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Yes my girlfriend lives with me Kelcou.

 

My letter from the CSA is as follows ...

 

Your child maintenance arrears Arrangement

 

I can now confirm the arrangement we made on 20/07/09 for the amount of child maintenance you should pay for:

 

£2855.71

 

We agreed you should pay:

 

£100 by Direct Debit monthly

 

This means that your maintenance payments will be as follows:

 

£100 monthly by direct debit

 

As agreed, this arrangement may be reviewed at the discretion of the Child Support Agency or as a result in a change to your circumstances.

 

As discussed, we will still apply for a Liability Order through the courts. If you do default on this arrangement, further enforcement action will be taken without prior notice to you. A Liability Order is a legal recognition that debt exists and will not affect your credit rating.

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were you ,before the period of being unemployed paying, anything on a regular basis?

 

I wasn't even aware a claim was made against me until they eventually got my correct current address and gave me the big bill. I tried to explain how the bill was made up a rubbish i.e. charging me £50 a week csa when i was unemployed getting £45 a week - for 9 months! "Not my problem" was the repeated response. So the amount i no longer care about just paying it what i can afford.

 

 

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If that made you laugh try this....it's a xmas prezzie from the staff..thought today was Thursday haven't done their wages:oops::oops: for Friday

 

:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

Might be the last xmas prezzie they buy you.:lol::lol::lol::lol:

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Thankyou everyone, looking like a busy start to the week, Need!

Do keep a copy of all correspondence.

 

Just to try to recap...

Contact your MP, write to the CSA, contact your local Magistrates Court for a hearing [if you're on a low income you should get help towards the cost], copy relevant correspondence to the bailiff company.

 

Does your girlfriend live with you? If this is the case, than you need to bring this to the attention of the Court and the bailiff, due to the National Standards for Enforcement Agents. :

 

 

Department for Constitutional Affairs - Enforcement - National Standards for Enforcement Agents

 

Those who might be considered vulnerable include the following:

the elderly;

people with a disability;

the seriously ill;

the recently bereaved;

single parent families;

pregnant women;

unemployed people; and,

those who have obvious difficulty in understanding, speaking or reading English.

 

Hope you're feeling a little better about your options.

 

Best wishes.

Rae.

 

I'm not convinced these apply to CSA debts

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yes i know that and that was my argument but as i didnt tell them i was no longer employed (because i didnt know there was an ongoing claim against me) it's MY FAULT!

 

funny how they find out within 30 seconds that you start work but none the wiser when you are made redundant!!!

 

Anyway im past the argument about how much i owe - i just need to stop any more charges being added and get an agreement somehow to pay what i can each month.

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I'm not convinced these apply to CSA debts

Given that Marstens are Enforcement Agents, I'd be rather surprised if the CSA was a get out clause from the National Standards for Enforcement Officers.

They may choose to pretend that the Standards don't exist but I am nowhere near convinced they don't apply.

What makes you think such a thing?

Rae.

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Can I suggest you google dead beat dads or nacsa both offer CSA advice they will be able to get you on track.. but as you are dealing with a government agency you really do need to get specialist advice.

The Bailiff is a easy compared to the CSA and you will/have had good advice on here how to keep him at bay.

 

good luck

wd

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I have delt with this problem before with a friend. As far as the Bailiff is concerned the rule is simple. DO NOT let him in. Lock your doors and windows. They will if they can just walk in. BUT they CANNOT force entry so as long as your locked there is nothing whatsoever they can do.

 

The Bailiff will visit at least 3 times and attempt entry. Do not open the door, do not listen to the lies he will tell you to trick you into letting him in. Bailiffs will try and sweet talk you. Do not be worried by the locksmith threats, its rubbish and wont happen (assuming they have never been in your home). Do not fall for the mr nice guy act. He just wants money. Do not waste your time explaining your finances. He just wants your money.

 

After 3 visits (approx) they will return it to the CSA and you can start talking to the CSA.

 

My friend who had this got visited 3 times and the LO returned to the CSA but never had to pay the bailiffs a penny nor did they ask.

Ash.

 

If you think I have helped you, please add to my reputation by clicking the star button to the left.

Thankyou.

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Given that Marstens are Enforcement Agents, I'd be rather surprised if the CSA was a get out clause from the National Standards for Enforcement Officers.

They may choose to pretend that the Standards don't exist but I am nowhere near convinced they don't apply.

What makes you think such a thing?

Rae.

 

Because of the additional powers and sanctions available in collection of CSA debts.

 

Plus i'm not sure the national standards are referred to in the CSA contracts so there would be no obligation to adhere to them.

 

I'm not saying i'm right i'm just not convinced either way and have a niggling doubt.

 

Does anyone know for certain?

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Taken from TT's website. this may help;

Powers available to the Bailiffs.

The main aim of the Bailiff is to try and gain payment in full or to obtain an effective agreement with the non-resident parent to repay their arrears. If an arrears agreement is made, the Bailiff would visit each week/ month to collect the agreed monies. However if the non-resident parent refuses to cooperate, the Bailiffs may levy distress.

 

Bailiffs are not allowed to force entry into premises in order to levy distress, therefore, unless they are invited in, they cannot list any goods for distress (potential sale) The Bailiffs will always take a percentage of any monies that they manage to secure as part of their charges.

 

The relevant Statutory Legislation concerning this is the Child Support (Collection and Enforcement) Regulations 1992, Section 30 see below.

 

When Bailiff action should be considered.

 

Prior to taking Bailiff action, consideration has to be given as to how effective levying of distress would be. The following factors should be taken into account in any decision made.

 

• Welfare of the child

• Would the agency be criticised for insensitivity, for example if there had been a recent bereavement in the household

• Is the non-resident parent on a very low income or in receipt of a benefit

• Non-resident parent is known to have no goods on which to levy distress

• Is the non-resident parent under 18 and classed as a child (Child Support act 1991 Section 55 (1)

• Non-resident parent potentially violent status

 

Although levying of distress may not be appropriate in some cases, the threat of a Bailiff visiting the non-resident parent can sometimes be enough to prompt the non-resident parent to make an arrangement to pay.

 

Bailiff action.

When the decision to appoint a Bailiff to levy distress has been made, the Bailiff will require as much information as possible about the non-resident parent to ensure this action is a success. For example, details of their lifestyle, business address, and confirmation of any items owned by the non-resident parent e.g. a vehicle, details of interim maintenance assessment in place and any voluntary payments made.

If the non-resident parent is a serving member of the armed forces and lives in military accommodation i.e. the Bailiff has to go through a military checkpoint to gain access to the property, the Bailiff will require details of the Commanding Officer and a contact number to request permission to enter the premises.

 

Note: On receipt of a referral from the Agency, the Bailiffs will take initial action to levy distress within seven days.

 

If they are unable to contact the non-resident parent on the first visit, a contact letter will be left warning of Bailiff Action. If the non-resident parent fails to respond, a further visit will be made within 14 days of the warning letter. If the second visit fails to result in contact being made, the case will be returned to the Agency.

 

If contact is unsuccessful, the Bailiffs should not hold on to a case for more than 13 weeks, unless:

 

• An arrangement to pay is in place, or;

• The Agency have specifically advised them to keep the case for longer

 

Bailiffs usually try to make an arrangement where the debt will be cleared within 13 weeks, but this is not always possible, depending on both the size of the debt and the non-resident parent’s ability to pay.

 

In exceptional circumstances, the Bailiffs may return a case earlier if:

 

• The Agency may have asked for the return of the case if the non-resident parent’s situation has changed, he has paid the debt in full or the parent with care has withdrawn their authority

• The non-resident parent may be untraceable, the case would then need to have trace action taken on it

• The agreement with the non-resident parent has fallen through and they are unable to levy distress

 

If Bailiffs become aware that the non-resident parent is no longer living at the address provided, they will discretely try and find out the non-resident parent’s new whereabouts. This could include consulting:

 

• Neighbours’

• Landlords

• New occupiers

 

When they locate the non-resident parent, the Bailiffs will visit the new address within seven days to obtain an arrangement and notify the Agency.

 

If they are unable to trace the non-resident parent, the Bailiffs will retain the case for seven days following the final visit, and if contact is still not made, the case will be returned to the Agency with a Nulla Bona certificate (gone away) Another example of when a Nulla Bona certificate would be issued is if there are insufficient goods to levy distress on.

 

Appeal against distress.

Where a case has been referred to the Bailiffs and there has been an attempt to, or an actual levy of distress, the non-resident parent can appeal to a Magistrates Court if they believe the levy to have been irregular.

Taxation of the costs of distress.

 

There may be occasions when a person who has been the subject of levying of distress may decide to appeal against the amount of the Bailiff costs. They will lodge the application in the County Court and enclose a copy of the bill of costs.

If the court feels that there is a case to answer, they will arrange a hearing date for the District Judge to consider the matter. They will send a copy of the application and the costs to the appropriate Business Unit. The case officer should inform the appropriate Bailiff when an application is received. The District Judge will notify the non-resident parent and the Child Support Agency of their decision.

 

Complaints about Bailiffs.

All complaints about Bailiff action should initially be directed to the relevant Bailiff Company. (Our advice would be to write to the CSA also)

 

However, if the company concerned are not bailiffs, but are a Debt Collection Agency (DCA), then by law, they must hold a Consumer Credit Licence. In this case, you would need to address your complaints to the Office of Fair Trading. For further details on this, you will need to visit our section on the front page entitled : How to Complain.

 

Agreement in place…… what next?

If the non-resident parent makes an agreement with the Bailiffs, this would be for the arrears covered by the Liability Order only. The non-resident parent should be contacted to make an agreement to pay the regular maintenance and any other arrears, as appropriate. If the non-resident parent refuses to comply, the Bailiffs should be left to deal with their agreement. Further action should then be taken against the non-resident parent for the remainder. This would normally mean applying for a further Liability Order to register the debt on the arrears that have accrued since the previous Liability Order was granted.

 

If the non-resident parent is paying their regular maintenance and there are no further arrears then the case is retained on enforcement until such time as the Liability Order has been satisfied

 

Liability Order paid in full

 

• The non-resident parent should be contacted to ascertain if they intend to pay regular maintenance and contribute towards any other arrears which may have accrued, (if appropriate). Arrears can be outstanding from the beginning of the case (if a safe period has been applied for) or from the end date of the Liability Order to the present day.

• Agreements made should be monitored to ensure that they are honored. The Agency must have received three monthly payments or six weekly payments for the case to be deemed as compliant for enforcement purposes. Once honored the case can be cleared from enforcement.

• If the non-resident parent is not willing to make regular contributions towards the maintenance assessments and/or arrears then a further liability order would need to be applied for and the process would begin again.

 

Liability Order debt Outstanding – Non resident parent makes agreement.

• The agreement must be to pay the regular maintenance due, arrears covered by the Liability Order and any other outstanding arrears. The Agency must have received three monthly payments or six weekly payments for the case to be deemed as compliant for enforcement purposes. If the method of payment is direct the case officer will need to confirm with the parent with care that payments have been received. However the case should not be cleared from enforcement until the Bailiffs Agreement has been met in full.

 

Note: To read the entire section on Enforcement Options you will need to visit the following web address:

www.Dca.gov.uk/enforcement/mccreview/summary/pdf (tomtubby, this link is no longer available)

 

SOURCE:

Under the Child Support Legislation (Child Support Act 1991, Regulation 35 and (Collection and Enforcement) Regulations 1992, Regulation 30, the Agency is empowered to utilise private bailiff firms to levy distress for arrears of child maintenance.

Edited by seanamarts
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Because of the additional powers and sanctions available in collection of CSA debts.

 

Plus i'm not sure the national standards are referred to in the CSA contracts so there would be no obligation to adhere to them.

 

I'm not saying i'm right i'm just not convinced either way and have a niggling doubt.

 

Does anyone know for certain?

 

Thanks for the reply, fluffy.

 

My viewpoint is that the 2002 Standards set the standard for all Enforcement Agents irrespective of what they are enforcing. I don't think it matters what extra powers may be in place for the differing needs of collection. Neither do I think any contract would include a clause which boils down to 'and please ignore the National Standards for Enforcement Agents'.

 

Whilst you are absolutely right, in a way, to say there is no obligation per se to adhere to them - as they are not law - they are agreed with by the vast majority of Enforcement Companies, the vast majority of councils and I've not yet come across a Magistrates Court that won't support them. So, in my view, they hold some worthwhile weight and are very well worth bringing to peoples attention. Not necessarily - except in exceptional cases - as a single tool in itself, but as another string to the bow of defence against bad practice when they are applicable.

 

Rae.

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