Tonight at 10: Man caught up on child support payments until DHR seizes his bank account

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Alabama parents are behind $3 billion in child support payments. That's a huge number, but some say efforts to collect that money are only making matters worse.

It's not easy supporting two families.  Just ask Marcus Simmons.  He's paying child support to an ex-wife with two children while trying to support his wife and three children.  And he was doing that, until last month when the Alabama Department of Human Resources seized his bank account.

"So I checked my account and sure enough somebody had put a garnishment on almost $2,000 in my checking and savings. Completely wiped me out. Nothing," said Simmons.

DHR filed the lien, despite the fact Simmons was up to date on his current child support payments.  He was left with no means to support his family.  Even his January child support payment bounced because DHR had seized the account.

"Oh, and I got another letter saying I can no longer use my bank account because of the insufficient funds, from them taking it out. So I can't even use my own bank account to pay child support anymore," said Simmons.

Monday, February 8 on WHNT News 19 at 10:00 p.m. you'll hear from DHR and learn why their tactics often backfire.