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Keith W

CSA Woes - Someone Please Help

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Hi All,

 

I am desperately hoping someone can help me.

 

I have son by my ex GF and we split up before my son was born.

 

My son was born 19/o9/2004

 

Not long after my son was born the CSA contacted me and said I had to pay maintenance for my son, I had no problem with that.

 

They told me that as I was disabled and on benefits that they would ask the benefits agency to deduct that payments for my benefits which they did, I had no problem with that.

 

On the 30th of November 2009 the benefits agency wrote to me to tell me that they would no longer be taking payments from my benefits of behalf of the CSA.

 

I had no idea why this was so immediately rang the CSA to find out what was going on.

 

The CSA told me that my son had been taken into local authority care on 11th June 2009, which was news to me, and as such they were closing the case and I was no longer required to make any payments, they said they would write to me in due course to let me know but that these things take time.

 

Today, 2nd December 2009, I received a call from a lady at the CSA who told me that the case had finally been closed but that I owed them over £400!

 

I asked how could I possibly owe £400 when since day one the benefits agency have been taking the payments directly out of my benefits, she then told me that there was a period that no payments had been made and I must pay this.

 

I said that the benefits agency had been taking the money direct from my benefits each and every week and that it was not my fault that there was a break down in the system and that the payments were not made for a period of time to the CSA and that surly they should be chasing the benefits agency for the payments that they had no passed on, she said that no they did not have to do that because as far as they were concerned the payments were not made and that was my fault and I must pay the £400.

 

She then went on to say that I must have known that the payments were not being made and when I said that I did not and that as far as I was aware the payments were being made, she then outright accused me of lying! She then went on to say that I had refused to make the payments and when I said this was not possible because they are automatically taken from my benefits by the benefits agency and that I had no influence or choice in the matter, she then accused me of lying again!

 

I then said to her that I wanted them to prove that the payments were not made and that I was at fault and she told me that they did not have to do this.

 

She kept on insisting that I had to pay this £400 and I said as far as I was concerned I did not owe them this money and that I had my own family and children to support so did not have £400 anyway, to which she said she did not care and that the CSA would get the £400 by other means.

 

At this point I am afraid I lost it and she hung up on me.

 

I then went and dug out my collection schedule statements from the CSA and each and every one of then, including this years, say that no arrears are owed.

 

I then rang the CSA back and told then that all my collection schedule statements said I had no arrears but they said that meant nothing and that the arrears only show up for those people in employment, things just started to go round in circles with them saying I owed the money and must pay.

 

I am at my wits end with this, where do i stand? what can I do?

 

If anyone can help and advise me I would really appreciate it.

 

Take care, Keith

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That sounds about right for the CSA going by my dealings with them, they havent a clue what they are doing (have a look at my thread in this forum to see what i have had to deal with from them)

 

One small thing, dont use the phone any more, its a waste of time with them, and you also have no proof of what they have said, make sure anything from now on is in a letter, although in my case they even ignored some letters.

 

Good luck, sorry I cant be of any more help


:madgrin:

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Hi Keith

If you are on IB/IS then you can phone the department and ask them to request a record print of all deductons taken out of your benefit for the period in question. This should show that the money for CSA was deducted out of your benefit with no gaps if you know it has always been taken out. You can see this on screen but you need it in writing

.

The DWP may ask you to put this request in writing, if you do then make an appointment at your local jobcentre and get it faxed up, then check to see if the processing centre has recevied it.

This should solve your problem

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Hi Mikey,

 

This will probably be my next step

 

I just cant believe how aggressive and downright rude the woman from the CSA was right from the off.

 

They have never ever contacted me before today about any supposed arrears, surely they would or should have if there had been a problem?

 

Another thing, which I forgot to mention when I wrote my initial post, when I rang the CSA on the 30th to find out why they has stopped taking the payments from my benefits the woman I spoke to said I would be repaid some money, dating back to the 11th June when my son was taken into local authority care, as it was an overpayment and I could expect to receive around £115, she then went on to ask me if I wanted that sent out in a giro or paid into the bank account that my benefits are paid into that was showing on her screen.

 

So it seems in a space of just 3 days they have gone from saying they owe me £115 to I owe them over £400!

 

Also I had two different time periods from the two people I spoke to today, the first woman said it was for non payment for a period of 8 months and second said it was for a period of just under a year - Now by my calculations of what I paid each and every week (£5 x 52) a years payment equates to £260 and certainly not the £400 they claim I owe

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I just got a threatening letter from the CSA

 

Dear Mr. XXXXXXX

 

Pay your child maintenance arrears now or face legal action

That was the first line of the letter

 

They say I owe a total of £485

 

And that about sums the letter up, there are no dates saying when the arrears were supposedly accrued, just that I supposedly owe £485

 

Surely they must provide more proof than this? dates etc.?

 

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You can do a SAR and request all the data they hold on you - this will show all payments they recieved etc.

 

I also find that getting your MP involved gets your case seen to a lot quicker and more professional than normal.

My case has been escalated by my MP to the chief executives office and the change in attitudes and service is mamouth!!

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What I would also add is that whilst she has no right to accuse you of lying etc - you should bear in mind that many people may well try and pull a fast one over the phone and they probably get sick of people saying they are making payments when they are not or that there is X, Y Z reason why they are not paying.

 

I'm sure they've heard them all from my ex :)

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Thanks Andie

 

The thing with this woman was she was very aggressive and rude from the very first moment I answered the telephone.

 

It was like she had already decided I was a bad Dad and was in the wrong before even made the call.

 

She wouldn't even entertain the fact that they may have been in the wrong.

 

The other thing is I can not refuse to pay as the payments are taken straight from my benefits before I get them, I have no choice in the matter, so how she can say I refused to pay them is beyond me.

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I would detail it all in writing to your MP who will get a response from the CEO's office - the staff in there are a lot better than the collections department.

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I would agree with Andie a MP always brings a quick response but if you try to get a record print of what you have paid to them first at least you would have written proof to what has been deducted from your benefit to pay CSA.

 

You should have got a statement from CSA giving full detail to how the supposedly overpayment has occured, you are entitled to a written breakdown to how they got to their figures.

 

Maybe if you give them a ring ask for the breakdown and how has it gone from arrears owed to an overpayment in the space of a few days.

 

CSA have full control of any deductions in respect of maintenance to be deducted out of your benefit. They write to the third parties deductions team and instruct them to take the CSA out of the benefit the amount usually is £5. These deductions continue being taken out untill CSA inform I.S to stop. So if they were stopped then if your claim has always been continuos then CSA must have instructed third parties to stop them.

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