Americana: Plastic Alimony

Give those folks in Westchester credit. The social services department in the New York City suburb is responsible for collecting alimony and child support from about 6,000 people, but nearly 2,500 are behind in their payments. So the department decided to give credit where cash was due. Westchester last week became the first county in the nation to accept credit card payments for alimony and child support. "All the world pays in plastic, so why not do it with child support?" asks Phyllis Hartstein, assistant social services commissioner.

Hartstein felt that transactions were needlessly complicated by the requirement that payment be made...

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