Does this look like a check for $15?
Every month, Charlottesville resident Sherry Nist gets a child
support payment of $1,500 when her ex-husband writes a check to the
state, which then moves the funds into her bank account. In early
December, however, instead of the usual $1,500, the agency credited
her account with just $15. The missing funds wreaked havoc on her
finances, and state officials are now refusing to compensate her
for the more than $600 in ensuing overdraft fees.
The check for $1,500 showed up in Nist's state account on
Friday, December 2, as just $15. And even that money didn't reach
her bank account until Tuesday, December 6, and that's when Nist
realized she had a big problem.
"I was trying to buy coffee, and my debit card was declined,"
she says. "I had some auto pays that had posted. It just built so
that I couldn't use my account. It was exponential."
Nist contacted the state agency, the Division of Child Support
Enforcement, which promptly blamed Joe Yung, the check writer.
"The noncustodial parent made an error on his check," says
Phyllis Sisk with the Division.
And yet a copy of the check provided by Yung shows a top line of
"$1500." Although the zeros are written smaller, there also appears
to be a notation for zero cents, and the second line is even more
clearly marked: "Fifteen hundred even."
The release of the check hasn't prompted the state to admit any
"Both our worker and the bank read it as $15," says Sisk,