Judi Cass emails MrDaz

June 30, 2008

Judi Cass, the CSA’s Senior Complaints Resolution Manager, has emailed perennial CSA complainant MrDaz about his case. She’s attempted to answer his complaint about why it took his caseworker, Steve Gibson, almost three months to return a call and why they’re deducting arrears from him when he was paying his ex-wife’s share of the mortgage on a jointly owned house.

Judi Cass considers the matter closed, but MrDaz certainly doesn’t judging from his blog. We can expect a full salvo from him very soon in the direction of Judi Cass, and knowing him it’ll all be blogged about on his site.

My favourite bit from Judi Cass’ letter is:

I am unable to comment on what you say you were advised regarding the variations application as I am unable to retrieve the actual call from our records.

I’m betting MrDaz is able to retrieve the call, he records all of his phone calls and often puts them on YouTube and his website. I’m sure if Judi Cass wants a copy of the call, just to hear what Steve Gibson actually said, she only needs to ask.

You can read the full letter here.

My CSA hell, for being commited to my son!

June 30, 2008

My son was born on the 14th of April 2003 I was on the birth certificate but was not married to the mother.

I and my son’s mother split up in February 2004. The CSA was contacted by the child’s mother to collect money from 05/March/2004, I made my first payment on 03/June/2004.

It was worked out that I should pay £38.57 per week as I earned around £300 per week (before tax). This amount (£38.57) included a 2/7 reduction, it took into account that I looked after my child 2 out of the 7 nights.

(This, I believe, is an unfair way to calculate the amount of child maintenance because I got nothing from the mother for the 2 nights I looked after my son, how the CSA works is… if the father looks after the child 50% of the time, he would get a 50% discount, but he would still pay 50% and the mother would pay nothing.)

15/Sept/2005 my payments where increased to £45.00 due to the mother relocating and not giving me forwarding address, yes, my child’s mother relocates, stops contact and is rewarded with an extra £6.43 per week. I later found out that the mother stopped contact because she married a British soldier, moved with him to Northern Ireland and wanted to tell everyone that her new partner is my child’s father. I would also find out that the mother had changed my child’s surname to her new partner’s;

I was never informed of this.

I did not think the mother’s marriage would last and I hoped that she would return to her parents’ home in my home town Bridlington so I would not need to start court proceedings for contact, plus I did not know how to go about it anyway.

In June 2006 I was very emotionally upset after not seeing my child for many months and decided that despite the wishes of the mother and her family, I would go to court and fight for my child’s rights to know both parents. I filled in a C4 form (I found out that this is the wrong form) and sent it to my nearest family court, I also send a letter to my child’s grandfather on the mother’s side, I explained that I am applying for a “disclosure of a child’s whereabouts” and I was using his name as a person who knows my child’s whereabouts. Due to the Grandfather’s ill health and unwillingness to attend court, I received a phone call from the mother’s new partner. He was rude but at least I got the address that I needed. This was how I found out that my child had been living in Northern Ireland.

I tried to work with the mother to re-establish contact but it soon broke down again, this time she decided to call me on my birthday (29th March 2007) to cancel my visit. I later found out that the mother stopped contact to hide the fact that social services were then involved with my child because my child told them and his teacher graphically how the mother’s new partner punched him causing him a black eye. My child also stated that the step father often hits him. My child was 3yo. The social services did not inform me because the mother asked them not to (I asked them if this was true in a recorded letter dated (11.11.08)), they did not deny this, they also refused in a letter to give me my child’s records because the mother asked them not to, I later asked the court for this information and the court granted it. To cut this long story short, I attended court in Northern Ireland 9 times over 12 months and ended up with shared residence.

Between Feb 2007 and Jan 2008 I visited my child in Northern Ireland 13 times and attended court in Northern Ireland 8 times. The cost of these trips, court fees and paying the CSA forced me into about £5,000 of debt.

The CSA are supposed to allow for exceptional circumstances. I obviously fit into that category so I sent them a variation application; the CSA received it on the 12/Sept/2007. I enclosed receipts from my previous August visit and I enclosed my court orders (these all had to be originals) I received these original documents back about 5 months later in a letter dated 06/Feb/08 only after writing 4 recorded letters to the agency ( 25/Nov/07, 17/Jan/08, 28/Jan/08, 31/Jan/08 )

Despite sending a further 4 letters (13/Feb/08) (25/Feb/08) (12/Mar/08) (8/Apr/08), I still had not had my exceptions taken into account.

On the 21/Apr/08, after over 7 months since applying for the variation and after sending 8 letters I decided to send a formal complaint to The Chief Executive, I also sent a copy of this letter to my MP, Mr Greg Knight to forward onto the CSA.

In a letter dated 13/May/08, just 3 weeks after writing to my MP, I had my amount of maintenance reduced to reflect my variation request, however, they did not say their working out and I believe this to be totally wrong. I am still trying to resolve this.

With a short note dated the 23/May/08 I received a cheque for £50. The note said “Consol pay for incon caused by agency”.

In a letter to my MP dated the 28/May/08, the senior resolutions manager of the CSA (Gar McAtamney) apologised to my MP for the delay in processing my variation application and said that he arranged for a consolatory payment of £50 in recognition of the delay. I still have not received a personal apology or reply to the letter I sent him. In this letter to my MP Gar also apologises for the agency not replying to my letters as requested. He says that I should see an improvement in future dealings, however, I have not. It is also stated in this letter that they are unable to allow for contact costs (variations application) and overnight stays. The letter states that if I have any queries regarding my variations then I should write to the variations manager, I have done and I await their reply. Finally the letter tells my Mp that if I am not happy with the response I should write to the Independent Case Examiner, I have also done this.

18/Jun/08 as advised by the senior resolutions manager (Gar McAtamney), I sent a letter to the variations manager Geraldine Canning, I have not yet received a response.

19/Jun/08 as advised by the senior resolutions manager (Gar McAtamney) I sent a letter to the Independent Case Examiner (not a part of the CSA), I have received a reply dated the 23/Jun/08. They are processing my complaint.

28/Jun/08 Ipost my story on CSA hell, I still await replys to my letters

I have sent all letters recorded delivery and I have all the slips clipped to the letters, I keep all letters sent and received neatly in order, I recommend you do too as you are sure to need them at some point.

All this because I want to maintain contact with my child, the CSA needs serious reform not just re branding.

Oliver Stones

fraud by csa

June 30, 2008

I started paying child support to the C.S.A. in Jan 2008 and accidentally put the wrong year on the date of my first cheque that i sent them. They where very quick to inform me of this error and stated that they had returned the cheque to me and asked if i had received it. i informed them i had not and was asked if i could sent a replacement which i did in good faith, this was promptly cashed and I thought no more of it.

Then in march i noticed my account had a lot less in it than it should have had, in fact i was now overdrawn. on investigation i discovered that a cheque had been cashed to the same value as the one the C.S.A. had told me was being returned. i checked the cheque numbers and found them to be the same so i then visited the bank to find out where the money had gone. The bank also obtained a copy of the cheque for me which clearly shows that the cheque was altered so it could be cashed. Now i new where the money had gone i confronted the case worker who had told me the cheque had been returned to inform him of there error and that i wanted them to refund the money plus my bank charge for them making me go over drawn. His responce was that the money had already been payed to my ex wife and that i should try and recover this from her. i told him that this was unacceptable and there fault and that they should not go committing fraud and that if they did not return the money i would go to the police. after telling him i wanted to make a formal complaint i was told he would sort things out and 2 weeks later i received a cheque for £30 by way of a good will gesture. i then phoned him to find out what was going on and that this wasnt good enough, i wanted to know who at his department had the nerve to alter someone else’s cheque and thought that this was acceptable or even legal. he said he didnt know and still couldnt issue a refund, i replied that untill the matter was resolved to my satisfaction i would be sending no more money to them as they could not be trusted. the following month they issued a deduction of earnings which i found out about through the pay office at work, not from the csa, i recived the letter to me from the csa nearly a month after the pay office informed me which was dated after the letter that was sent to them, the csa are suposed to notify the me before going to my pay office so clearly this shows the csa dont follow there own laid down procedures, at this point there intention was to take nearly £800 from my wages that month. i then phoned them to be told that it was payment plus arrears but would not discuss the matter further. at this point i felt i could cope no longer and spoke to my partner saying i would have to give up contact with my daughter as i could no longer afford the 1000 mile round trip to see her, a variation has been refused to me from the start for travel costs because altho i had proof of travel my ex wife said i didn’t visit as often as i had been.

my partner then phoned the csa and finally got to speak to someone and told them that i was considering suicide due to the csa`s actions and demands. the csa then phoned her back and told her that arrears had to be paid back with in 2 years, she told them that it was a guideline and not a law, after 4 repeats of this statement the csa worker agreed it was a guideline and not a law and removed the deo and said i had to pay £310 per month, altho we got the deo removed and payments cut my partner and i are devastated that i had to get so depressed and seriously consider suicide in order to achieve this.

regarding the fraudulently changed cheque, i reported it to the police but when i phoned to see if any progress was being made i was told they had refunded the stolen money the day before (which they had done by putting directly in to my bank) and that the case was closed, i asked for the name of the person responsible for altering my cheque but was told that was not possible due to the data protection act, i stated that it was my data that had been abused and i was owed an explanation but instead the police officer stated he would not discuss this matter any further, this policeman was rude and arrogant and clearly not the least bit interested, if however it was i who stole from the csa by means of fraud i would be in court and facing a heavy fine or even prison, this is no way to treat a father and some one who has given up his life to serve in the British armed forces!

this is the shortened version of events and believe me the csa are quite happy to leave fathers with no money and no way of seeing there children, its a disgrace that children should be made to suffer because of the csa, luckily i can now continue to see my daughter as my payments were dropped, but the thought of when i was going to have to tell her i would not be seeing her anymore is still very much in my head and upsets me greatly.

we all need to stick together to change the unfair csa system, if everyone stands together surley it should make a difference.

Child Support Handbook

June 25, 2008

For parents who need some advice on dealing with the Child Support Agency and the breakdown of a marriage or partnership when children are involved, there is a handbook available that offers advice on the matter.

The book offers help and advice on how the CSA operates, and gives guidance towards how the CSA calculate their payments.

One thing the book has that will be very useful for most people, particularly readers of this website, is the chapter on CSA complaints. It talks through the process of making a complaint. It also covers the new proposed child maintenance and enforcement commission, so the book is up-to-date.

Have a look at the book, and let us know what you think of it if you’ve read it already. Is it useful?

Maurice Barnett in the Blackpool Gazette

June 24, 2008

Maurice Barnett of the Dead Beat Dads association managed to get some coverage for his plight, and his fight against the CSA in the Blackpool Gazette.

Thirty-Seven year old Maurice is a dad of three kids from Thornton and wishes to help like minded fathers who are battling with the CSA. Maurice believes that the tactics used by the Child Support Agency are too harsh, leaving many fathers unable to cope with the pressure and financial burdens.

In a similar story with many fathers battling the CSA, Maurice was left feeling depressed and facing repossession on his home.

Maurice says:

We want a fairer system set-up.

Any man’s rights have been completely eroded away. You could pay your ex-wife cash-in-hand for six years, fall out and she can contact the CSA who demand you pay it all again.

When they get involved, fathers are losing contact with their children.

Fathers are moving out of the home, paying for their children and then being told their bedsit isn’t appropriate or they can’t afford to pick up their children.

It’s true that the CSA cause fathers to lose contact with their children, because they reward the mothers financially for cutting the fathers out entirely. The mothers get more money if the father doesn’t have access to his children. A father who sees his children regularly and has overnight contact with them has to pay less, so obviously mothers are refusing access.

The system has completely missed the point of keeping family’s in touch.

Maurice has founded the organisation together with his partner, Sherri. She says about the Dead Beat Dads:

MPs up and down the country are being bombarded with calls for help from fathers.

We hear the CSA are asking non-resident fathers what is the limit on your credit card? Can you remortgage your house? Just to get people to settle their arrears.

They are telling people they shouldn’t have had a second family.

The CSA gave the same standard response they always give, completely missing the point again:

Every parent has a financial responsibility for their child.

We look at each case individually to ensure the correct maintenance assessment is made.

This isn’t about securing money for the CSA but about recovering money for those children who are owed it.

The Child Support Agency need to realise the damage they are doing to families, and in particular to children.

Red Letter Day 02 July 2008

June 24, 2008

Our site is now 11 weeks old, we have in that time been busy helping, NRP’s, P’sWC and NRPP’s, with the CSA.

As a group, we have decided the time is right to begin our first stage of action.

With the kind help of the friends and members of ‘afairercsaforall’, we have prepared a letter for anybody wishing to take part in the *Red Letter Campaign* on 02 July 2008.

Hopefully, all those parents who have issues with the CSA will unite for a common cause and join us.

We would like to say a big thankyou to eveybody for their involvement with the site.

Chloe and I, would appreciate feed back and ideas from ALL parents, feel free to pm either of us on http://afairercsaforall.myfanforum.org/index.php.
Please remember that unless you use your voice it cannot be heard. Be involved and lets go forward together.

Dead Beat dads Association Next meetings

June 17, 2008

Im having a meeting at the Air Balloon South Shore Blackpool on the 18th June 2008 if anybody wants to come along and discuss their problems about the CSA.

There is also another meeting on the 24th June at Piccadilly at the Waldorf at 7.30.

Others planned are for Coventry Leeds and Durham so please email me at the deadbeatdadsassociation.co.uk to let me know who is wanting to attend

Cheers
Mobey from the Dead Beat Dads

meeting update for the Deadbeat dads association

June 17, 2008

Meeting tomorrow 18th June at 6.30 South shore Blackpool and 24th June Manchester Piccadilly Waldorf pub 7.30

How have the CSA handled your case?

June 15, 2008

As this morning fathers throughout the country are receiving hugs and presents from their children, thousands of fathers are unfortunate not to even see their kids. The fact that many fathers are unable to see their children is something that the child support agency don’t care about.

So, on this Father’s Day, how have the CSA handled your case? Let us know in this poll.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

CSA can’t even track down film and TV actor Craig Conway

June 14, 2008

You’d think even the CSA would be able to track down an actor who’s married to a star of Eastenders and is appearing a major film with Bob Hoskins. It’s not very hard, there he is on the TV. However the CSA had failed to track down actor Craig Conway, husband of Jill Halfpenny.

With his wife appearing on Strictly Come Dancing and his wedding photos appearing in a national newspaper he should be quite easy to find. The Child Support Agency have now found him (well done guys) but he has yet to pay any money for his ten year old daughter. The girl’s mother, Debbie Jones, hasn’t received a penny from him.

Debbie said in interview with the People:

Jill should really have a think about things. While I know Bronwen is not her responsibility, I would like to appeal to her as one mother to another.

Please encourage Craig to be a part of his little girl’s life. It breaks my heart because Bronwen doesn’t deserve to grow up thinking that her dad doesn’t care about her.

Craig is currently starring in the movie Doomsday alongside British acting legend Bob Hoskins. He met Debbie when she was 16 and left her pregnant when she was just 18. She did meet Craig just after the child was born when he was performing in a play in Newcastle.

We met up. I showed him pictures of Bronwen and he seemed very excited.

He said he definitely wanted to be in her life. But he was going to Paris for three weeks so he said I had to wait for him to get in touch. He never did.

Unfortunately for Debbie, and her daughter, the CSA were unable to track down the movie star. It wasn’t until he married Jill Halfpenny and his wedding pics appeared in a national newspaper that the CSA found him.

Debbie explains:

Shortly after his wedding was in the papers the CSA tracked him down but he insisted on a DNA test.

Debbie confronted Craig and his new wife Jill when they were in panto together.

We waited at the stage door for him to come out and when he did he had Jill with him. He just turned round and told her who I was. I asked if we could go somewhere private but he wouldn’t and said he would give me a ring.

As I’d heard that four years before I knew I had to say my piece to him then and there. I got the impression Jill was shocked by what I said. I have kept cards and love letters from him and I can prove we had a long-term relationship.

He was the first person I ever slept with, and he knows that.

The CSA have said that Craig Conway should pay £34 per week, which is a pathetic sum of money for a film actor married to a soap star.

The CSA said he only earns £225 a week. I find it really hard to believe when he has been starring in massive budget films. I can’t believe he has become so cold hearted. It’s not the boy I grew up with.

Meanwhile Jill Halfpenny, who lives in a £500,000 house in Northumberland said that neither she, nor her family would comment on the story.

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