Cagger since : Jun 2009
Posts : 13 (0.01 post per day)
CSA arrears, Marstons. Advice kindly requested
I've a right old situation here. I have CSA arrears of c.£6,000, a Liability Order has been granted and I've got Marstons on my back. I had no notification that the bailiff would visit, but he did 2 weeks ago. I didn't let him in. He put a note through the door demanding full payment and that he would return in 5 days to remove my posessions. They haven't visited again since then, but I received a letter through the post today from them stating that they have authority from the court to remove my goods unless I pay in full - last chance, but no time limit.
The arrears is partly based on interim assessments and my ex (who won't let me see my daughter) has been recently busted for benefit fraud. She thought I shopped her, but I didn't even know about it. The fact she thinks I told the authorities is why she won't let me see my daughter. Following this accusation I notified CSA by email and they wrote to me saying it makes no difference and they are taking me to court. Which they did, and were granted the LO. I didn't attend, I have been so depressed about all this and I guess that is my only excuse as to why I didn't. Shortly after I received the LO through the post I emailed the CSA again requesting a copy of my file - this was ignored and then the bailiffs instructed.
My question is, if I persistently refuse the bailiffs entry into my house, will it return to the CSA and then to the court? If so, will I then have an opportunity to make a repayment offer to the court to pay the debt in affordable instalments? I understand Marstons won't look at affordable instalments? (I am just about to send my income and exp. details to the CSA - should I send to the bailiffs as well?). Or, will it just continue with the bailiffs and will they be able to force entry (or can they only force if they have walking posession)?
I emailed this to Marstons earlier today:
"I received your letter today offering me a final chance to pay the debt in full and I am contacting you to advise that a.) I cannot afford to pay the debt in full and if the full amount is demanded persistently then the situation will obviously worsen. B.) I requested a copy of my file from Plymouth CSA and they ignored it. Apparently it is my right to request this. C.) I informed them that my ex fraudulently claimed money from the government (I am expected to foot the bill when Iím not even allowed to see my daughter), noted but dismissed. D.) the amount is partly based on interim assessments which is unfair. E.) Yes I know, I had the chance to contest. But due to the depression the CSA caused to me and my family, I regrettably didnít. F.) I own a guitar and a laptop (but the laptop is used for my business anyway). G.) I put it to you that I will make you an instalment arrangement offer. Please can you let me know if you will be prepared to consider this and in the meantime I will work out what I can afford. It is the only way I see the debt being paid."
My heads all over the place! Not sure what I'm asking or what to do, but any help and advice would be much appreciated.
The bailiffs cannot break into your home as a csa liability order is not a criminal offence. The bailiff should visit within the first 7 days of the LO being made and then once more within the following 14 days. The LO should be returned to the court after 13 weeks if the bailiff has been unable to secure payment or levy on your home.
I would also suggest you Subject access request the CSA to ensure the amount is correct, there is no charge for this.
maggie is right what she says about a liabilty order not being a criminal offence,and that the order will be returned to the court if they are unable to gain entry in to your home or secure payment
i would also request all your details under the data protection act as i did and had all my case files sent to me and found errors in thier assesment which i was able to use against them in court and the judge found in my favour,however each case is different,but i woud make payments to the csa on what you can afford to pay maybe £10 a week to show willing your not refusing to pay, but cant pay what they want you to pay,the csa usualy want arrears clearing with in 2 years,so your looking to be paying at least £60 a week to clear them off,if they send the case back to the courts and you pay nothing it shows your unwillingness to pay,but paying what you can afford will help you,the bailiff cant break in to your house or use locksmiths to gain entry,remeber to keep your doors and windows secured,if they come back,are you on benefits of any kind?what are your circumstanses,if any thing has changed did you inform the csa of any changes to update your files?as they wont change the original assesment if you dont inform them of any thing that has changed.
Many thanks for your comments and invaluable advice and apologies for the delay in my reply (no broadband for a while! )
I had another visit from Marstons yesterday which works out to be 13 weeks and 5 days after the LO was issued. I was in, but hid in the kitchen! My mother in law who was here answered the door. The bailiff asked for me and my mother in law said I wasn't here, to which he then said he had a warrant to enter the property and told her exactly what it was all about. He then went to take details of my cars on the drive (both on HP not loans and are for my business - (I was making better money last year than now, customers have folded/stopped paying etc due to economic downturn!)).
While he was doing this, my mother in law locked the door. His attitude changed and told her she made a big mistake doing that. He asked where my wife works, her number etc but info not given. He put a final warning before removal notice and a notice of ditress through the door and went on his way. The notice of distress listed my two cars as the inventory and in the walking possession agreement section where I am supposed to sign it, he entered "NOT PRESENT". Also, hand written on the final warning doc was "Re your email - Points A to F are of no relevance to bailiff action, please phone to pay or removal action is next." Removal obviously being the cars - both used for business, one frequently, the other occasionally. Also, Points A -G are detailed in my first post in this thread, he missed out G, so is he implying that they will negotiate instalments?
I am going to email and post scans of the HP agreements for the cars today. Can they take them?
Can he enforce anything since it's after 13 weeks? Should it now be back with the court?
Could the warrant he's talking about be a Warrant of Execution? What exactly is that? I know it applies to arrears up to £5000 and my arrears are £5600. What warrant could it be?
Also, on the final warning before removal document he put through the door it states in print:
"If you fail to make immediate payment we may re-attend your premises with a locksmith, remove goods in your absence (as instructed by the CSA and in accordance with the law) and sell these goods at public auction"
Surely this is scare tactics and lies?? Besides nothing inside the house is listed on the walking possession
Hi hallowitch, that's what I thought re no levy on property in my home, but wasn't sure. Thanks for clearing that up! Also, do you know if the bailiffs are still able to pursue this even though the 13 weeks are up?
i don't know about the 13 wks but will have a goggle to see what i can find if i find any thing i will post it up
i would almost certainly do as suggested a get a Subject access request sent of
my daughter has had dealings with the Bolton C S A and in the end we had to go to our M.P i also bought a true call to record her conversations with them our m p told us that Bolton were the worst and they cant cope perhaps going to see your MP could help you
one the other side of the fence my son deals with falkirk who are not much better
it would be advisable to pay what you can afford direct to the csa,its better to pay some thing rather than nothing,it shows your not refusing to pay. marstons may send your case file back to the csa, then the csa could take you back to court.if this happnes you can show the court that you have at least made an effort to pay,as it can lead to you being sent to prison,for non payment,(as a last resort) and you will still have the amount to pay when you came out,going to prison doesnt wipe off your arrears.youll have to still pay them.
The court is only involved with signing a liability order. The CSA does not return unpaid accounts to court. The court receives a presenting officer and a magistrate signs a dozen or-so liability orders in one sitting under Regs 33/34 of CS Act 1991 without cosidering a defence. The CSA only use other means of enforcement if warrant addressed to the bailiff doesn't yield fuition. They are (in this order), 1. Charging order against your property, 2. Committal to prison.
If you have a committal hearing then the CSA must prove culpable neglect. If you cannot pay then you will not be committed to prison. That is the official advice given to magistrates by the MoJ when presiding a CSA/Council tax committal proceeding. If the CSA run iout of enforcement options then the arrears will churn their system ad-infinitum or when a change in the debtors circumstances is picked up.
I think you need to speak to an expert in CSA. Contact Durham Legal Services or NACSA.
Thanks Happy Contrails, I subscribed with NACSA and am in the process of getting all the info I need before phoning them. Thanks also nightsurf, I have been paying what I can when I can (as little as it is!) - so hopefully that scrubs culpable neglect.
I haven't had any response from Marstons since I emailed and posted copies of the HP agreements asking them to remove levy. My concern now is that, even though they would be acting illegally, will they just come and take the cars anyway and worry about the legalities later. That would screw me up completely as I use at least one of them regularly everyday for my business, plus all the tools in them etc. Would I be wise to not assume that they won't take them just because they're not supposed to?
askmk is correct in the bailiff will have to return the debt back to the CSA eventually. Remember Child Support law does not provide for bailiffs to charge you his fees for collecting unpaid maintenance, its taken out of the money collected before paid to the CSA then the other parent. The law doesnt obligate you to trade with a bailiff.
Im sorry but if this guy is proven to be the childs father and has accumilated arrears what will the childs mum tell them sorry you wnt eat this week as "dad" is hiding behind his mum in law in the kitchen and wnt pay any arrears and therefore you wont eat this month MAN UP!
I find this disgusting Im a single mum with nowt but hassle from CSA to collect payments and back dated payments unable to collect as computer glitches. Im struggling so if some so called "dads" are infact proven "Biological fathers" why are they hiding behind Mother in laws in their kitchens from their responsiblity "proven biological children" WHY ARE GROWN MEN HIDING?
You have resurrected an threat that finished over a year ago.
We dont know the whole picture but I am a landlord of a large portfolio of rental properties and I used to get the CSA on my back asking for 'proof' of housing costs for my tenants who have a debt with the CSA.
On one occasion the CSA accused my tenant of making his own tenancy agreeement "on a home computer" which effectively accused me for falsifying my own tenants housing costs and they still dissallowed my tenant to retain his own income to pay his rent (or 'housing costs - as its called by the CSA) yet, he was able to sign on the dole and my rent was paid direct to me by the taxpayer with the CSA getting nothing in child maintenance. This is down to CSA stupidity and greed, plus it was the CSA itself that made a false represnetation as to my tenants personal circumstances by saying my tenancy agreement is fake and thus, insinuating I am a landlord out to cheat the taxpayer.
Grown men are not hiding, they have their lives screwed by mums to choose to use ther CSA to impose what is otherwise an absent fatherhood tax. Its a levy on a working parents income which bears no relation to the actual needs of a child. This is why UK Child maintenance was downgraded by the EU to spousal alimimony. Im sorry if this is probably not what you wanted to hear, you need to remember many working parents dont have choice when they are excluded from their children by their mother as in the case of several of my tenants.
Only last year I lost a tenant after CSA bailiffs hounded him out of his property, they even threatened to cionfiscate my furniture for his debt (it was a furnished property) and he has since emigrated to Cyprus. He now pays child maintenance to according to what the UK awards benefit claimants - £60 a week. The Cypriot court (via REMO) when making the award to the UK mum said (about UK benefits for supporting a child on the state) "Its good enough for the goose then its good enough for the gander". Consequently, he is also now excluded from the British tax system, which is a sad loss to the British economy, we need working parents, not having the CSA forcing them away to more hospitable shores.