HUNTINGTON BEACH — Bankruptcy jitters hit at least one county child support recipient Thursday, when a branch of American Savings Bank refused to accept her county check drawn on Union Bank.
After a flurry of calls verifying that child support funds were not frozen, the bank agreed to accept the $200 deposit from Nancy Schwartz of Westminster.
"If my bank's making this mistake, I'm wondering if other banks are doing the same things," Schwartz said.
Schwartz, 37, said that Thursday she went to the branch on Edinger Avenue, where she has banked for 20 years, and tried to cash her check.
"The bank said they no longer honor Orange County checks," Schwartz said. "They said they had three other child support checks come in today and they bounced. I was so shocked."
Officials of American Savings wouldn't comment on whether other checks had bounced.
After repeated inquiries from Schwartz and a discussion with Union Bank, American Savings agreed to accept the deposit.
"It sounds like it was a misunderstanding," said Dianne Seeber, a spokeswoman for American Savings.
The misunderstanding apparently stemmed from a brief period Tuesday morning when Union Bank froze the child support funds, according to Assistant Dist. Atty. Wallace Wade.
"For about an hour, there was indication there would be some sort of a problem," Wade said.
Since then, Wade said, "there's absolutely no problems on child support checks going out or being cashed."
A spokesman for Union Bank in Orange, who asked not to be identified, said "We've been cashing the checks all day. There's no problem with them."
The county receives 23,000 child support payments per month, some of it from garnisheed wages, said Jan Sturla, supervising deputy district attorney for the family support division. The county issues almost 4,000 checks a week.