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CSA Arrears calculated wrong
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# 1
dave25152626
Old 10-09-2008, 8:05 PM
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Unhappy CSA Arrears calculated wrong

Hi

I received a bill from the csa for the sum of £5257.65 back in April this year. I had split with my ex partner who i had 3 children with in February last year and was contacted by CSA first of all
in the September last year but pay her money each month and have the receipts for the payments! I spoke to someone on the phone and told them that i had a change of circumstances and that i needed forms to fill
out so that the amounts could be recalculated. I received nothing until the letter dated in April. The problem
with the arrears is that it was based on my Army wages when i was serving with the Armed Forces. I was discharged from the Army May 2007. I was unemployed for the month of JUne and then worked
with an employment agency for a few months until i found employment with my present employer in September 07.
I have sent the CSA all my discharge papers, P60 for the year and everything else they asked for so that they could re-assess my case.
I received not one reply until July 2008 stating that a deduction from earnings was in force and that a total of 500 pounds was being
taken out of my wages due to come out in October 2008. I have since sent an appeal form to the Birmingham Appeal Centre and also completed the variation form
they finally sent me. I again contacted them after a couple of months with no word on 10/9/08 to see what was happening and re-faxed all my documentation. I was informed that the calculation for both
the amount i have to pay a month and a re-assessment on the arrears was being processed however certain things i included were not being taken into account.
This included the expenditure i incurred just to visit my children as they live in Suffolk and i live in Kent. Also not included is the expenditure that i incurred having my children for a week
in the school holidays where my current partner, our new born son (who was born in Feb this year) and my children all stayed at a holiday camp which cost me £456 just for the week not including the
expenditure on food for the week and the expenditure for the outings when i visit my children. I have also purchased clothes for my children as their mother seems to be more interested in buying
alcohol rather than clothes! All this i was told will not be taken into account - they basically hinted that i was probably better off not visiting my children at all!
I would like to know if there is any way of stopping this deduction from earnings as the amount specified is inacurate anyways...they are reassessing it all so therefore how can they take money i probably dont even owe??!!

Many thanks
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# 2
Caz3121
Old 10-09-2008, 8:43 PM
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They will not take these in to consideration and will expect maintenance to be 25% of your net income for the 3 children although they should first deduct 15% for your new child
eg £240 net oncome - £36 = £204 assessable x 25% = £51
If you have your children staying overnight with you more than 52 nights of the year then this gets reduced by 1/7th (2/7th for 104 nights etc) If you do not quailify for this then you may be able to get a variation for travel costs (although this is not great as I believe they take the full amount off the assessable income so you only actually 'save' 25% of it)

We have a similar problem with my partners ex - he pays her £475 per month maintenance and (according to the children both teens) she spends it only on herself and is constantly drunk - he spends £200 per month in addition for travel and used to have to take them clothes shopping, school uniform etc on top (however this has now stopped as we tallied up his debt acrued since they split and at £22k it is now maintenance and not a penny more - it is hard to do but she is in a better financial position than us although she will always plead poverty)

I doubt you will get anything like the kids club included (we saved for 8 months to take his 2 away for a week and their mother didn't even give them a fiver spending money - plus insisted he pay for holiday clothes as he was the one taking them away + new passports etc)

What you will pay in maintenance is not the cost of bringing up children but a contribution to it. The %s are pretty straight cut so your main argument is if any of the calculations are incorrect eg. no discount for 52 nights stay or no deduction for your new child or they have not accounted for the payments you have already made directly
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# 3
dave25152626
Old 10-09-2008, 9:54 PM
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Hi

thanks for the info.....i dont mind so much buying the things they need its the fact that they are taking money out of my wages BEFORE they have sorted out how much i do need to pay....surely this is not legal???
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# 4
jpmummy
Old 10-09-2008, 10:28 PM
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It shouldn't be legal, but they appear to have the law on their side to deduct ANY amount from your wages in the name of child support.
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# 5
dave25152626
Old 10-09-2008, 11:16 PM
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How can that be?? I have scanned through the Childrens Act on this and in sec 33 i think it states: Power to write off arrears After section 41D of the Child Support Act 1991 (c. 48) (inserted by section 32 of this Act) insert—
“41E Power to write off arrears (1) The Commission may extinguish liability in respect of arrears of child support maintenance if it appears to it—
(a) that the circumstances of the case are of a description specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State, and
(b) that it would be unfair or otherwise inappropriate to enforce liability in respect of the arrears.
(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision with respect to the exercise of the power under subsection (1).”

Apparently i can apply to a magistrates to make this happen is this true?? I also had a look at some specialist lawyer sites stating that they removed the order from a few clients in a matter of weeks...do they also apply to a magistrate in the same way on your behalf??
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# 6
jpmummy
Old 11-09-2008, 7:30 AM
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I have no idea - they have been deducting approx 150 too much each month for the past 4 months for us and blame system gliches? I have complained in writing and they don't have the decency to reply in writing, they have told me it's the employers fault! which is rubbish because it's their DEO order. I'm totally cheesed with the whole system. Dudley CSA need sacking imho I feel like naming and shaming the people involved.
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# 7
dave25152626
Old 11-09-2008, 8:18 PM
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I contacted some web site called dead beat dads and they tol me:

First of all contact your employer and tell them to remove the DEO because it does state in the Child Support Act under section 32 subsection c

(c) requiring an order to specify the amount or amounts to which the order relates and the amount or amounts which are to be deducted from the liable person's earnings in order to meet his liabilities under the maintenance assessment in question;
You can bet the CSA have not proven to your employer that you are a Liable person, I wonder if the CSA have provided marriage and birth certificates to prove you are the father to the said Child/ren. Inform you employer of this and also state to them that you are disputing parentage and unless the CSA have provided proof that you are the Liable person then they have no reason to comply with the DEO.
( I am having this argument with my employer at the moment) and the CSA are abusing this law and trying to say if we give you a DEO you have to abide by it, NOT TRUE my friend)

I told my employer this and they are in the process of now removing the DEO!!
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# 8
Kimitatsu
Old 11-09-2008, 10:48 PM
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Your employer cannot remove your DEO otherwise they are also liable to prosecution as well as you!

They cantrace your children through the Chikld Benefit System so do not need to ask for marriage certificates nor birth certificates, like most people your children already have an electronic trail through the benefit system.

Unless you have your children for 52 weeks of the year you do not get a reduction for shared care for the nights that you have them. You can apply for a variation due to the high amount of travel to see your children providing it is more than 150 miles for the round trip.

Any clothing etc or holidays that you choose to take them on are not taken into account for child maintenance calculations. You pay child maintenance to the PWC to provide these things, if she chooses not to then it is up to you whether you choose to contribute further.

The CSA does not need to go to court to issue a DEO, they can supply one direct to your employer, unless you told the CSA when you left the army of your change of circumstance by a recordable method, then the re-assessment will only apply from the time they recieved your paperwork.

They can take up to 40% of your net income to include maintenance and arrears, and whilst you are disputing the figures they are concerned with ensuring that your children get what they feel is due to them (whatever the validity of that is). I would write to them asking for a breakdown of the arrears and from when they are re-calculating your arrears, and take it from there.

I would not let your employer cancel the DEO though as you could potentially find yourself out of a job if your employer is sued for breaching the DEO.
Free/impartial debt advice: Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) | National Debtline | Find your local CAB
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# 9
dave25152626
Old 12-09-2008, 12:53 PM
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So even though i have spoken to them and they are now re calculating the arrears AND the amount i have to pay i still have to hand money over to them without them being right?? How can that be legal??!! If they are not 100% right with the figures does that not constitue fraud????!!!! I have also read in the Childrens Act that an appeal can be made to a Magistrates to remove the DOE on this basis...is that correct?? Im guessing that my only option now is to contact a solicitor that deals with CSA cases and see what they say! Apparently i can also appeal to the Secretary of State is that also the case??
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# 10
Donedoingdebt
Old 12-09-2008, 3:42 PM
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Be wary about going down the legal route as it could end up costing you far more in the long run.
The way the CSA works can be very frustrating, especially when you feel they're in the wrong.
If they're reassessing your case at the moment, then it shouldn't take them too long now to get it sorted.
If it turns out that you have made an overpayment, then it should be returned to you, usually within 2 to 3 months.
This may not be the ideal system. However, at the end of the day, the CSA will take what they feel is the correct amount & you will only add to your stress & any expense incurred by you using Lawyers will be on top of your CM payments.
Donedoingdebt Lightbulb moment January 2000. Debt at highest approx £102,000. Debt now (October 2009 - absolutely fork all!!!)
CSA case closed on 02/09/10
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