CSA Complaints

CSA went back on agreement and doubled the money they took off me

Following the death of very close family members in quick succession, then being told to leave the marital home shortly after, I had 3 RTAs through tiredness and stress in a fortnight and broke down in a doctor’s surgery. I really couldn’t face my stressful London job, coupled with 4 hours of commuting every day and tried instead to establish a new business with a friend locally. It struggled for quite some time, our wage was a maximum of £60 or £70 a week, in 2000 – if we were lucky – and it rose and fell when the wind changed. Then the ‘amazing thing’ happened and for around a year or so, we were doing very well. My ex then asked me to put aside money to help the kids through university, which I did. And then – of course – the inevitable happened, the wind changed and income dried up all but completely. I had to dip into those savings to survive. The company dissolved. Of course, the ex saw the company accounts for that rich period and told the CSA I was a wealthy man withholding money. There was a tribunal in which I tried to represent myself. I didn’t come across too well it seems, you really have to know the law to succeed there I think. They only really looked into that brief bountiful period, not the year before when I was struggling, nor the ones after when it was nearly as bad, if not worse due to having commitments. They didn’t take into account my signing over the house to my ex.

The result of the tribunal was they demanded that I pay off the outstanding calculated amount of arrears in 2 years. The amount asked for was more than I was actually earning over 2 years at the time and so I asked for help from a debt advisor. He said he would deal with it. I authorised him to do so, but strangely the CSA don’t seem to have records of that, saying a letter arrived but with no signature, so they couldn’t act on it. Apparently they couldn’t tell me that he couldn’t act for me either.

Recently, after negotiation with them, during which they agreed to give me time to pay (which was all I was asking for in the first place) I agreed with them to pay a lump sum from what I’d been able to hold onto from the savings, and then regular payments I felt I could afford. I paid the lump sum, set up a direct debit and received confirmation of that and their thanks, thinking everything was sorted out for the moment. It was however accompanied by another letter in the same post saying they were increasing my new outstanding debt by over 200% and doubling my monthly payments. These don’t seem to take into account present circumstances, which are admittedly a bit better than they were over the last 5 or 6 years, but still on the dodgy side, my income isn’t regular, nor the fact that the high earning period was only a blip.

How is it they can negotiate and come to an agreement, then renege on it immediately and not take into account reduced income?

One thought on “CSA went back on agreement and doubled the money they took off me

  1. Hello Mark

    Your circumstances is typical of someone which tries to take on the CSA/CMS on their. The result is often heart break and disappointment. I am constantly telling pepple not to deal with this draconian system on their own.

    The law in the area is very complex and you should seriously seek help with this. Please drop me a line at or [email protected].


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