How to Survive the Alberta Maintenance Enforcement Program ( The M.E.P.)

http://ecmas.org/?content/Surviving-M.E.P.html

Equitable Child Maintenance & Access Society

 

How to Survive the Alberta Maintenance Enforcement Program ( The M.E.P.)

Updated February 2012

1. Make sure that you have a binder with all your family law documents organized with tabs.

2. That binder should have a copy of your most current court order.

3. Know the terms of your court order.

4. Make and keep payment obligations with the M.E.P., preferably through direct debit or voluntary support deduction through your employer. Continue to make maintenance payments, even if court ordered parenting time schedules are disobeyed by the support recipient. Keep a separate account, preferably at a separate bank from the one you normally use. They can, and will seize your account if you fall behind.

5. Don’t make payments directly to the support recipient. Direct payments may not be credited to your M.E.P. account resulting in unwarranted collection actions against you. If, you are making voluntary payments with an informal agreement, get reciepts! Make sure that they are dated, and include that the money is for CHILD SUPPORT! This, may be your only recourse to prove that you have been trying to maintain your obligation.

6. Contact the M.E.P. if you believe your dependents are no longer eligible for maintenance, or if you become the main residential parent. Take legal action promptly to change court orders to reflect changes in residency/custody of children. Always ensure that your most current order is the one that they have on file.

7. Keep your personal information, address, phone numbers and employer information current with the M.E.P.

8. If your court ordered maintenance is beyond your ability to pay due to changes in your personal financial circumstances, seek legal advice and contact the M.E.P. in writing of your material change in circumstances. Phone. Keep on it until you are able to get a revised order.

9. Submit a detailed statement of finances in order to establish a fair and equitable payment plan with the M.E.P.

10. Keep detailed records of matters in your binder related to your court orders and maintenance account.

11. Keep your cool! The Maintenance Enforcement Program has a zero tolerance policy in relation to profanity, raised voices and threats of any type.

12. Implement your own Zero Tolerance policy. Audio record your conversations with M.E.P. employees. If you are a party to the conversations, you may supplement your notes electronically by means of the use of an audio recording device. Always get the identity of the person with whom you speak at the M.E.P. when you call them. They may provide their first name only. Ask them what department or other identity information they can provide.

If called by someone who states that they are calling from the M.E.P., ask them for their identity, position and call back information with extension number. If they refuse, hang up and write a letter to the director stating that someone called you who identified themselves as an M.E.P. employee and refused to be called back in order for you to verify that you were talking with an employee of the M.E.P. and not some collection agency or criminal seeking information to commit identity theft . Ask questions and if they are not answered directly or are avoided, state politely that your question wasn’t answered or wasn’t answered completely. Upon 3 requests, politely state that they have refused to provide a reasonable answer and ask for their supervisor or tell them you are terminating the call and hangup.

Then make a written complaint to the director. You deserve to be treated in the same manner that M.E.P. employees want to be treated. Send us a copy of your signed written complaint to the director about how you were treated.

13. Put it in writing. Provide your written position and written confirmations of telephone calls and meetings with the M.E.P. If they disagree with your summary of the facts stated in the conversation as provided in your letter, they can write you back and explain their position.

14. Periodically check the Maintenance Enforcement Program website for changes and current information. You are also able to access your account information there. Check it periodically, make sure a 25 dollar late fee isn’t compounding, and putting you into arrears.

15. Keep a log which should include info of all phone calls -the time, a name, and the details of each conversation.

16. We can’t give you legal advice, review the above actions and the full facts of your case with a lawyer who can provide you with legal information and advise you about varying court ordered child maintenance orders appropriately. Also see our Disclaimer

9 comments for “How to Survive the Alberta Maintenance Enforcement Program ( The M.E.P.)

  1. frustrated
    August 8, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I am continually harassed by calls from fmep employed collections, at one point 15 times in A day, even though I make regular payments and do have arrears. This has been happening for a year. Do I not have any rights or legal recourse to these actions?

    • frustrated
      August 8, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      Follow up post, forgot to check email box.

      • admin
        August 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

        15 times a day?

        Are they speaking directly to you, leaving voicemail or just hanging up and not leaving a message?

        What number do they call from?

        Take a look at:
        http://www.bchrcoalition.org/files/faq_Harassment.html

        • admin
          August 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm

          264. Criminal harassment

          264. (1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.

          Prohibited conduct

          (2) The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of

          (a) repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;

          (b) repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;

          (c) besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or

          (d) engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.

          Punishment

          (3) Every person who contravenes this section is guilty of

          (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or

          (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

          Factors to be considered

          (4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court imposing the sentence on the person shall consider as an aggravating factor that, at the time the offence was committed, the person contravened

          (a) the terms or conditions of an order made pursuant to section 161 or a recognizance entered into pursuant to section 810, 810.1 or 810.2; or

          (b) the terms or conditions of any other order or recognizance made or entered into under the common law or a provision of this or any other Act of Parliament or of a province that is similar in effect to an order or recognizance referred to in paragraph (a).

          Reasons

          (5) Where the court is satisfied of the existence of an aggravating factor referred to in subsection (4), but decides not to give effect to it for sentencing purposes, the court shall give reasons for its decision.

          R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 264; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 37; 1993, c. 45, s. 2; 1997, c. 16, s. 4, c. 17, s. 9; 2002, c. 13, s. 10.

          http://yourlaws.ca/criminal-code-canada/264-criminal-harassment

    • Nadine Close
      March 4, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      I find that incredible to hear. I am on the other end, I am owed over 30,000 dollars and the AB MEP shows me no action. My case sits with no action for 2 years and more than once. They will not state names when they answer the phone. They will not help me update my info so I can email them. The case was started in B.C however the AB MEP has been dealing…or shall I say doing NOTHING since 2007. The staff are rude and use the excuse that I need call B.C. If it is not a case in Alberta why do I have a case and file number since 2007, clearly they have time to call people and send a letter but no real action. They have long since past the steps they are supposed to follow and are not accountable nor proffesional. A joke. Do I have rites….I guess not. I have called the MLA and Priemer, I will continue to report the AB MEP until they are reviewed. Sounds like a staff meeting of the work guidelines and how to be helpful and respectful isin great need. If the above statement is true I think a course in time management would also be useful. Iam totally disgusted with AB MEP.

  2. allan chinnery
    April 9, 2015 at 11:47 am

    you know that 97 1/2 % of payors at alberta mep are male and has been for more than 30 yrs. you can try to take on these thugs but the bottem line is that the judges are under orders and you will never win. I fled to a jurisdiction that knows they are thieves and dosnt help them. Its the only way and don’t think for a minute this shakedown will stop behause its effectively a tax to pay for welfare bitches and the law society and the judges are paid very well for particiopating in these show trials that collect this money.

    • Nadine Close
      March 4, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      It has nothing to do with welfare…I think they take money if your on it…I am not and never have been. The AB MEP would try harder to collect for the welfare people I believe as they take it. It is simply this…if it takes more than a call, a fax, or a threat they do nothing. If a payor has a car, house or buisines…something, it is easy to collect. If it goes past the cubical they cannot be bothered. The steps and timelines are stated on the website and Alberta does have laws and procedure for the ones who do not pay. The issue is that if it is too much work they only have excuse. If it was taxes…example 30,000 more actually that I am owed do you really think no action would be taken alot faster….my case is going on 12 years so I am quite sure they can pursue a new plan of action. Google it..the program has many issues. New rules have been put in place just lately but it seems the staff do not care. I do not exspect to be payed, I exspect the program does what they are supposed to do.

  3. Mepscrewed my life
    January 22, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    The people at mep have no respect for father’s they are automatically are against you I have ex who falsely made my income 120 000 dollars net per year I was not serve by the court she gave them wrong address i got me convicted without me being present in court i have to pay 1770 a month when I am making 2400 month mep they me told to fill out the notice of accesment which I did nothing was done they took away my passport and going take my driver license and all my tax return gst I have the prove I never that amount i have hired lawyer all she done was take my money no results and my ex get free legal aid lawyers who prelong the court case my life is over I have a new family 3 children who are under five year old and my oldest son from my ex she get free housing from woman shelter she driving BMW she playing the system like a con artist men are a security class citizen of this country

  4. Mepscrewed my life
    January 22, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    I meant second class citizens of this country I wish I have never come to this shitty ass country we have no men left in this country who would take raw deal like this Alberta justice my ass

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