Can a CSA case be closed when there are still arrears?

February 11, 2013

Can anyone help? if a PWC requests the csa case to be closed completely , can it close with arrears to PWC and SOS?

The letter states that the liability is no longer in force for the child, does this mean that the case is closed?

Both parties want a private agreement. The NRP is settling arrears in full and final satisfaction direct to PWC but arrears are only suspended at present. Can the PWC claim these back at any time in the future as the amount paid is a settlement, not the full amount.

NRP was told a form would be sent out to both parties to say pwc has had arrears paid direct so they can be written off. I have since read that arrears cannot be written off,only suspended… so how can the NRP protect themselves in paying a lump sum and then being hounded in years to come for arrears? Both parties are happy with this agreement but the PWC could well change their mind after receiving the lump sum which is being borrowed.

In regards to the Full and Final satisfaction law 2012 this should be the case that arrears are written off. Can the SOS arrears be negotiated too ? eg half offered in a lump sum?

What address would the letter be sent to in requesting the cases are closed and the arrears settled in this way? each time the NRP has called they were told that the correct department would contact them re arrears and this has not happened. Any advice would be great


  • Alice says:

    Bonnie – if the NRP pays the PWC they should obtain a signed receipt clearly stating the amount paid and that it was for Child Support Arrears – the PWC should request a CSF758 or 756 from the Child Support Agency (the PWC could also just write a letter with the details), The PWC debt will be adjusted by the figure on the signed declaration – so if she states that she has received the full amount the debt will be adjusted in full, the PWC arrears would be fully satisfied as declared by the PWC having received.

    In respect of the SoS debt – others are advising that the new legislation is now in force – I personally have not received full info or training on this as yet so cannot comment.

  • Alice says:

    Bonnie – the allocation of any payment made by NRP is

    1. RM to PWC(s)
    2. Arrears owed to PWC(s)
    3. Arrears owed to SoS
    4. Other charges (DNA test fees etc if applicable)

    If there is only 1 PWC on the case and the RM liability has ended any money paid by the NPR would be allocated first and foremost to the PWC.arrears Any balance after the full PWC debt was paid would then be allocated to SoS arrears.

    If the NRP has more than 1 case and there is ongoing RM liability on the other case then the PWC who now has the family based agreement would not automatically get the full amount paid by the NRP.

  • Bonnie says:

    Thanks Alice and everyone else who has took the time to reply. I will update you all in good time.

    One more thing Alice , I keep asking the same question about the 13 week rule and haven’t had an answer. Does is start when case is properly closed and arrears settled or from when liability is no longer in force?
    For example the PWC needs to open a new case after 13 weeks as the initial one has closed.

  • Lisa says:

    Bonnie, i was told that a case can be opened whenever, regardless of when the last one was closed, because of a huge backlog at the moment its taking a lot longer than 13 weeks to process and get payment if thats what the client was looking for, something to do with a massive log of cases being closed at the moment because of changes??? Not exactly sure what these changes are though

  • Bonnie says:

    Thanks Lisa its more in regards of old rules to current rules. I was told that for a case to move from one rule to another it had to be closed for 13 weeks, then reopened…. WHEN this 13 weeks starts is not clear. I would like to know for future reference in supporting others too.

  • lisa says:

    You meant moveing from CS1 to CS2, i remember that my hubbys ex was same she didt have to close and reopen her case they migrated it???? Not sure what that means, Good luck in getting the answer, x

  • Bonnie says:

    Yes from csa1 to csa2. If it migrates due to linked cases its subject to phasing. If its closed and reopened after 13 weeks its on csa2 without a phasing period. I was not sure when the 13 weeks start? from the end of liability or from the date the case is completely closed and all arrears paid/settled.

  • Alice says:

    Bonnie – I have never worked on CS1 and as such my knowledge of it is limited. My understanding of the 13 week rule is that if a case is open on CS1 and is then closed, and there is a subsequent application to open a case again there has to be a 13 week gap period between the CS1 case closing and the CS2 case opening, if the application was received within the 13 weeks from the closure date on the CS1 case the case would be re-opened on CS1.

    Migration of cases from CS1 to CS2 takes place where either an NRP has a CS1 case and a new application was made by a 2nd PWC after CS2 scheme came into place (03/03/2003). The original case will be migrated over to CS2 and the cases will be linked via the NRP, or if the original PWC makes a new application 13 weeks or more from the CS1 case being closed, any outstanding arrears on the CS1 case will be migrated over to the new CS2 case, but the MC on the CS2 case will be assessed under the 2003 scheme legislation.

    The current changes are in relation to the new 2012 scheme, currently cases where there are 4 or more children with the same NRP and PWC are being moved to the new scheme, some clients are choosing to close their cases and have private agreements instead of using the new scheme. In time all cases will be moved to the 2012 scheme.

  • Alice says:

    As far as I am aware the 13 weeks is from the closure date.

  • Bonnie says:

    I thought so Alice that makes sense, so it would be 13 weeks starting from all arrears cleared and case closed completely. As you said earlier with arrears suspended the case is open but withdrawn. Thanks a lot its so useful to know.
    Cheers everyone!!

  • Alice says:

    Bonnie – as I said earlier I am not trained on CS1 so cannot confirm what status is given to a case where liability has ended but there are arrears on the case. On CS2 a PWC can request that the case be ‘closed’ as in they no longer wish the agency to assess and/or collect maintenance – if there are arrears on the case the the system will set the status to ‘open but withdrawn’ or ‘open but cancelled’ . If at any point the arrears are cleared – either by NRP paying them direct to csa or by adjustment due to declaration from PWC (or receipt produced by NRP) the system will set the status to ‘closed’

    I think – and I re-iterate the word THINK – that the 13 weeks start from the liability ending (pwc stating they no longer wish the agency to assess and/or collect maintenance). I will see if I can get any more info from someone who is trained in CS1 cases

    If there are any users on here with comprehensive knowledge of CS1 their answer may be more helpful.

  • brendan baines says:

    right me and the childs mother have decided to come to our own arrangement .she wants me to pay her weeky direct debit to my sons account which i dont mind ive rang the csa today to make sure she has closed it and they have said it is still open but on a payment direct and that its okay because if she does ring and open the case the payments will only start from the date she rings. is this true as im concerned that she will ring them down the line and i will have a big bill starting from today the day she crang to rang said we,l do it through us and end up paying twice the only way she will do it is through my sons account and feel holded over a barrel as to be honist im sick of the csa and would prefer to do it through us any info would be much appriciated

  • Bonnie says:

    Brendan , pay to her account why she wont do this is suspicious?, she can say its savings to your sons account , not Maintenance. Get a Private Family based agreement and pay standing order , label the transaction with Child maintenance reference every time.
    If you are on Maintenance Direct the case is open not closed but they will only contact you to collect if you fail to pay or the PWC claims that you haven’t paid , so keep records, dont pay cash and do not pay it to your son.!!

  • Bonnie says:

    Update….. CSA do have the power to write off arrears , so does the PWC with correct forms. The secretary of state arrears can also be negotiated on, so offer part payment in full if you can.

  • David says:

    Hi, having gone through hell for last 4 1/2 yrs with a case case . Which dated back to 2002. First I knew of case was 2010 when a received a letter saying I owed 42000 , even though I had been paying pwc every mth, cash! I’m at a point now where all debt is owed to the sos, can this be written off, or payed part in full?
    Thanks David

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