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CSA are making our lives a misery

My husbands ex girlfriend moved away when their daughter was 3 and he has had no contact with her since (her choice). He was paying her maintenance through a private agreement and then she closed her account and the payments kept bouncing back. He had no way to contact her as she moved away from the area and accepted that he would have to wait for her to get in touch.

Four years later he was contacted by the CSA, they told him he owed them £30k – they had based the figure on one years earnings when his business did well, they did not take into consideration that the following year his business went into liquidation and he has had no income for the past four years.

I have been struggling with the help of a little working tax credit to pay our bills and he has had 4 court hearings which have been adjourned whilst we have been applying for legal aid as we have no money.

Our home was reposessed last year and finances are absolutely terrible. He was told in court yesterday that he may have to go to prison for non payment and they now want £50,000. Today we were told we dont quite qualify for legal aid so we are on our own. We are both in shock and terribly upset as we are hard working, honest and always try to do the right thing. we have copies of letters sent to the CSA over the past four years asking for a breakdown, we sent my husbands tax returns to prove he has had no income yet these have all been ignored.

Last year the Citizens advice bureau tried to help by ringing them for a breakdown, they said they would send one and we’ve never heard anymore. I cannot believe the injustice we are going through and the total incompetance of the CSA, they have made our lives a total misery and its not over yet.

3 thoughts on “CSA are making our lives a misery

  1. Go to your M.P. asap. Ask your M.P. to make enquries regarding your CSA case! Have you asked the Independent Case Examiners office to look at your complaint?

    You must have mitigating circumstances, as you were unable to contact the mother to make payments. I would also challenge the amount that the CSA say that you owe, by mentioning in court that you have had no breakdown of the alleged arrears, and therefore have had no chance to contest them.

    It appears that the CSA and the court are stitching you up. Do not pay a bean until you have evidence of the alleged debt! Write to cameron, Clegg and Duncan Smith. Do not give up!

  2. I feel your pain and how low this beastly uncaring bureaucracy can drive you to despair. I would reinforce John’s comments seek a review via ICE, meet with your local MP (but go prepared with evidence of the CSA endless maladministration of your case). Given the lack of standards at the CSA, poor management, unreliable if not useless IT systems and the endless buck passing the £50K they want is in reality unenforceable. They pursue it because you accept what they tell you and have not taken the steps above as believe it or not they have a target for “…arrears applied for..” so a case worker slapping £50K on you lets them meet their monthly and quarterly targets in one swoop and to hell with you as decent people trying to make a life for themselves. You need to become active in this battle by NOT speaking to them on the phone, asking for everything in writing and only apply in writing (recorded delivery, insist on a signature) as despite the abuses of process that has been heaped upon you if you go to a tribunal all they care about is whether the proper process was followed by YOU, NOT THE CSA, THE CSA CAN BE ARSEHOLES BEYOND BELIEF BUT YOU SO MUCH AS RAISE YOUR voice AND YOU ARE CONSIDERED “NON COMPLIANT” and are passed to recovery

  3. Thanks for all your supportive comments – it really has been a terrible ordeal so far but I thought I would share the latest with you. We paid £10 to get copies of ALL the CSA’s documentation and then made an appointment with NACSA (National Association for Child Support Action), we spent over three hours with one of the senior advisors there who went through all the paperwork word for word (hundreds of pages). It turns out there are so many holes and mistakes in the this case that it should never have gone to court. They have on record all the letters we have sent yet have not bothered to answer, they also have details of receiving all my husbands tax returns when his business went bust and he had no income for over 3 years yet again they chose to ignore these and make up a figure and demanded another £20,000 from him. The CSA are a totally ridiculous shambolic organisation who have wasted millions of tax payers hard earned money on hounding innocent people like us. We are in court again on Monday where my husband will have to represent himself as we have no money for a solicitor, I hope that the court will see what a ridiculous case this is and they will make the CSA withdraw the case. We have both lost so much sleep over the injustice of this whole thing and hope that it will be over then. Once its over I will take your advice and write to Mr Cameron and our local MP because its time the CSA were shut down.

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