Alleged arrears from the CSA

September 23, 2011

I have a letter from the CSA dated April 2009 giving me a statement of accounts and amount outstanding. My case was closed back in May 2007 and the amount outstanding are for “alleged” arrears.

I have been paying regular amounts by standing order and have now cleared the outstanding amount.

I contacted them today and they say that they reviewed my case in April 2011 and the amount owing has increased. I questioned this and was told that they got the information wrong in their letter of April 2009 and I still owe them money.

Surely they cannot just say that they got it wrong and change the figure. If I buy an item in a shop for £5 the shop can’t come back to me after and tell me they got the pricing wrong and I owe them more money.

Do I have any recourse to this and does anyone know of a precedent that I can use to prevent them from changing the amount?

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Many thanks


  • Vic says:

    Be practical with this. If the amount of arrears is affordable for you then pay it with the proviso that the case is closed permanently and they will never contact you again – you need this writing. Ask them to send you a full and final settlement letter and make the payment only then. Be aware that the CSA computer systems simply don’t work and contains no reliable data for them to work with (in fact there are 3 systems plus some manual ones) as a consequence they operate in chaos. They used to be targeted on the number of cases closed so they were eager to close cases, often on the whim of a case worker to meet that months target. This ruse was spotted and then they were targeted on collections and they have picked much of the low hanging fruit on that one so now are going after older cases and “closed” cases. If you’ve proven a good payer in the past then they reopen your case and invent arrears while you dilly dally in indignation about the injustice of it all you become non compliant and are subjected to a 40% Deduction of Earnings Order and/or further actions to recover the invented arrears to ensure they meet the collections targets and get their bonuses. If you can pay then pay but only on receipt of a full and final settlement letter from them. They routinely destroy second families, children’s lives, marriages and careers with these tactics.

    If you don’t comply they will treat you like a criminal and hound you their employees are desensitised to the suffering they cause and relish the powers that they have, powers that would make a fascist state blush. One thing they don’t have to do is prove the arrears – if they say you owe it you owe it and magistrates rubber stamp the debt. Fraudulent, reprehensible, a breach of your human rights and down right fraud – yes. So you need to get angry about the CSA and people need to start getting organised and start fighting back.

  • >