the outcomes of their participation as measured by their debt levels and payment behaviors, CPR collected and analyzed information on 688 individuals enrolled in debt compromise programs in four states — California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota — and in Washington, D.C. Programs in all five settings accept obligors with current support obligations as well as those who only have arrears-only cases. For arrears-only cases, programs have the capacity to accept lump-sum payments as well as to develop payment plans that involve making monthly arrears payments over a 6 to 36-month period of time. Through a coordinated, cross-site data collection effort, comparable information was obtained on samples of cases that enrolled in the programs.

Debt Compromise Programs:  Program Designs and Child Support Outcomes in Five Locations