Wrong man hounded for child support, allegedly for years

Kevin Pacheco

Kevin Pacheco Jr., 31, says he’s been receiving child support collection letters for the past three years for a child that’s not his.

“They kept telling me stuff like write a letter, send a copy of your birth certificate and all that kind of stuff,” Pacheco said.

Pacheco says he’s never even met the child’s mother and has been trying ever since to clear up the misunderstanding with the State Child Support Enforcement Agency.

The Attorney General’s office told KHON2 its records indicated the problem has only been going on for the last three months, but Pacheco said it’s been much longer and has the paperwork to prove it.

“Definitely. I’m not too sure why their records only say three months,” Pacheco said.

income withholding notice

With frustration mounting, Pacheco turned to KHON2.

KHON2 contacted the state Attorney General’s office to find out if anything could be done. While the office declined to be interviewed, officials did admit there was a mix up.

So how did it happen? The state says it was trying to track down the child’s father and got an address from the postal service. Turns out, that address was wrong and led officials to the wrong man.

Pacheco says the letters were meant for his father, who has the same name.

“Like about three months ago, that’s when they finally said that it’s a misunderstanding. It’s meant for my father who has a different Social Security number than I do, and they said they were going to fix it at that point, but I did still receive two other letters after that,” Pacheco said.

Those letters took things a step further, telling him his paychecks would be taken to pay the debt.

The child support agency told KHON2 that Pacheco was told to return the letter to the post office and that would solve the problem.

Officials said that Kevin Pacheco’s name is now out of their system, so he won’t be getting any more letters — and they’ve made Pacheco the same promise.

“This thing resolved a lot faster after in the short period of time that I contacted (KHON2) and so it’s really great for me,” Pacheco said.

The state says a case like this is rare.

If you’re in a similar situation, what should you do?

“I think someone who’s looking at something like that, one of the first things they should do is go to the courthouse and try to get their records,” said family lawyer Gavin Doi. “Get copies of their file, so they can see the actual documents to see if maybe there was a mistake in terms of who they’re pursuing.”

If you can’t afford an attorney, there are other resources available. Visit Doi’s website, IslandLawyers.com, for more information.

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