HAGERSTOWN—More than 40 custodial parents in Maryland did not receive their child-support payments in recent months after a check written by the parent company of Good Humor-Breyers could not be processed, according to a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Human Resources.
However, the situation appears to have been resolved after Unilever sent a cashier’s check to the company that collects payments for the state, human resources spokesman Ian Patrick Hines said Thursday.
Unilever, the Hagerstown ice-cream plant’s parent company, had been sending a company check and documentation of who was to receive the wages garnished from Good Humor-Breyers employees to Affiliated Computer Services, a private company that processes collections under a contract with the state, Hines said.
But, about three months ago, a check Unilever sent to ACS “bounced,” Hines said. ACS has a policy that once it receives a bad check, it will only accept either a cashier’s check or payment through Expert Pay, a service it provides, Hines said.
In the ensuing three months, Unilever was unable to successfully complete the paperwork needed to get payment processed through Expert Pay, Hines said.
“We had a technical problem, and we worked with the state to get everything rectified,” Plant Manager Kenneth Wells said Thursday. “We had the appropriate parties in touch with state officials.”
Human resources and the Washington County Department of Social Services worked with Unilever to resolve the issue, Hines said Wednesday.
Charles Allen, a union representative for Good Humor-Breyers workers, said last week that he believed about 25 to 50 workers at the plant might have been affected by the wage-garnishment problem. Some even received notices from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration to turn in their driver’s licenses for nonpayment of child support, he said.
“I’ve seen the check stubs of those involved, and it’s all coming out of their checks,” Allen said of the garnishments.
A woman called The Herald-Mail last week to complain that she had not received a child-support payment from her ex-husband, a Good Humor-Breyers employee, for about three months.
Unilever has announced the plant will be closed no later than August 2013, although layoffs at the plant, which employs about 440 people, could begin as early as this fall.