Child maintenance - blast from the past

CuriousGirl
CuriousGirl Posts: 86 Forumite
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edited 14 October 2023 at 8:52PM in Child support
................

Comments

  • jjj1980
    jjj1980 Posts: 577 Forumite
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    It is CMS who your husband needs to speak to, not his ex. Due to the age of the child in relation to this case, some or maybe even all of the money will be due to the state. CMS are reviewing old cases to try for recovery on as much of the outstanding money as possible.

    Your husband needs to call CMS back and ask for a breakdown of which years the arrears were accrued in. As the child is now an adult, the whole balance of £6k will be arrears, it may be that it’s the £1.3l which is owed to the state. Once he has the details of when the arrears accrued, he need to explain his current financial situation and come to an agreement with them for payment.
  • DUTR
    DUTR Posts: 12,958 Forumite
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    Sorry, is going to be a long post.

    Two days ago, out of the blue my husband received a scary worded letter from Child Maintenance department ordering urgently to pay them £6k with £1300 being in arrears and threatening to take him to court in case he doesn’t, sending bailiffs, repossessing our property, suspending his passport and driving licence and so on.

    [sob story snipped]

    Any opinions and advices are welcome, we are very stressed at the moment and I am very worried about my husband’s health.

    Was there a case open from the past?
    If not then the letter sounds like a scam.
    The 1st letter has the childs name and a booklet and a form to fill in.
  • jjj1980
    jjj1980 Posts: 577 Forumite
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    I have an active case with CMS and they regularly ask for my NI number, date of birth, my daughters full name and date of birth/age and my ex’s full name. Sounds like pretty standard security questions he was being asked.

    The number I use to call CMS is 0800 171 2345. Same number as on their website. https://childmaintenanceservice.direct.gov.uk/onlinerevive/public/contact-us-client

    It could very easily be that the letter is a scam but could just as easily be real with a very big risk of bailiffs turning up so worth being proactive in contacting CMS.
  • asdf1982
    asdf1982 Posts: 169 Forumite
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    The problem he's got no idea about the case being open or closed. I have read that even if she closed the case back then she could re-opent it,

    If she re-opened it, it was when the 27 year old was a child. I.e you cannot open a case for the past. This is money that's owed from a long time ago, the ex wife has not suddenly done this because he has a new job.

    That's if it's legit.
  • Your husband can make a right of access request.
    https://secure.dwp.gov.uk/personal-information-request/name

    However, your husband now has very limited options. He is vastly out of time to raise a mandatory reconsideration or appeal against any of the calculations made when the case was open. He won’t be able to ask them to recalculate now to take account of any information he didn’t give them at the time.

    Short of proving he has already paid the maintenance owed for the period the case was open or that the child in question wasn’t living with the mother for the time frame maintenance is being claimed, or the mother asking to write off this debt, he’s stuck with paying it.
    I often use a tablet to post, so sometimes my posts will have random letters inserted, or entirely the wrong word if autocorrect is trying to wind me up. Hopefully you'll still know what I mean.
  • Lady_S
    Lady_S Posts: 1,156 Forumite
    We had virtually the same letter from the CSA requesting a similar sum.

    When we got the breakdown it turns out it was from when they were living together and she hadn't closed the claim.

    Luckily we had documents which supported this, so, it all got cancelled.
  • I think you’ve probably shot yourself in the foot by telling her that. One of the enforcement options available to CMS is to obtain a charging order. They’d have to get a liability order first, but they can then apply for a charging order.

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/325228/if-you-dont-pay-child-maintenance.pdf
    I often use a tablet to post, so sometimes my posts will have random letters inserted, or entirely the wrong word if autocorrect is trying to wind me up. Hopefully you'll still know what I mean.
  • Comms69
    Comms69 Posts: 14,229 Forumite
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    This is all absolutely unf@ckingbelievable. I have bought the house, everything inside including furniture was mine, I pay our mortgage and all household bills. I have been studying for years to achieve a higher professional qualification and going through an immense stress to potentially increase my earnings, I have kindly offered my husband the 50:50 TIC split. And what is now? I am to lose everything due to that money grabbing b..ch ?



    A charging order does not mean the house is sold. It means the order is paid off when it is sold, or when it comes to inheritance.


    But that aside, offering a payment plan is your best bet
  • ZaSa1418
    ZaSa1418 Posts: 651 Forumite
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    Bringing up the old topic.

    Last year my husband did make a right of access request and received a massive pack of printed information. But he was so upset and angry to even look into it so it was left until now, when I eventually decided to have a look at it. 

    Last year after negotiations he was ordered to pay a bare minimum of £25 per week which he is now paying weekly. After looking through the info sent to us I found some shocking things.

    - the period the LO was referring is  July 2008 - March 2012 (when his daughter turned 19 and the liability stopped). It did not stop at the age of her 16 because her mother advised the CMS about her starting some college course. According to our data his daughter never finished the college and dropped it very soon but her mother never advised the CMS about that. So it looks like my husband's liability could be massively reduced and end well before 2012.

    - the calculation the CMS done is based on his average new income from his last employment in 2008 which he actually left in December 2008. In 2009 he spent a few months looking for jobs and receiving a job seeker allowance and then  he become self employed. Being a self employed he did not pay any income tax in 2009 - 2012 as his income was very low. So there is no way he would pay the £33 a week that they want him to pay.

    - my husband was completely unaware about the liability as at some point back to 2008 his wife said that she did not want the money and he naively believed he owed nothing. CMS never found him to advise him about the LO until last year when he was shocked to find about the £6000 to pay back.  There are no letters in the pack sent to us where they would chase him, no records about the addresses they would send them  and etc. whatsoever.

    So what can he do now ? As far as we understand (and a CMS lady confirmed yesterday ) that now it is too late for the case to be reviewed. But why on the earth he is to pay her money that he never earned and potentially was not entitled to pay as his ex lied about their daughter college. Any ideas welcome. 
     


    Was there a copy of the letter that advised him there was a case open against him in the start? Do you have any letters from them addressed to your husband in the pack?( apart from the recent ones in the last year or so) 
     If not my suggestion would be to contact them again asking for copies of the letters that were sent to him advising him there was a case opened for maintenance as they were not in his SAR. It is not too late for it to be reviewed if you can prove he has been treated unfairly because they didn't send the correct documents to let him know there was a case open against him. 
    Without him knowing there was a case he was unable to advise them that daughter had left college and the changes in his income over the years etc. 
    Always contact them in writing, send it signed for so you have proof they got it. 
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  • ZaSa1418
    ZaSa1418 Posts: 651 Forumite
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    ZaSa1418 said:
    Bringing up the old topic.

    Last year my husband did make a right of access request and received a massive pack of printed information. But he was so upset and angry to even look into it so it was left until now, when I eventually decided to have a look at it. 

    Last year after negotiations he was ordered to pay a bare minimum of £25 per week which he is now paying weekly. After looking through the info sent to us I found some shocking things.

    - the period the LO was referring is  July 2008 - March 2012 (when his daughter turned 19 and the liability stopped). It did not stop at the age of her 16 because her mother advised the CMS about her starting some college course. According to our data his daughter never finished the college and dropped it very soon but her mother never advised the CMS about that. So it looks like my husband's liability could be massively reduced and end well before 2012.

    - the calculation the CMS done is based on his average new income from his last employment in 2008 which he actually left in December 2008. In 2009 he spent a few months looking for jobs and receiving a job seeker allowance and then  he become self employed. Being a self employed he did not pay any income tax in 2009 - 2012 as his income was very low. So there is no way he would pay the £33 a week that they want him to pay.

    - my husband was completely unaware about the liability as at some point back to 2008 his wife said that she did not want the money and he naively believed he owed nothing. CMS never found him to advise him about the LO until last year when he was shocked to find about the £6000 to pay back.  There are no letters in the pack sent to us where they would chase him, no records about the addresses they would send them  and etc. whatsoever.

    So what can he do now ? As far as we understand (and a CMS lady confirmed yesterday ) that now it is too late for the case to be reviewed. But why on the earth he is to pay her money that he never earned and potentially was not entitled to pay as his ex lied about their daughter college. Any ideas welcome. 
     


    Was there a copy of the letter that advised him there was a case open against him in the start? Do you have any letters from them addressed to your husband in the pack?( apart from the recent ones in the last year or so) 
     If not my suggestion would be to contact them again asking for copies of the letters that were sent to him advising him there was a case opened for maintenance as they were not in his SAR. It is not too late for it to be reviewed if you can prove he has been treated unfairly because they didn't send the correct documents to let him know there was a case open against him. 
    Without him knowing there was a case he was unable to advise them that daughter had left college and the changes in his income over the years etc. 
    Always contact them in writing, send it signed for so you have proof they got it. 
    Many thanks for your response.

    No there was no letters advised him about the case. There are only commutations about what they were been told but not a single letter addressed to him. He had changed his addresses within the period of time the LO refers and theoretically they might have been sent to one of his old addresses. Moreover, in the pack there is a  letter  dated back 2010 but with our previous address where he and I lived in 2018! It is very strange as over the phone they mentioned that a letter was sent to our previous address in 2018 but we have never received it . Looks like someone tried to manually update their records to demonstrate that they made attempts to find him.

    We will follow your advice and ask for copies of the letters that were sent to him advising him there was a case open against him. In the meantime we are waiting for this employments income records from HMRC . I have done some approximate calculations  and they show that  the real sum he owes could be below £2000 or less. 
    If there are no letters at all i am pretty sure unless they can prove he was contacted at an address he lived or previously lived at then they can not chase him for it and it gets written off.  There is a group on facebook called csahell, have a look for it and explain the situation over there and they will probably have a huge ton of advice and letter templates for this situation.
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