Today’s report is the first in a series of studies designed to provide, for the first time ever, a comprehensive, detailed exposition and data-driven understanding of the arrears phenomenon in our state. In addition, today’s report is meant to serve as the empirical baseline with regard to arrears. To the extent that the central child support office, local support agencies, and/or other entities make efforts to address Maryland’s $1.5 billion support arrears problem, the baseline picture presented in this report can be used to empirically document and assess the outcomes of those efforts. To carry out this initial study, we chose September 2005 as our baseline month and utilized a variety of administrative data sources to address five straightforward but critically important research questions:
1) How much is owed in past-due child support for Maryland cases and to whom?
2) How are arrears cases and debt distributed across Maryland jurisdictions?
3) What are the characteristics of cases with arrears?
4) What are the characteristics of obligors who owe...