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CSA have been taking wrong amounts for 10 years?


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Looking for some advice.



Been paying CSA through a deducations order set at £30 a week as stated In their letter as of 2007

I assumed that any wage changes would adjust with payroll so forgot about it and carried on.

I have also been paying another none CSA related debt that I assumed had started coming off my wage about the same time for £20 a month.



On my wage outgoings were down as £20 debt.

I called my wages department as had a letter come through the post about 4 weeks ago to say I was changing from CSA to CMS in September and was there anything I needed to do and they said they would probably contact them shortly before or after that date but I was best to contact them.


While she was on the phone I asked them to check the £20 debt as £6000 was owing and I wanted to double check how much had come off.

She came back to me and said there wasn't any debts and the £20 a month was the CSA court order.



I said to the women on the phone back in 2007 they said they were taking £30 a week.

They said they can only go on what they have been told to pay and it usually adjusts per year based on salary increases what they pay out as CSA usually contact them.


She was as confused as me as to why it never changed. she suggested I contact CSA to find out.


So far I have left it as I don't know what to do.

CSA have never contacted me since they first wrote to me in 2007 telling me what my deductions of earning orders were and then 4 weeks ago to tell me it was changing to CMS.


I've looked at the what the debt could be based on my earnings and it could be anywhere from 18k-21k.


I earn £1300 a month, my wife lost her job last year and we have no other income other than my wage to live off

by the time I have paid Rent, Bills, Council tax and £269 a month to a load of debts when wife lost her job

it leaves me with about £150 a month for food for a family of 4, 3 adults 1 at uni full time and a 3 year old.


I don't know what the hell to do and scared they'll take everything out of the house or we'll lose the house because I can't pay the rent.

if they take nearly all my wage of me.


I thought it was coming off my wage before I got paid,

I don't understand why CSA have never written to me as soon as they saw the wrong amounts were being paid.


I've seen the horror stories in threads below this one.

I;ve even read they can send you to prison?

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I think you need to send them an sar and get the full history.

somethings not sitting right here is it?




please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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The only time I had to deal with CSA was when I started working again in 2007 and I followed everyones advice to deal with them in writing which they didn't like at the time. I also wanted to pay by standing order which they refused eventually giving in and payments started everymonth.


This lasted for about 4 months then I got a letter through the post to say they had gone to court for a deducation of earnings order which would be £30 a week. So I stopped the standing order as there was no mention to stop this either "communication or what" and it was left at that I just assumed it was coming off my wage before I got paid.


I also had a debt that I agreed to pay through my wages to a credit card I had when I split with ex which was set at £20.61 but only started taking £20 and was supposed to be reviewed after 5 years this started in the first month I got the letter from CSA that it was coming out of my wage. In April this year wages department changed their payslips and it went from saying £20 debt to £20 court order I didn't pay much attention too it as just assumed it was how it was worded for them. I decided to check clear score this year to see how these debts had gone onto my credit score and noticed the Debt I had agreed to pay for the CC wasn't showing on my credit score.


I went on holiday a few days after this and came back to a letter from CSA to say in September I was changing to CMS. The booklet that came with it sounded a bit confusing because they said it would stop in September and I would need to agree to pay my ex direct but we don't have any communication hence the order on my wages so I rang wages to check if they knew what might happen and checked on the debt as well to find the debt I was paying they didn't know anything about and the £20 a month was CSA payments.


I nearly died when she told me but she couldn't answer any questions relating too it and suggested I contact them as they can only go on what they have been told to pay.


from 2007 to 2013 I never had any further communication from CSA and I wrote to them in 2013 to give them my new address detials. Still no further communication from them until I got the letter this year to say I was changing to CMS.


I've never changed jobs. But I'm confused as to why they haven't chased it up £5 a week child support from a working person and I've not spoken to my ex or seen my daughter for 14 years I don't even know why my ex has never chased it up.


I'm worried now should I wait till it changes to CMS first?

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what and risk the data going missing

get that sar running

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • 2 months later...

Just bumping this thread up.


Decided to wait for CMS to contact me and a payment plan via Direct Pay is getting setup.


Today CSA wrote to me and as expected there are arrears of £11,500 (less than I thought it would be)


as some that have replied to this thread you'll know that I contacted wages when CMS wrote to me and I found out they hadn't been paying enough CSA despite the letter CSA wrote to them with the amount through DEO.


I am going to now do the SAR as I have 14 days to contact CSA before they hand it over to CMS.


How do you think I am best approaching this with them?


Financially I can't afford to pay 40% of my wage if they take me down to £519 a month as my wife is not currently working and have a small child to support in this relationship. My rent is £355 a month and council tax is £97.


It will leave me with nothing to pay the bills or buy food.


I know £11,500 I can't pay over 2 years and I know they can be flexable (I'm currently paying debts off 6 companies in total) £269 a month I could lower the price down to £30 a month £5 each per month and offer the £269 a month towards the arrears. By september next year my wife should be working as she is teacher training at the minute through Uni hence her not working.


I know they probably wont cancel the arrears but I will ask.


If they won't could I argue because they made a mistake and nobody has followed it up for 10 years (wages, CSA or my ex) that I could have a longer extention on the arrears payments because they have put me in financial hardship?


When would be the best time to ask CAB for help and my MP? should I wait for the SAR to come back?


Would CMS expect payments to be made for Arrears while it's been investigated till we can come to an arrangement?


Thanks in advance

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I spoke to CSA today and wages yesterday. They have the SAR request.


they took 3 payments between Jan-mar 2009 £241, £131 and £131 (as confirmed from my wages department)


There was then an order put in to drop it down to £21 a month and then from Jan 10 the (same order was then dropped to £20 a month) which my wages said a CSA request was put in for.


The CSA lady said she couldn't understand or find anything on the computer that suggests why it did that she's never seen anything like it and has no explanation for it.


She said even the yearly statements I am supposed to get or any other letters haven't gone out either to me or my ex so the last time they spoke to her was 2006 until it went to CMS this year which she called them to ask about it.


I said but I've never changed jobs and even though me and my ex have never spoken since splitting she knows I work so why hasn't she contacted you when her payments went down to £20 a month.


(she did say that they have had suggestions from other cases where they've suspected the ex has been financially ok and let arrears run up deliberately knowing and then chasing them up years down the line for whatever means) She did say not that it's a reason not to pay for kids but it's actually proving it and there hasn't ever been a case tested for it.


They said the only time they spoke to my ex as CSA was when they went to close the case and they calculated the arrears and asked if she wanted them paying back.


Which she said yes.


They said to me on the phone in this instance although it is going to CMS (the arrears) I can pay back what I want at a rate I can afford and will leave a note on the file.


So what do I do at this point?

all they can send me from the SAR request is the original court document which I have and a list of statements which I don't need as I can back date all my wage slips to show payments are wrong.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I should have the SAR come through soon

I got a letter from them last week to say it was being looked into as I requested CD format and some written letters that can't be put on CD


However I spoke with CMS today about arrears which they have agreed a payment plan to be looked at again in 3 months time of £30 a month to clear a debt of £11,882


They weren't happy with the low payment for the large amount of debt

I have had to explain as you might have seen on another thread

I am in finacial difficulty at the moment


told the woman on the phone that even in 3 months it won't have changed out she wasnt too bothered said my case worker will deal with it.


What did annoy me was

- CSA have left a note on my file that says they have been trying to contact me for 6 months to inform me about the arrears.

I said to the lady on the phone that the only letter I got from them was in April'sh time that my account was moving over to CMS

I got a reminder later in the year again to inform me the same again.

that there was no mention of arrears or that my payments were wrong.


I then went on to say to her that if they knew back in April that there was arrears

why didn't they say anything,

why didn't they write to me or call me and

why is it there was a DEO on my wage


this was never altered

can you explain


the first person I spoke to in september told me that the error was on your side.

that the computer or persons that dealt with my account never sent letters out every year to me or to my ex in more than 8 years.


I also said when it dropped to £20 a month nobody did anything about it

and 2 people I have now spoken to at CSA have told me that it is 100% your fault

and apologised for it and these calls are recorded.


I also said that if 6 months or more they had been trying to contact me about the arrears where is the letters?

they wrote to me about CMS So they have the correct address?

She then said well this is CMS so we don't have that information only bits on the system

I have seen you have a SAR gone through so it should be clear in that.


she didnt want to know.


Should I contact my MP at this point once the SAR info has come through?

or leave it and if they get funny over payments go to them then?

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  • 3 weeks later...
what and risk the data going missing

get that sar running


Just wondering, just checked the letter they sent me regarding the SAR request.


I sent the Letter on the 23 October, they said they didn't get it till the 26 October.


They said I will get a report within 40 calendar days from the date of the letter which would be from the 3rd of November they have given themselves around 10/11 extra days ontop of the 40 days (still waiting to hear from them but they have till the 12 dec)

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  • 4 weeks later...

finally 51 days they sent me the SAR information and what a waste of time it was.


They have sent me the copies of letters from 2008 when they first started taking CSA from when I started working I was doing this by post not phone.

it shows they agreed to do the standing order "2008" which I started paying

but haven't sent the DEO req they sent me not long after the standing order and a reason why they opted to take that route despite me paying what they asked.


They haven't sent me proof of the last 2 addresses where I wrote to them giving them the new address details

inc this one I live at now which they did write to me so they do have it.


I've got nothing that shows all payments made from 2005-2017


No reason as to why they were taking the wrong payment from 2009-2017


The only thing I have is when my ex first took me to CSA in 2005

a scanned document of the form I filled in.


then in 2008 the conversations I had via writing regarding setting up a SO with them and copies of wage slips.

other than that nothing


Everything then starts from September 2017 when I first contacted CMS but I have copies of all them anyway.

The only additional thing I have is a copy of the phone calls made to CMS.


The women on the phone said CSA had been trying to contact me for 6 months regarding arrears before it went to CMS yet not sent any proof of this.


I've got nothing.

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then you write back and ask where are 'these' list items.

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • 11 months later...

I posted in another site but I got no replies I'm guessing nobody could answer on there.


Who do you turn to for advice away from the CMS if they start getting funny over payments?


I had a 12k debt with them after finding out 2017 once it transfered from CSA to CMS.


They admitted it was their fault and told me to pay what I wanted towards the debt that I could afford. So as long as I was paying somethng they weren't bothered.


So in 2017 they agreed to take £171 for my daughter and £30 for arrears £201


A year later October 2018 they sent me a new break down based on my earnings the base payment went down to £168 but they increased arrears payments to £43 so I changed SO to £211 first payment came out in November this year. 1/11/2018 - 1/09/2019 £211


I then get a CMS message on my account on the 29th November a month after the last statement with a new one saying from 1/12/2018 - 1/09/2019 new payments are £1206 a month


I gave them a call to this ass of a women who ws under the impression that although my monthly earning were £1300 a month the arrears had to be paid and wasn't bothered I had a 5 year old to feed as well as pay rent and council tax etc


She then went away for about 5 mins and came back and couldn't explain where the £1206 came from and banged on about didn't you get a statement which I said yes for £168 a month plus £43 towards arrears £211 but for some reason even though I can see this on my account she couldn't find it.


She then told me my base payment was actually £149 a month not £168 even though my online account says different but this new £1206 statement they have just released says £149 and couldn't explain it.


She then told me actually we can only take a min payment for £250 a month today she seemed not interested that a month before they gave me a breakdown for the whole year for £211.


She wouldn't give me an explanation as why after issuing a statement already after getting HMRC details that they can only accept a min payment that was more than they originally said and got funny with me about enforcement action


Who do you actually go to for advice over this?

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If your gross income is £1300 per month and you have one child living with you, your base payment should be £138.84.


Your gross income should be reduced by 11% as you have a 5 year old living with you. Reduce your gross income of £1300 by 11% (£143) = £1157


You should then pay 12% of gross income to your daughter - 12% of £1157 = £138.84


If you are on the Collect and Pay system, 20% is added as a fee by the CMS so your liability is £166.61 per month based on a gross monthly income of £1300, plus an amount towards arrears.


The CMS can take up to 40% of your gross income towards arrears. If collection of arrears is causing you hardship, you should submit a budget statement and request that arrears repayments are reduced. It is up to the CMS whether or not the amount collected for arrears is reduced.

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Thanks for getting in touch,


My wage changes each month as working weekeds pays a bit more some months than others so I would say £1280 - £1400 month to month.


My main complaint was that they sent a break down of payments for 12 months for £211 inc £43 towards the arrears. £168 being the base payments.


A month later they send me a message with another new break down for 12 months at £1206 a month dropping my base payments down to £149 and arrears payements of £1057.


They couldn't even tell me where they got that figure from. Then out of the blue just decided to up my arrears another £40 a month.


All I called for was to ask for an explanation as to why they changed things less then a month later after writing to me and she get funny with me on the phone when she couldn't explain.


I understand about the 40% they can take but I know they have to take into account my financial situation so they don't leave me with out providing for every day essentials.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So just to bump this thread up.


They told me to wait for a letter to come before I increased my SO to the agreed £250 on the phone. This letter hasn't come yet but I thought I would check on my online account anyway and noticed instead of £250 a month they have put it to £261.50 a month.


It's just a joke. It was £200 a month for a year then in November increased arrears payments to £211 a month. Then the month after wanted £1206 I called them agreed the arrears were £250 a month and now my online account says £261.50 a month how does that work?

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You should pay your ongoing liability plus an amount towards the arrears. For arrears, the CMS can take up to 40% of your income which is at the discretion of the CMS.


If you disagree with the amount taken for arrears, you should follow the complaints process, provide a budget statement showing that the arrears payments are causing you hardship and argue to have them reduced.

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I think that is what I will have to do sooner or later. I'm aware they can take upto 40% so far they haven't asked for a budget and I haven't really argued with them over the phone.


My gripe is not so much paying the arrears it's the way they are doing it. had a HMRC statement from them which worked out my earnings to pay for 12 months with increased arrears for 2019. but then a month later changed that to 98% of my wage.


Fair enough it might have been an error on the computers part trying to claim back the arrears in 12 months.


Made a phone call to enquire about it, mentioned the statement for the next 12 months including increased arrears I was paying back already inc in that statement and basically just wanted the £1206 reverted back to the £211 they had set it to for the next 12 months. only when she went away and came back she said we can only take a min £250 payment from today for the next 12 months.


So I agreed with that I then asked shall I changed my SO now then. She said no wait for a letter to come. this was on the 30th November still no letter but I have seen changes on my online account where the forcast for the next 12 months is £261.50 so this wasn't the agreed amount on the phone.


My case being its not that I am refusing to pay arrears it's them saying one thing then doing another.


I checked my online account the other day after I sent them a message about the £261.50 and it went back to £211. Only the next day it was back to £261.50 so I messaged them again and I've just checked before I wrote this and it was back to £211.


So not sure what is going on and reluctant to call them. I've screen shotted with dates to show changes on my account day by day so that I have some evidence to show I can't keep track of it.


It was CSA in the first place that got me into 12k debt they admitted liablity for it I've got a copy of the recording for that so they did say as long as I was paying something to the arrears it was ok.


Seems CSA and CMS are just the same people with a name change.

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hope you are recording your phonecalls…….

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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hope you are recording your phonecalls…….


No I don't have the means to do that....However they do appear to record all their calls, least that is my understanding from the copy of the sar request I put in last year and the evidance they sent me

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  • 4 months later...

Just an update to this thread CMS sent me a letter on my account tonight with a 14 day response time.


They have said I have missed 4 payments of £50.50 and want an explanation.


As per the start of this thread

a letter never came for the agreed £250 per month despite my online account saying £261.50 per month.


I contact them VIA my online account

they have a message centre to contact them regarding things with my account but never bothered to respond ...did this twice over a number of weeks.


I also took screen shots of my account statement over a 5 day period in December


my account was saying £261.50 one day

the next it was saying £210.84,

261.50 the day after that

then 210.84 etc.


The £210.84 was the original 2018-2019 payments set out for the next 12 months

the conversation on the phone was different to what was happening on my account.


I looked on my account tonight and the only letters on my account are as follows.


£210.84 2018-2019 statement


£1200 a month statement for 2018-2019 (which was a mistake on their part)


The letter they sent me today saying I had missed 4 payments of £50.50


Should I call them or write to them with the screen shots provided asking where the £261.50 came from


on the phone they said £250 a month and don't make any changes till the letter comes.


even if you take away the £50.50 from the £261.50 it comes to £211 which is still not accurate to the £210.84 on my account.



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