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CSA debt over 6 years can't be enforced?
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# 1
chickalittle
Old 18-04-2007, 8:26 AM
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Default CSA debt over 6 years can't be enforced?

Hi

Hopefully somebody can confirm this. I have nearly 3k outstanding maintenance that the CSA was collecting at the minimum amount of 5 per week as my ex went self employed and only declares minimum income. My ex ceased the payments last September and after chasing up with the CSA- I have been told that they can take no enforcement action against him for this amount as the debt originated from 6 years ago. It would appear my ex paid the minimum - waited the 6 years and is then able to simply walk away.

This just seems so unfair - the children and the cost of raising the children doesn't go away!

I was told that the CSA is bound by the creditors act or something?

Is that it for me and this money?
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# 2
aMeLia'S~MuMMY
Old 18-04-2007, 4:11 PM
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From what I am led to believe it is true that this debt (over 6 years) is unenforcable, however the CSA can still attempt to collect the debt via making an agreement with your ex partner or putting a DEO on in order to collect it, however enforcement action cannot be taken.

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# 3
okra
Old 18-04-2007, 4:43 PM
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I don't think that's right. Are you referring to the Limitations Act? There's more on this here http://www.payplan.com/debt-library/...n-act-1980.php but basically, it means that a debt cannot be enforced after 6 years from default so long as certain conditions are met. These are that a CCJ hasn't been obtained, no payments have been made, and the debt hasn't been acknowledged in writing in those 6 years. Clearly, since he only stopped payment in September, this doesn't apply to him.

I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're referring to, but if it helps, my ex took longer than 6 years to pay his arrears and the arrears were always enforced, every time he defaulted on them.

Edited to say; I just re-read and my heart sunk for you. You mean that he paid the £5 a week towards maintenance and nothing towards the arrears for 6 years? If that's the case, I think they're right as far as the Limitations Act goes. It surprises me that they would allow it to happen though. I'm really sorry. I hope someone who knows more can give you the definitive answer

Last edited by okra; 18-04-2007 at 4:46 PM.
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# 4
kelloggs36
Old 18-04-2007, 5:07 PM
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If the CSA failed to take any enforcement action for 6 years i would be kicking up a great big stink via my MP and asking for compensation. They need to get the ball rolling and take legal action within the 6 years of the debt clocking up.
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# 5
chickalittle
Old 18-04-2007, 5:36 PM
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thanks for the replies - Okra - no my ex doesn't pay any current maintenance. It was clear from his actions of giving up his well paid job to go s/e that I would struggle to get anything from him and the CSA is just useless. The £5 a week was off arrears built up prior to him going s/e and was the minimum amount because he stated he had minmimal income ( as he was just starting out etc he had no accounts to show otherwise)

The £5 is off his total arrears and now that 6 years has passed he has simply stopped paying it and now I am being told that no enforcement action can be taken. ( and as he's self employed a DEO isn't possible)
Amelia'smummy - whilst you're right - the CSA can continue to TRY and continue to collect the debt - but from what I have been told, if my ex ignores them they have no powers to take it any further - a fact I'm sure my ex is well aware of.

It's just not right is it? I feel that maintenance debt is different to defaulting on a loan or card or something - and it's just yet another loophole for absent parents to use to try and wriggle out of their responsibility to provide for their children.
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# 6
okra
Old 18-04-2007, 6:53 PM
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If he's paid towards the debt over the last 6 years, then the Limitations Act isn't applicable. The debt should be enforceable?

I agree about the CSA not having enforced it. If they have genuinely let it ride, to the point where the NRP has basically been released from his debts, I'd be livid.
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# 7
kelloggs36
Old 18-04-2007, 9:29 PM
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I thought that only if the debt had not been acknowledged in the last 6 yrs then it is statute barred, so each time he makes a payment it resets the clock as he acknowledges that debt?
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# 8
chickalittle
Old 18-04-2007, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okra View Post
If he's paid towards the debt over the last 6 years, then the Limitations Act isn't applicable. The debt should be enforceable?

I agree about the CSA not having enforced it. If they have genuinely let it ride, to the point where the NRP has basically been released from his debts, I'd be livid.
Yes & I had a look at the link you gave earlier (thx very much by the way) and it would appear Okra that what you say is correct - in which case - why is the CSA telling me something different? Is this a case of them trying to pull the wool to save the time/money & hassle of going for enforcement? I know compared to what some people are owed it is small fry but it still means a lot to me.

As I have a complaint in at the CEO's office regarding this and the person dealing with it is meant to call me next week with a "resolution" plan I will definitely be raising this point and why the discrepency.
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# 9
kelloggs36
Old 18-04-2007, 11:18 PM
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Let us know how it goes.
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# 10
chickalittle
Old 19-04-2007, 11:06 AM
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well - I have trawled thru the CSA website and looks like I AM going to lose out... This is what is says.

"However, the parent with care should be advised that the debt is only enforceable with the courts within six years of when the maintenance became due or within six years of a Liability Order being granted."

and

"The ‘became due’ date is now confirmed as that date on which the Non Resident Parent is notified of the liability" -

So a nice little loophole for some.....
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# 11
aMeLia'S~MuMMY
Old 19-04-2007, 6:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickalittle View Post
Amelia'smummy - whilst you're right - the CSA can continue to TRY and continue to collect the debt - but from what I have been told, if my ex ignores them they have no powers to take it any further - a fact I'm sure my ex is well aware of.
Didn't realise that he was still self employed ( ), so the CSA can make as many agreements they like with him but without being able to DEO they have very little power. Sorry I could not be of more help

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# 12
kathya
Old 19-04-2007, 6:44 PM
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hi I am in exactly the same situation as you, my kids have never had any maintenance my ex husband has a lavish life style surprise surprise and is self employed. Can someone please tell me how I am supposed to deal with this as I have to bring the kids up with no financial help. why dont the government do something about this. I have been told that I can cancel the current assessment and ask to be put on the new scheme. It takes 13 weeks and by all accounts they can get an assement based on his net income. can someone enlighten me please.

Thanks
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# 13
chickalittle
Old 19-04-2007, 7:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathya View Post
hi I am in exactly the same situation as you, my kids have never had any maintenance my ex husband has a lavish life style surprise surprise and is self employed. Can someone please tell me how I am supposed to deal with this as I have to bring the kids up with no financial help. why dont the government do something about this. I have been told that I can cancel the current assessment and ask to be put on the new scheme. It takes 13 weeks and by all accounts they can get an assement based on his net income. can someone enlighten me please.

Thanks
I am not sure what you would gain by going on the new system - the bottom line is as a self employed person, he can "hide" his true income and regardless of what the CSA assess - they seem to do nothing about trying to ensure any payment. I had closed my original assessment some years ago and actually applied under the new scheme rules but it's getting me nowhere so I'm afraid I can't give you any positive advice.

I am disappointed and V annoyed that all this debt is just going to be "forgotten" because it is past the 6 year date. That gives any absent parent a great loophole, especially the S/E as they can "agree" to make minimum payments, make the payements for 6 years and walk away safe in the knowledge that no action will be taken. Great isn't it?
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# 14
kelloggs36
Old 19-04-2007, 8:41 PM
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I had the same problem with my ex being SE although they did get liability orders etc on him, but it took a lot of fighting to get a proper assessment as my first assessment was nil due to a builder earning 140 pounds per week net. I laughed i nearly peed my pants! He earns that in a DAY. I had to get a Departure (now called Variation) on lifestyle inconsistent with declared income but the burden of proof is on the PWC which is unrealistic in most cases; it should be down to the CSA to investigate as they do have more powers now, more than the PWC does!
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# 15
chickalittle
Old 19-04-2007, 9:09 PM
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kelloggs 36 - my ex works in the construction industry too as a qualified tradesman and according to his tax returns earns less than £90 pw!!!
What can you do? You have to laugh as it's just so pathetic.
He claims his new partner is on a decent salary circa £25k ( which I believe is true ) and therefore puts down their standard of living to her income and tells the kids that too. I think it would be pretty difficult for me to get a variation on that basis.
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# 16
kelloggs36
Old 19-04-2007, 9:40 PM
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Mmmm. Mine was too stupid to admit that his wife was working, so he told the CSA that she wasn't, which went against him as the Tribunal had to put all their outgoings to him and his huge mortgage which he had just secured, although in both names, was supposedly from his income only.
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# 17
chickalittle
Old 19-04-2007, 9:45 PM
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well - good that you managed to get something Kellogs36. I honestly expect zilch - so if it happens that will be a bonus but I am SERIOUSLY hacked off at losing out on the arrears owed to me. Wish there was something I could do on that one.........
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# 18
kelloggs36
Old 20-04-2007, 10:48 AM
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Go to your MP and kick up a big stink and ask for compensation. You can claim loss of the maintenance that would be due but for their failure to act on time. Do it!!!!!
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# 19
chickalittle
Old 20-04-2007, 6:04 PM
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do you know Kelloggs36 - I might just do that. I have been thinking about it and it's pretty clear that the CSA have never done what they term as a "regular" review of the payments he was making on his arrears. Maybe if they had they could have agreed a higher amount.
It seems to me a crazy state of affairs when the statute of limitations would allow action to be taken to put a liability order in place but the CSA's own regulations don't - there seems to be something very wrong somewhere. Although I think that's true of much of the CSA sadly......
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# 20
kathya
Old 02-05-2007, 2:40 PM
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Hi I spoke to my solicitor a few days ago re the csa and she has just been to a workshop about maintenance assessments. She has told me that everyone that has been fobbed off by these assessments and livestyle inconsistent of earnings has a right to request a tribuneral. By all accounts the csa then get their act together before the hearing. Dont know if it works but I am going to try, she said as long as you can clearly show his lifestyle is completely different to what he declares and with evidence then there is a chance to get a new assessment and the arrears.
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