CSA brand me ‘non compliant’ because I asked for breakdown

March 29, 2010

I am currently on the verge of tearing my hair out because of the CSA. In June 2009 I was sent a letter telling me that i had been overpaying by nearly 100% for the support of my two children from a previous relationship. When I called them I was told that my new monthly payments will be £188 instead of the £341.00 I had been paying on time every month. I asked at this point for a full breakdown of my case as I was wary after reading so many stories about the CSA. The breakdown was not received until February of this year and stipulated that I owed in the region of £5000. When I called them asking how this could possibly be they said they would look into it and get back to me. No further correspondence by mail or telephone was received until March with a new breakdown detailing that the original amount owed in arrears had been reduced to nearly £4000.

Again i called them and said this cannot be right only to be told that it was but someone would again look into it. Nothing again was heard until earlier this month when I received a letter detailing that because I had questioned the original amount owed I was now regarded as a non compliant payer and a deduction of earnings totaling £541.00 per month had been put through the courts and was now attached to my salary. Upon discussing this with yet another member of staff, a managing supervisor called Emma Powell, i was told that my case worker had done this because I had disputed the original amount and was persistent in asking for a full breakdown. Because I had had three consecutive conversations regarding this and had not accepted the arrears this made me liable for non compliance and therefore the CSA had every power to go ahead and obtain the attachment of earnings without consulting me in the matter whatsoever.

After speaking at length on several occasions with Emma Powell, it materialized that the CSA had not taken into account my payments at the beginning of the case direct to my now ex wife totaling in the region of £4000. At this point I thought this was the end of the matter and I would continue to carry on paying as I always have on a regular monthly basis. This was not to be! Emma instructed that there was still £841 outstanding even though I have yet to receive a full account breakdown (they only send a generated version which details amount due on a regular basis MINUS the arrears they ‘think’ you owe). I was told that unless I agreed to pay the amount outstanding in monthly payments on top of my usual £188 per month and a good will payment of £141 with March 2010 payment the attachment of earnings will still go through despite my reservations at it being owed at all. As my wage per month is only £1300, I had no choice but to pay the amount they were asking, as I was totally stuck between a rock and a hard place. Basically it was pay up or the court ruling stands.

Now, a further two weeks on, I was told by yet another CSA worker that what stands stands, and that as I accepted the arrears and have started to make payments, despite my reservations I cannot appeal or even complain without the attachment of earnings order being re instated. When asked directly ‘is this a threat?’ I was told that this is the way it is. I was also told that with regards to complaining there is no point as thousands of the original ‘amount you should be paying in regular maintenance’ letter (however no mention of arrears) are sent out every year by computer, generating 1000’s of complaints, followed by, and I quote ‘this is the way it is, it won’t change, all you will recieve is an apology letter’. I adjusted my payments in accordance with explicit instructions from the CSA and have never once faltered on these, and now I am branded a non compliant parent, had my name taken to court and have been subjected to harassment from a variety of case workers.

At this moment in time, I am without any hope at all, as I HAVE to keep paying the arrears off despite my reservations that they even exist, coupled with the fear that if I contest this or even make an reasonable and justified complaint I will be taken to court without further knowledge or notice and I will lose a significant amount of monthly salary.

I have been pushed from pillar to post, no one, and I mean literally no one wants to hear the side of the payee, despite the ludicrous and totally uncalled for treatment of us. The CSA do not want to listen to you when you have a query about over paying, they simply will not entertain the fact that in this case they were wrong. I have not once received a written apology. The closet thing to an apology was from Emma Powell who said ‘the case worker in question wasn’t in the right and it is a ‘learning curve’ .

To sum up, within a period of 4-5 weeks I was told I owed over £5000, to just £841. I have been taken to court, been made to feel persecuted, inferior and have been bullied into paying something that I do not agree with. I have no voice, I have no choice. Is it any wonder men are committing suicide because of these maladministration’s?


12 Responses to “CSA brand me ‘non compliant’ because I asked for breakdown”

  1. chall on March 29th, 2010 9:39 am

    Hi Stuart,

    Firstly, the agency DO NOT go to court for a Detachment of Earnings.

    Secondly, from what you have said in your post, you most definitely DO need to make an official complaint.

    Thirdly, apply for your Data Protection File and a complete account breakdown – the agency charge a £10 for such, do not send cash OR a cheque and postal orders should be made payable to; CSA
    – click on my user name, there is a template letter in the download section on the site it will take you to. You are also welcome to join us in the forum there 🙂

  2. chall on March 29th, 2010 9:42 am

    – It may also be in your interest to send a copy of your complaint to your local MP requesting their assistance.

    Keep copies of all your correspondence and send signed for.

  3. martin dell on March 29th, 2010 10:25 pm

    this seem to happen when you start learn your rights and because the csa act UN lawfully .they delay and delay and palm you off because they know they are in the wrong and the amount is wrong keep pushing but do it all in recorded letters or emails and log all

    you also should ask for
    proof of claim the have considered the welfare of your children before maintance is considered
    deo are unlawful
    go to dead beat dads ass and fair csa for all start learn your rights then challenge them with what you know

    and what them delay ,and ignore you then send copies to the csa your mp start a tribual hearing ,and also your The Local Government Ombudsman

  4. Stuart Ingram on March 30th, 2010 5:23 am

    Thanks for the comments. I have submitted a copy of the above complaint to my local MP for investigation, as I simply can’t get anywhere with them as a customer! I will keep you all updated on this.

  5. Karen Bedford on March 30th, 2010 6:54 am

    The problem is the csa go after men who pay properly but not the ones who dont. So if you are an ‘easy target’ then its easy for them. I feel sorry for the men who suffer who to the men like my ex who never wanted to pay and made it difficult and still do. The CSA dont like giving breakdowns because its something they know they could muck up on and also it involves a lot of work, I eventually got mine about what I was owed, paid, etc. but it took ages to get and I had to go on and on about it. You need to complaint all in writing, recorded delivery too, if you have access to legal advice (family solicitor) try and get advice from them too. I think chall and Martin have covered a lot of what I would have said too. Good Luck.

  6. Sarah on April 1st, 2010 12:22 pm

    Always always always complain to your MP as according to the statistics released by the CSA and as stated in Westminster, “the number of complaints against the CSA has fallen by more than half since 2004-05, which is an indication of its improved performance”.


  7. Stuart Ingram on April 3rd, 2010 2:31 pm

    I have reveived a letter tday from my MP, who has written to the MD of the CSA, asking for a full investigation into the case…heres hoping for just a little bit of justice!

  8. David Owens on April 3rd, 2010 4:16 pm

    Hi my name is Dave and I use to work for the CSA until 2005. At the time I was considered a legal and procedural, as well as a technical expert. I worked on high profile Independent Case Examiner (ICE) and Ombudsman MP (PCA) complaints. As such I can see peoples cases from both sides if I can be of help please contact me.

  9. mark cooper on April 13th, 2010 5:53 pm

    there are certain things you can do.complain to the csa(who will then do nothing) then take your complaint to the independent case examiner.if he recommends in your favour and the csa still refuse to change anything,your next step is a tribunal.if the tribunal instructs the csa to re-assess you they will have to do this.it is a long drawn out process,but worth it in the end.good luck!!

  10. Stuart on April 17th, 2010 7:23 am

    Got a call from the Parlimentary Complaints Tem and the CSA (isn’t awful they actually have a department for this) – they have now managed to reduce the arrears down to £300 from over £5000, and I will get a formal apology letter sent from the CSA – I may frame it. I cannot dispute the £300, as, although I still believe the arrears to be nil, I have no evidence to the contrary. To be honest though I think I have had a small victory there…

  11. john on May 6th, 2010 10:48 am

    i informed csa i was moving in wth my lass and 2 kids they get no money of the dad i pay my 2 sons 2 my shock they reduced it by 3pounds a joke and then informed me 2 my horrer im due my xe around 2000 i asked for breakdown never recieved one they suspended payment as i said i wasnt due them anything my older son who is just turned 19 he went 2 uni on sept i phned them 2 remind that i shudnt need 2 pay now for my older son 2 my joy they wrote me letter ive over paid as its wen he goes 2 uni not wen he is 19 they said im due over 1200 pounds ……..then next day gets phne call from hell of same case worker w hos been nasty 2 me saying you are do that 2000 pounds can you pay i said no way you getting a penny as im not due it she again suspended it im awaitaing more info i asked wat about my overpayment she laughed said i wudnt get it i even phnd solicetor nothing u can do i feel dicrimmated against how can they just make up an arears i used 2 pay my ex in cash b4 she went to csa

  12. john on June 1st, 2015 11:15 am

    Will csa payments go down when my daughter is 16?

Got something to say?