Over £4000 refund from CMS.

in Child Support
8 replies 610 views
Wardster90Wardster90 Forumite
4 Posts
First Post
Newbie
Hi, I recently received a letter from the child maintenance service advising me to call them regarding a possible refund for being overcharged, I have always used the collect and pay service they provide with a deduction from earnings order placed on my employer to ensure the money is taken straight from my wages. I had it set up this way because her mother doesn't want to know me and has always kept me away from my daughter but even so I feel it is only right I pay for her as should all father's regardless of the situation. Basically I called them up and actually got a rather nice advisor for a change who looked into this for me and it turns out I've overpayed about £4000! (Shocking I know) anyway, after they told me the amount they have taken my numbers (I gave them my works number too as I'm not missing that phone call should it be decided they have to pay me the money back someway, somehow.) He said he cannot authorise a refund that large and wasn't sure so he has had to I think escalate it to someone higher or pass it on to a department that would sort this kind of issue within the child maintenance service. I just don't understand how I could have been overpaying for so long and it's got to that amount before they flagged it and told me about it, as stated above I've always had the payments go to my daughter's mother straight out of my wages through cms's collect and pay service so I didn't miss it and I could finance my own life with what was left out of my wages. The only thing I can think of I that I was in arrears with the CMS a few years back and had to arrange (if I remember rightly) a payment plan out of my DEO on my wages to catch them up and pay them off. Is there a possibility that they never struck that off when it was paid back and kept charging me for arrears that in theory shouldn't exist anymore? I guess what I'm here to ask is, how likely am I to actually receive this refund? Reason being is I've seen many tales about the ineptitude of the CMS at times and wonder if I'm going to end up being screwed over. Would I now need to seek legal help? How likely is it they will make my daughter's mum pay it back? Is it a case of she would have received overpayments to catch up with the arrears on what was owed to her and she should have stopped it? Is it the CMS fault as they should have been on top of the case beings as they were left to handle it for simplicity due to the fact me and the mother don't speak and would never have been able to set up direct pay or work it out between us? 

Any advice or help in this matter Will be gratefully received and greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Replies

  • ZaSa1418ZaSa1418 Forumite
    590 Posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Do you have it in writing that there has been an overpayment? How old is your daughter? If her mum has been paid then they may lower her maintenance to recoup the overpayment if they are allowed as it seems like a CMS error and not a case of someone not reporting a change etc.
    LBM Debt Total : £48,326.50

    Pay All Your Debt Off By Xmas 2022 - #9  £8,884.36 / £15,000.00
    Saving For Christmas 2022 - £1 a day challenge - #6 £636/£1095.00
  • Wardster90Wardster90 Forumite
    4 Posts
    First Post
    Newbie
    I have a downloaded PDF file from the message they sent me on the online service, it is an official letter signed by a member of the CMS requesting I get in contact with them regarding an overpayment and possible refund. My daughter is 12 years old. I have done some research and as far as I can tell if there are no arrears or a way they can offset the overpayment into future payments they have to pay it back? 

    Thank you for your reply.
  • ZaSa1418ZaSa1418 Forumite
    590 Posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Forumite
    I have a downloaded PDF file from the message they sent me on the online service, it is an official letter signed by a member of the CMS requesting I get in contact with them regarding an overpayment and possible refund. My daughter is 12 years old. I have done some research and as far as I can tell if there are no arrears or a way they can offset the overpayment into future payments they have to pay it back? 

    Thank you for your reply.
    hopefully the CMS are just dotting their i's and crossing their t's before they can pay you the overpayment, keep an eye on your online account (if you have one) and give them a couple of weeks and see if they get back to you. If not contact them once a week for an update and ideally find out who it has been referred to.
    LBM Debt Total : £48,326.50

    Pay All Your Debt Off By Xmas 2022 - #9  £8,884.36 / £15,000.00
    Saving For Christmas 2022 - £1 a day challenge - #6 £636/£1095.00
  • Wardster90Wardster90 Forumite
    4 Posts
    First Post
    Newbie
    From the general gist of the call it certainly seems like they're giving it a thorough go through so we will see no doubt. I do use the online CMS system so I will be sure to check daily, they did say they will call back although I'm not holding out for a call from what I've researched, definitely will give it a couple of weeks and then I will be on them like gum on a shoe. Thanks for your help.
  • tightauldgittightauldgit Forumite
    206 Posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    If they've admitted an error and overpayment then you should definitely get it back. They probably will attempt to recover it from the recipient one way or another whether they are successful in that will depend on circumstances I would imagine but if its definitely a CMS error then I don't think there is any way they can wriggle out of refunding you.  
  • PeppaCoinPeppaCoin Forumite
    141 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    Forumite
    I hope you get your refund, but it seems very unfortunate if the mother has to make large repayments, and/or the daughter suffer financially if the mistake was made at the hands of the CMS.

    The mother will rightly have taken the payments sent to her. As you have no relationship, she obviously wouldn't know enough about you / your salary etc to judge that the payments were too high. What an unfortunate situation for them.
  • Wardster90Wardster90 Forumite
    4 Posts
    First Post
    Newbie
    Thanks, I really hope that she can prove that she is unable to repay and the CMS do the honourable thing, put their hands up, admit their faults, see if they can work out smaller payments my end in some form of credit so that so much isn't deducted from my earnings until it's made right and/or seek funding from the government or their claims/compensation team to pay it back.

    I will of course still be making payments based off of my salary as I have many years left to keep providing my end of the deal and of course this was all agreed with the CMS so that she will never have to go without. I just cannot believe that such a giant f*** up has caused pain on both sides.

    Her mum doesn't know it and God help me I have really tried tracking her down but it's like trying to catch fog, I have done everything to try and provide something I never had growing up for my daughter, I own my own house, I have a high paying supervisor salary, a fiancé that would care for her like her own child if given the chance, got the original arrears caught up and then never missed a payment, I could really be an asset to them if she wasn't holding onto the past but maybe and hopefully in time she will see that even the worst of people can turn their life around.

    I can't pin any blame on her mother she was just doing what she thought was right and doing her best to raise our child, with or without my help, if anything I respect her regardless of if we see eye to eye or not. I agree with you it's a really unfortunate situation for them but they should be just as furious with the CMS as I am for the screw up and not me, I was only following up something as requested.
  • edited 26 May at 10:29AM
    TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
    10.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 26 May at 10:29AM
    My guess will be that they will adjust your future payments to offset the overpayment, so rather than your ex having to pay back £4,000 in a lump sum they will adjust so you pay less / nothing until it is accounted for, in the same way that if you had underpaid they would take the arraers over a period of time 

    I would be very surprised if they did not claw it back from her, particualrly given that yourdaughter is only 12 so there is another 6 years over which to do so .

    I think it would then be for her, rather than you, to make a formal compalint if she felt that that was unreasonable.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest News and Guides