CSA sends confidential information to wrong address again

December 15, 2010

The Child Support Agency has inadvertently sent personal details for a number of its cases to the wrong households, posing a potential breach of confidentiality.

CSA mistakes have occurred at several UK addresses, whereby residents have received letters concerning maintenance payments containing personal information such as National Insurance numbers, full names, dates of births and even tax details.

For instance, in a letter to the Daily Mail, one homeowner from Rochester in Kent claimed to have been sent in excess of 100 letters from both the Department of Work and Pensions and the Child Support Agency for various people. Although they returned the majority of this post immediately, occasionally the recipient opened the envelopes to find extensive personal details that were intended to be sent to pension provider Friends Provident.

Upon receiving this letter, the Daily Mail contacted the Child Support Agency and the Department of Work and Pensions, neither of which replied. Despite it being CSA mistakes that led to the letters being issued, the letters were eventually taken back by HM Revenue and Customs in order to address the problem.

After issuing an apology, the HMRC confirmed it had launched a joint investigation into the reason for the wrongly directed mail, in consultation with both departments concerned. It also claimed that it plans to address why neither the Department of Work and Pensions nor the Child Support Agency looked into the error once it had been raised by the recipient.

“We take our customers’ data security extremely seriously and always seek to promptly correct errors,” said a spokesperson.


  • John says:

    Sums them up! Arrogant, incompetent and unaccountable!

    Shut them down!

  • graeme says:

    My thoughts exactly John. Well said.

  • Richard Murray says:

    Data security seriously,,, That's Bollocks they sent me copies of wage slips from a carpet company in Dundee 300 miles away , they said sorry for the error but they are refusing to remove the amount of money on the slips from my liability ?? Incompetent Prats !!!

  • Steve Gibbons says:

    Oh dear. Face to face meeting with CSA in Northampton today. Alleged debts to CSA for period 1993 – 1999. Can they pursue me for debts from that long ago, even when I paid everything for 1999-2009 OK and they never even mentioned an historic debt until this March. Threatening DoE etc, very stressful!!

  • Peter Anderson says:

    Steve, No they can't! Not unless they can persuade you to pay, using threats, or by getting a Deduction of Earnings Order.You have to take it to Court then they are limited by the six year rule although they will try to go back to July 2000, six years before they changed the law. So if you paid in full from 1999 to date then there is nothing they can do except threaten you. I would not bother going to the meeting. I would write to them stating that there are no arrears and that you are fully up to date with payments. Is your case now closed as you finished paying in 2009? They are out chasing anything and everyone at the moment. PM me Steve.

  • Richard Murray says:

    Steve they have there own laws they closed my case in 2008 and refunded all the money i paid ,, Then out of the blue a new liability order came through the post !!

  • Phil Marsh says:

    I'm just waiting for some damm fool letter off them to turn up on xmas eve, just so they can ruin my xmas as well as my life in general

  • Jem Pogue says:

    I recieved a letter stating my case was closed and 2 letters the same day demanding info so they can make a maintenance assesment all 3 signed by the same Pat Smith of crewe and all 3 within 2 days !!!!!!!INCOMPETENT CHILD ABUSING WANKERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Richard Murray says:

    In 2004 i had 2 assessments done on the same day one for NIL and the other for 146 per week and guess what they only posted the NIL one and the 146 per week was posted 4 years later ,, Well that's the excuse the incompetent cunts gave me ???

  • Sarah-Jayne Pattimore says:

    The CSA are not limited by the 6 year rule. Peter has given incorrect information.

  • Lee Hughes says:

    Please explain Sarah as I very much believe that what Peter wrote is indeed correct!

  • Mark Thorpe DjScm says:

    Anything to do with the Goverment is classed as a Crown debt which is excluded from the statute of limitations bill, with a crown debt you don't even need to let the bailiffs in your house they can just put the door in if they're 100% you live there. It's shit but it's the law and maintenance payments are defo classed as a crown debt.

  • Sarah-Jayne Pattimore says:

    They can take it from most benefits you may claim in future, with the exception of some disability benefits which are protected. They do not have to go to to court to do this, and there's no legal obligation to inform you in advance that this is what they intend to do if the six years has passed. The Statute of Limitations applies, but unlike ordinary unsecured debts on simple contract, doesn't stop recovery by DWP.It is a debt to the Crown which could be taken from a pension or even from your 'estate' after death, if a relative claims a Funeral Grant. Doing away with the old Benefits Agency and merging with others to form DWP made it a lot easier to do this.This is from a CSA employee who posts on the MSE forums offering help and double checking calculations.

  • Richard Murray says:

    how long you worked with the Agency Sarah ?

  • Richard Murray says:

    Mark total Crap Bailiffs law is Bailiffs law !

  • Mark Thorpe DjScm says:

    Check it out yaself la, they tried to come through my door for council tax another crown debt

  • Sarah-Jayne Pattimore says:

    LOL Richard. I dont, but I have 12 years experience as both a PWC and NRPP at their shocking administration, or lack of it. Luckily for my daughter we now receive regular maintenece but I joined this site to offer help and support to those still having problems. Not sure how that means I work for the agency.

  • Jody Langton says:

    Mark, Bailiffs attending for council tax arrears CANNOT break in UNLESS the have gained peaceable entry first.

  • Phil Marsh says:

    Ok,i did a OU law degree and Debt and bailiff law is my area of law. What Sarah is saying is correct. The CSA are subject to the limitations act 1980, however if a liability order has been obtained then the debt is not protected under the limitations act. Also take note that if a CCJ is obtained that also takes the debt outside of the limitations act and if you acknowledged the debt it falls outside the limitations act. If a debt is subject to the limitations act, its does not simply go away, it just can not be enforced in a court. Put simply, you still owe the money but the courts can not force you to pay it back.Now CS may of been made exempt from the Limitations act in the CS act, i would need to do some research but there is no general exemption for crown debts from the limitations act.However the crown can and do take monies for debts over 6 years from pensions. benefits and estates.They do not need to go to court or in fact prove you owe the money to take money direct from state benefits.Regarding Bailiffs, A bailiff is simply someone employed by a creditor to collect debts owed to them and who may seize your goods as a form of payment. He or she cannot break down your door or even push past you if you open the door. And a bailiff can not leave his or her foot in the door to prevent you from closing it. All are examples of "forced entry" and would render the whole process illegal.The exceptions to this are when bailiffs are trying to recover money you owe to HM Revenue & Customs or are trying to recover unpaid Magistrates' Court fines. In the latter case, bailiffs have the power to force entry. In the former case, bailiffs are allowed to break into your home providing they have a magistrates' warrant to do so.If you are behind with your rent or mortgage payments, your landlord or mortgage lender may get a County Court possession order to evict you. In this situation, the bailiffs are also allowed to break into your home. In all other instances a bailiff cannot force his or her way into your home.

  • Phil Marsh says:

    Please also note, that an open window or door is an invitation to enter as far as bailiff law is concerned. So if they are coming make sure all doors and windows are locked.

  • steve macdonald says:

    hello all, if you have consented to or have paid any CSA then you are screwed,it is all about contract and if you have accepted to make payment or file an assesment then you have contracted and agreed to the contract.best thing to do is get a copy of your data protection file and check for any stuff they may have done wrong and caused a breach, I am going to take them to court when I get my Data protection file through as I know they have made more than a few breaches with mine, happy to talk to anyone who has any questions, look on dun and bradstreet, the csa is a run for profit company and there is a conflict of interest with the courts as they all work for the sec of state…so do the benifits office so if you have a case at all you can take them all to court.

  • Danny says:

    I have just recived a letter from the csa containing two other people’s names and addresses

  • Jonathan says:

    If you wouldn’t mind sharing, I’d be very interested to know which CSA “coven” you were dealing with.
    Mine were Plymouth, Kircaldy and Belfast.
    They claim crucial time-sensitive mail was sent, yet oddly (and very conveniently for them) never received!
    Is this a pattern?..
    [email protected]

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