After a decade of not paying, CSA says I owe my ex money!

March 31, 2011

This will no doubt be an all too familiar story to thousands of people up and down the country. It is partly my ex to blame and partly the CSA. I’ll keep this short and ‘sweet’.

When my ex and i split up 14 years ago my son was 1 year old and i involved the CSA. Over the last 14yrs it has cost me a fortune telephoning the CSA, chasing them up. Each time the CSA FINALLY caught up with my ex (each time took about 12 months and ME finding out his work details, which is hard when you don’t see or speak to your ex!) he just packed in his job, went on the dole a month or so then got a job and i’d have the whole carry-on again.

I complained a few years back and got £100 compensation. I was told numerous times that my case didn’t matter because i was on income support and i didn’t see the money anyway. I naturally chewed some heads as that is not the point! You DO see some of the money when you come off benefits!

Anyway, after 13 years of getting nothing, the odd payment arrived (his wages had been arrested). The first correspondance i received from the CSA in written form, for almost a decade, said I owed HIM money! Hilarious! I naturally lost the plot and was hung up on twice. 13 years of no payments and i owe him? How?

Well – he declared himself bankrupt! In Scotland, CSA debt is included in your bankruptcy, not in England.

I lost the plot and wrote to Holyrood (waste of time) and No.10 Downing Street. Amazing what happens when you do this! I had a massive apology on the phone from the complaints department of the CSA (which she was told to shove and sort my account). Little did i know, but they had already started to take the money i ‘owed’ back through the random payments which came in!! I wait 13 years for any kinda payment and the second they think i owe, it’s taken back? Yet again, i lost it.

Long and short – i demanded a breakdown of my account from over the years. I also hit them with a Subject Access Request for a copy of all my information they have on file, including cd’s of telephone calls, and a Freedom of Information request asking for figures of money lost in Scotland through bankruptcy.

I got my breakdown, almost £13, 000 was written off from my ex’s account.

I got my Subject Access, after paying £10 fee which was fine.

The Freedom of Information request was interesting! The Records management within the CSA is naturally as i expected – crap at best. They have NO CLUE how many cases of bankruptcy there have been in the last 5 years in Scotland and gave me a rough estimate of a figure written off, but in reality i feel it’s much higer than what they estimated.

So, currently, my ex’s wages have been arrested and i’m meant to be getting money weekly haha. His arrears are up again. I am constantly asking them to keep track of his arrears as i do not want this happening again. Utter joke. I just rang them and a payment has been received, that’s the 2nd payment this year! So much for weekly payments. I know he’s been working (facebook is amazing and he is thick!) so i can only think his boss isn’t being honest with the CSA.

I am about to write to Downing Street and Holyrood again and i am going to fight to get Scottish law changed in line with English, regarding bankruptcy. It’s been almost 14 years now, may as well follow it right through now!

I can only say what so many others have said on here – keep fighting and find out your rights! They will not tell you, you have to dig.

I must add – the lady who dealt with my complaint was great.

If i can be of any help to anyone, i will! Good luck and keep being heard!