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  • FIRST POST
    • Gavin78
    • By Gavin78 28th Jul 17, 12:44 AM
    • 200Posts
    • 49Thanks
    Gavin78
    CSA help
    • #1
    • 28th Jul 17, 12:44 AM
    CSA help 28th Jul 17 at 12:44 AM
    I've posted this on another forum and been given some advice to contact them with a SAR request. I'm posting here looking to see if there is any alternative help/advice.

    I took myself to CSA as my ex was being funny with payments, in 2007 I started working I informed CSA who calculated my payments at £30 a week from a deducations of earning order.

    2007 I also started paying another debt back for £20 a month through my wage about the same time CSA were taking the money as well.

    2013 I moved into a new house I informed CSA

    2017 April wages updated their systems with new software and wage slips were a little different inc the £20 debt which now said £20 court order. Did pay much notice too it and went on holiday for a week just after getting the wage slip.

    2017 April come back from holiday see a letter waiting for me from CSA to say it was changing to CMS in september.

    Found it a little confusing so rang payroll to enquire if they new anything about it and they didn't as yet. I asked about the £20 debt as to how much was left to pay and it was at that point she said what debt the £20 is CSA payments.

    I said well it should be £30 a week and I assumed it came off my wage before I got paid. So she said they can only pay what they have been asked to pay and £20 a month was the order.

    I nearly died at that point 10 years have passed. She couldn't offer anymore advice other than to contact CSA themselves.

    I'm scared to contact them I've estimated the debt to be about 18k-21k.

    My wife lost her job last year hasn't got back in work yet and as a result put us 22k in debt which I pay back through stepchange debt charity at £269 a month

    I get 1,250-£1300 a month. I've worked out that just on my wage there is about £140 a month left to buy food and that is for 3 adults and a 3 year old my stepson is 23 but still at home and Uni.

    WTF am I going to do about this mess. I'm in a council house so wont lose the house but I could lose everything we own. we have a car if we lose that I can't even get my daughter (who I have with my now wife) to nursery which free's my wife up to work hopefully (once schools open again september and jobs come back up)

    I don't understand why CSA haven't contacted me when the payments were wrong (or my ex) who I haven't spoken to for since 2003

    It's so bad at the min all the debts are in my name inc CSA 40k+ that ending it all has been floating in my mind there wont be any burden on the rest of the family it will all die with me.
Page 2
    • jimd-f
    • By jimd-f 15th Oct 17, 10:28 AM
    • 132 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    jimd-f
    ok. it looks like there may be some misunderstanding at your employer if they are making payments of £20 under a court order and sending this to CSA. payments to CSA should not show on your payslip as a court order because this is not what it is(unless they have actually taken you to court for non payment; and you would have been required to attend that hearing)
    it should show as a DEO to CSA. you need to get confirmation from your employer where this £20 is going
    you need to get an account breakdown from CSA to establish what exactly you have been paying them over the last few years.
    you should go through with the SAR request, you need to write in requesting this. they have 40 days to reply but you should not put off taking action re acc breakdown.
    going to your MP will not help at this stage, and may even delay getting this resolved as the specialist team that look after MP complaints have an even tighter guideline to reply, and you do not really have a specific complaint to get them to investigate, yet!
    CSA law is very complex and not all CAB offices, or even local solicitors, understand all aspects of this and they have been known to give misleading advice to the detriment of clients.
    i am not saying all the advice you will get on here will be perfect but there are members on here who do have some very specialised knowledge of how CSA/CMS work
    my advice,
    phone Stepchange and update them with your revised debt figures re CSA debt. they will work out revised payments for you which should leave you money to live on.they will also be able to offer some advice on how you move forward
    call CSA and get the account breakdown
    get SAR request in -there could well be some correspondence sent to your mothers address that you have not seen that could have effected your case

    while the CSA/CMS can take 40% of your pay this is unusual nowadays as they are trying to collect regular sustainable payments and the 40% rate is usually only for people with a history of non compliance- eg those that leave their jobs as soon as CSA catch up with them, or deliberately don't reply to letters/calls - or those who swear at or threaten staff.
    • Gavin78
    • By Gavin78 15th Oct 17, 1:40 PM
    • 200 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Gavin78
    Thanks for getting back to me.

    I've just noticed that when I log into my wage slips online. (new thing we can do recently)

    I can go back to my first ever wage when I started working.

    So this is what I have found out. January 2009 is when CSA first too a payment by DEO £241 - listed as court order on my wage slip.

    I have the letter they first sent me to say it was coming out of my wage at £30 a week however I was paying standing order at the time to them before the letter as I was arguing with them via letters that I wanted to pay them via standing order. eventually they gave in and sent a form.

    Out of the blue I got a letter as stated above that they were taking it from my wage Jan 2009 so they took a standing order payment and the £241 payment in the same month. I didn't recieve any letters to say they were going to court or for the opportunity for me to attend.

    I accepted it was coming out of my wage thought it was easier.

    (just to clarify having just noticed I can look back at wages slips I no longer have that far now is helping)

    About this time is when I hadn't actually moved in with partner I was a go between my mums, old address I was living at with my brother. CSA had my brothers address as a place of living.

    About this time (Jan 2009) is when the baliff came to my mums over a debt I owed as I had that as my address I moved to when I split from ex so banks and so forth had a place to send mail. by which I gave him details to take out of my wage.

    Me and my mum fell out we no longer talk and I move in with my brother. my mum left that house a long time ago. in any event that debt I stated with the credit card no longer exists in 2017 it's gone.

    In Feb and March (2009) CSA took another 2 payments of £130

    April 2009 payments of £21 started coming off my wage again this stated court order it was at this point I assumed it was the baliff had sorted stuff out with the court and they had gone along with what I had suggested as a payment plan

    In January 2010 the court order dropped to £20 which as I said I just assumed was the debt being paid back.

    Some where I must have not noticed CSA payments dropping down and I've had it in my head that it was already coming off my wage before I got paid.

    If I had known I would have chased it up. Eventually in about December 2015 the court order notice on my wage slip changed to attachement orders. nothing changed with payments though stayed at £20.

    (I hadn't noticed till today I could look at every wage slip since I started it's started to clear a few things up now)

    I did eventually write to CSA to change address from my brothers to my wife's address. I never heard anything from them or anything at my brothers address. we then moved in 2013 I wrote to them again with my new address details and again heard nothing but I did noticed it had been signed for.

    April 2017 is the first time CSA wrote to me in all these years to say it was changing to CMS hence me finding out that the £20 was CSA payments from my wage. Wages haven't been any help so I'm really confused looking back now how 3 payments came out £241 then x2 £130 then it dropped down to £21 and then a year later to £20 something has gone wrong.

    As you say I need to do a SAR but thank you for getting back to me in detail.
    • Gavin78
    • By Gavin78 15th Oct 17, 2:07 PM
    • 200 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Gavin78
    I sent you a PM also but unsure if you got it as it shows 0 sent messages in my PM box.
    • Gavin78
    • By Gavin78 18th Oct 17, 3:07 PM
    • 200 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Gavin78
    I deleted the old one update.

    I spoke to CSA today.

    Basically they took 3 payments between Jan-mar 2009 £241, £131 and £131

    There was then an order put in to drop it down to £21 a month and then from Jan 10 the same order was then dropped to £20 a month

    The CSA lady said she couldn't understand or find anything on the computer that suggests why it did that she's never seen anything like it and has no explanation for it.

    She said even the yearly statements I am supposed to get or any other letters haven't gone out either to me or my ex so the last time they spoke to her was 2006 until it went to CMS this year which she called them to ask about it.

    They said the only time they spoke to my ex as CSA was when they went to close the case and they calculated the arrears and asked if she wanted them paying back.

    Which she said yes.

    They said to me on the phone in this instance although it is going to CMS (the arrears) I can pay back what I want at a rate I can afford and will leave a note on the file.

    So what do I do at this point?
    Last edited by Gavin78; 19-10-2017 at 12:29 PM.
    • jimd-f
    • By jimd-f 26th Oct 17, 12:20 PM
    • 132 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    jimd-f
    speak to stepchange so that they include your CMS debt in their figures.
    call CMS back and make an offer to clear the arrears(£20 pm) in conjunction with what Stepchange advise.
    you could end up just paying a total figure that Stepchange calculate you can afford and Stepchange will renegotiate with your other creditors.
    the reason for your payments dropping could be because you had a short period on either sickness or the dole and CSA never put the payments back up when you restarted work
    • Gavin78
    • By Gavin78 28th Oct 17, 1:41 AM
    • 200 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Gavin78
    Thanks for getting back to me.

    I'm not sure you understand where I have been coming from.

    The arrears have come from CSA only taking £20 a month for 8 years from my wage when they should have been taking around £130-£150 a month

    This all started when they went for the DEO and it started coming out of my wage. There was an order put in to take £131 a month roughly or £30 a week but I was paid monthly.

    Something went wrong she said with only 3 large payments coming out of my wage at the start of 2009 which was Jan-mar 2009 £241, £131 and £131 she said it then dropped to £21 a month for a year then again to £20 a month the year after that.

    She doesn't know why this happened and couldn't explain at all. Any letters they send out or yearly statements didn't get sent out to me or my ex and when my wage goes up each year there was no assessment done either.

    She basically admitted it was their fault but said the 12k has to be paid back either way.

    Other than letting stepchange know my finance has changed I can't see them getting involved with CSA or CMS. I think this will be one for my MP and CAB

    CSA.Hell someone who runs the site has also asked me to get in contact with them for further advice.

    I have sent the SAR request off to them for all info they hold and wait for them to get back to me.
    • jimd-f
    • By jimd-f 28th Oct 17, 8:55 AM
    • 132 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    jimd-f
    i understand perfectly!
    did you have a period in 2009 where your wages stopped for any reason, or were reduced as that is the most logical reason for the drop in the DEO to £20pm.
    as you have always been paying something your case has just been left in abeyance, as it has presumably not got to the debt or enforcement departments,
    CSA would not look to do any changes to your case unless they were informed by you or your ex of a change of circumstances (unless you went on benefits) and would not do an annual review into your circumstances. it is your responsibility to make them aware of any changes.
    the fact that you were paying something every month, i suspect, meant that nobody at CSA bothered to look at your case in any great detail and so they were happy that the DEO just continued.
    the fact they made a mistake in not checking that the DEO was at the correct level does not alter the fact that you still owe the money that should have been paid to your ex and the arrears will not be reduced because they made this mistake.
    you could write to your MP and i would suggest that you will probably get a reply apologising for the mistake but pointing out that you did not contact them about the level of DEO payments being taken. you might if you are really lucky get a token payment of £25 as part of the apology.
    you should be careful about any advice you get from CAB as they are not experts on CSA law and you should double check any advice they give you before taking action on their advice. i know they do a good job normally in helping people but CSA law can be very complicated.
    Stepchange will probably not contact CSA directly to negotiate a payment plan for your arrears but once you have done this they will take these payments into account when assessing what you can pay your other debtors.
    • jimd-f
    • By jimd-f 28th Oct 17, 9:07 AM
    • 132 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    jimd-f
    having read your post and the reply on CSA.HELL i think you should be very careful of any advice given there as the tone of the reply seems to me to indicate that they are not very neutral in their opinion.
    i think you will get more accurate information on here as some posters here appear to be either current or ex employees of CSA or have a broader picture of what you can or cannot expect, although sometimes it may not be what you want to hear
    • Gavin78
    • By Gavin78 29th Oct 17, 12:17 AM
    • 200 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Gavin78
    Thanks,

    My wage has never stopped for any reason. I am in the dark as much as CSA as to why after the 3rd payment of £131 it dropped to £21 a month. I'm hoping once I have a copy of what they hold I can then contact my CAB and MP for further advice.

    It won't harm I suppose to try and get them to cancel the arrears (long shot I know but if you don't try you'll never know) I could ask for it to be halfed maybe.

    While I could or should have taken some blame for not checking with CSA in 8 years. The fact I assumed they were always taking the right amount should lay with them. I was paying by standing order before they ordered the DEO and I never missed a payment so was unsure at the time why they did what they did but accepted that it was easier.

    Cleary not as now I'm in this mess. My case to argue with them is that my ex never bothered to contact them since 2006 despite a drop in payments, CSA never bothered to check again when payments dropped and further down the line payments dropped again to £20 a month from £21 and nobody bothered to check.

    I know they can clear arrears and I know I probably have more chance of winning the lottery but I will at least try and if they won't then perhaps I can use their mistake to at least leverage payments I can afford.

    The Sar request might not even get there yet the only address they gave me didn't have a post code and the debt is being transfered to CMS now so whatever they agreed on the phone which was pretty much nothing I will now have to deal with them.

    They plan was pay what I can afford each month as long as something is paid to start clearing the arrears. A note was supposed to have been left on the computer.

    Turns out the only note that was left was that I called them that was it.

    As it stands at the moment I will take any advice onboard and judge the good from the bad. So far other than you Jimd-F I haven't been given any advice other than to send a SAR request in.

    I might not need my MP if CMS are fair with payments if I have to pay it back.
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