Interest & Default Fee
Under BC law BCFMA can charge interest and default fees when payments are late or missed.
Interest is collected on late payments and arrears.
- calculated and applied daily
- currently 6.95 per cent
- forwarded to the recipient
Interest may not be charged by BCFMA if:
- the payor is on income assistance in BC
- the payor is outside BC and the order is registered in another maintenance program
Note: If the order sets an interest rate, BCFMA will calculate interest at that rate.
A default fee is a penalty charged if a payor misses two or more support payments in a calendar year. The fee is equal to one month’s support payment to a maximum of $400. It goes to the B.C. government, not to the recipient, to help the government pay the costs of operating this Agency.
Before taking this action, we will:
- Send the payor a Notice of Intention to charge the default fee after the first missed payment
- Allow 30 days to dispute the Notice of Intention if the payor believes our records are incorrect
Once applied, the payor will receive a default fee certificate saying the payor now owes the default fee in addition to their ongoing support payments.
Are there situations when the default fee will not be charged?
We may charge the default fee when a payor defaults twice or more in one year, even if the payor’s financial situation has changed. However, we will make an exception if we determine that:
- The payor made the payment on time
- The payor’s cheque was returned NSF (non-sufficient funds) due to a bank error
- On the date the payment was due, the payor was receiving income assistance
- The court order or agreement requiring the payor to make support payments ended, or was changed to a different amount and/or a different due date
Review the Default Fee
A payor can ask us to review the Notice of Intention issued and/or a default fee charged by completing a Default Fee Request for Review Form (PDF 170 KB. We will inform the payor of the results of our review.
Paying the Default Fee
A default fee can be paid by using online banking or cheque.
Any payment received by BCFMA will be used to first pay support owed to the recipient before going towards the default fee.
If a default fee is not paid we may consider collection action.
Recipient withdraws from BCFMA
If the payor still owes default fees when the recipient withdraws from BCFMA, the payor will remain enrolled until those default fees are paid.