Cordell & Cordell attorney Richard Coffee is quoted in an article about how interest on missed child support payments is driving one disabled man into poverty.
The Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat article describes the plight of Carnell Williams and how a $250 federal stimulus check mailed last year that he never got to cash set off government computer alarm bells that may doom him to a life of poverty.
The stimulus payment was automatically applied to missed child support payments and alerted state officials who began applying the arrears to him.
Williams has paid child support in the past through a wage deduction but his problem is the 9% interest that keeps him from getting ahead of his debt.
The article said that earlier this year, his total owed was listed as $163,582. By paying $435 a month and not counting accumulating interest, Williams would need 31 years before he would be paid up at age 82.
Coffee said there is a possibility that a portion of the amount can be abolished if Williams’ ex-wife agrees.
“If the client has any ability to make a lump sum payment, there is usually some way to negotiate a resolution,” Coffee said. “You can’t force that on (his ex-wife). And, if push comes to shove, she can get it a nickel at a time for the rest of his life.”
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Richard Coffee is the Firm’s Team Leader for the Jefferson County, Missouri and Belleville, Edwardsville and Naperville, Illinois offices of Cordell & Cordell, where he practices exclusively in domestic relations. Mr. Coffee primarily practices out of the Belleville office of Cordell & Cordell. He is authorized to practice law in the states of Illinois and Missouri, and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.