CSA taking all of my money

May 21, 2009

There I was happily paying my CSA arrears via a company called Eversheds. I missed 1 payment, but then agreed to up my payments by 50%. I was still happily paying. A DEO then arrives in the post for the outstanding amount, by taking 33% of my salary, not good. I managed to convince Eversheds not to envoke this DEO and promised I could get a loan to pay off the whole amount, unfortunately this did not come to fruition and again, the DEO was sent to my employer. The 1st amount is coming out on Friday and I simply do not know where to turn. The money left will cover mortgage and household expenses etc but nothing else.

I really do feel let down by the system.

I have been speaking to Eversheds and I am, via a debt management company, able to pay 150% more to them than I was paying prior to the DEO.

The worst thing is that I will get paid on Friday and have no money for the rest of the month so something has to give somewhere, which means further debt.

I have explained this to Eversheds and they want none of it, tough is the basic answer.

I don’t want to give up a job I love and I am afraid that I will have to start hawking my stuff to make ends meet.

Anyone else ‘won’ against Eversheds….?

CSA – Dispute of Parentage

May 21, 2009

Hi there. My story is really to do with my partner but our CSA nightmare has had a hugely stressful impact on both our lives for the last year.

My partner has disputed parentage of a child for the last fifteen years. At the time he firmly believed the child was his and so he signed the birth certificate – a fatal mistake that he has been paying for ever since. Without going into too much of his personal detail it eventually transpired that the child was not his and he has tried for the last fifteen years to get the CSA to listen to his side of the story.

During this time they have come and gone, taken money from him for a period of time then disappeared again, usually when he has changed jobs, but they have basically been a thorn in his side for the last fifteen years.

I’ve only been with him for four years and we heard nothing until last May when they popped up again asking for monthly payments and arrears money. Again, he explained his story, volunteered to do DNA tests and even to pay for them but they just continually referred to their default position of – ‘you signed the birth certificate so we are entitled to presume parentage.’ We did everything we could think of to try and get help; contacted the Citizens advice bureau, wrote to our local MP (who just re-iterated the same CSA line) and got a solicitor on to the case to write to his ex and ask for DNA tests.

After 7 months of paying a fortune to a solicitor and making no progress we were told that the only way out was to go to court for a declarator of non parentage. This would cost thousands which we don’t have, and my partner is not eligible for legal aid because of my earnings (something I also think is unfair because as a tax paying citizen in his own right he should be treated as an individual – especially as he was recently made redundant.)

Whatever reasons the childs mother has for refusing to take DNA tests over the years are personal to her and I’m not about to bad mouth her here. My gripe is mainly with the CSA, and what they are doing to my partner’s life, my life and the lives of my partners two sons from another relationship, my stepsons who are only 8 and 6.

The CSA really are a law unto themselves and seem to act without reason or logic – which shocks me to the core as I am a civil servant in another government enforcement agency and we have to be accountable for our actions and ensure a consistent approach at all times. The system is fundamentally flawed and there is no way of reasoning with this organisation. The people you speak to seem incapable of treating each case objectively because they are so bound up in the procedures. Well this situation involves the lives of a lot of different people and it’s complex. You cannot simply apply bureaucratic tick boxes, and expect things to fit neatly in. We have never had a case worker, my partner has had to explain his situation afresh each time he phones and I have written numerous letter on his behalf only to receive the same standard response -‘you signed the birth certificate’ There must be a million guys out there who did that in good faith! The system is biased in favour of the!
parent with care (usually the mother)and fathers have no rights whatsoever. Instead of being given the benefit of the doubt it is assumed that my partner is trying to evade his responsibilities. If these people knew my partner they would realise what an amazing father he is to his two sons and if he thought for a minute that this child was his too – he would certainly take his responsibility seriously.

Each time my partner has asked for DNA tests he has been told no-one at the CSA could force the childs mother to do this – he was meant to try and get her to agree to this himself – which he had also tried several unsuccessfully. In desperation he volunteered to pay something towards maintenance (even although we could ill afford it) to stop enforcement action being taken whilst we attempted to sort out the mess. However when he tried to discuss a payment schedule with them last July their information was so out of date they said they would have to re-assess the whole case. They also told him that they could not take into consideration the outgoings we have for my partners two kids because they don’t live with us and we don’t receive any benefits for them. I’d just like to make the following point here – just because they don’t live with us full time doesn’t mean that we don’t pay for them! We have my partners kids for half the week every week and we provide for them with no!
government support at all because their mother is in receipt of all the child benefits – so how is it fair that they are not considered when the case is assessed?

For about three months they said they were re-assessing the case, but we heard nothing, and were worried sick. I didn’t know if they would take my salary into consideration either because apparently the rules of assessment have changed. We felt like our lives were on hold – and we were scared to spend any money between worrying about the CSA and paying the solicitors. My partner phoned again late on in July to find out what was happening and was told that they had lost his wage slips (fortunately we had copied them), so again nothing happened although we lived in constant fear of my partners wages being arrested.

Then out of the blue our solicitor wrote in November and said that the CSA had written to say they weren’t dealing with the case anymore. We almost rejoyced but when she phoned them this turned out to not be the case and this was when she told us that our only option was court. Since then we have been in limbo because nothing has actually been resolved and I’ve been waiting for the brown envelope to come through the door ever since.

Then lo and behold – this month (which happens to be the childs birthday) we get a new payment schedule in! We are almost at the end of our tether, with the frustration, anger, and stress at how unfair it all is and quite honestly the worry has made me ill because they make you feel like a criminal and I have never been on the wrong side of the law in my life.

We had a small glimmer of hope the other day when they phoned to say that the childs mother has finally agreed to DNA tests. We have no idea why and we can’t breathe a sigh of relief yet until we see if it actually happens. I don’t think I could bear the disappointment if it falls through. However I saw something on their website which I haven’t seen before. Apparently if the parent with care refuses to do the tests the CSA can actually use their discretion to close the case – I’m sure this is new and if so then it does re-dress some of the balance and makes it fairer. In my opinion when there is any dispute about parentage then all parties concerned should be made to take DNA tests.

I’ve read that they only have to give money back for any time period that there has been a dispute too! Well my partner has disputed this pretty much for 15 years but I bet they don’t have that on record – so that would probably be another fight.

My partner and I are honest hard working tax paying citizens and I just want us to be able to move on, and live our lives, get married bring up my partners two actual kids and maybe have my own baby. If we didn’t love each other and believe in ourselves as a couple then I doubt our relationship would have survived this. I’ve got my fingers crossed that there is light at the end of the tunnel and good luck to all of you who need help with this.

Sex tips for people with Cancer

May 20, 2009

I realise this may not be strictly CSA related, but for parents suffering with Cancer this video will be invaluable. It contains sex tips for Cancer sufferers to make sure that Cancer doesn’t adversly affect your sex life. Watch the video and see if it makes sense to you.

Csa incompetence the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.Soooo frustrated and angry!!!

May 18, 2009

Hi there me and my partner split up Sept 2007 and he sees his son twice a week. We agreed a mutual agreement of £80  a month from June 2008. I wsn’t happy with this knew, he was entitled to more but did not do anything anout it as did not want to cause confrontation. And because the father keeps getting out loans with provident and debt prolems he said cannot afford anymore. So each time I went to the CSA to set up a claim i was cancelling it just as quick as I was setting it up due to this.

I returned to work after having my son part-time whilst my new partner worked full time and went with a private registered childminder paying out the £271 myself and just getting his £20  a week. I was getting working tax credits help to help towards the cost of childcare but this stopped when the review came round (where the inland revenue takes both of your earnings for that year into account.) anyway both of our waes was taken into account and the £70  a week stopped from June 2008. So struggling to meet paying towards chilcare and paying a £394  a month for loans  and £20  a week off the father so thought was enough was enough. I am going to see what my son was entitled to as heard from others I can receive more. So 18th dec 2008 set up the claim with CSA. They decided the father was to pay £30.86  a week plus arrears  £12.86 making it £147.52  a month up to jan 2010. He appealed about the arrears and I have to go to a tribunal 3.6.09 in Brighton about it.

The thing is I have received one payment only since I set up the claim 18th dec 2008 on the 23rd march of £167.18 and asof today not received the fathers March’s in April.Aprils in May yet and by the time I go to court will be due the Mays one. (10-15 days apparently it reached the CSA after the father gets paid then I get it so a month later.)

I have phoned the CSA numerous times saying where is my money as the father reckons he has paid the CSA. CSA said not received any payments so ring again saying the father said he has paid you they say they are contacting his payroll still hear nothing a aweek later..I receive a letter from susan yates director of delivery saying their debt dept is setting up an attachment of earnings order and will come back with an income.(i thought they set it up at the beginning.)so I ring again 2/5/09 customer service said. Debt dept are seeing what the father has paid,should be paying,and arrears should be paying she will put a note on then screen and they will ring with an outcome. As of today still heard sweet FA.

Why does it take for me to ring the CSA 0845 number costing me a bomb eac time for me to find out not received any payments surely they should have rung me. I have not had one sorry,one call to say what they are doing or follow up call even though I had sent them an email of complaint no reply no phone call stillll waiting 17th may 2009. So have sent the tribunal in brighton where I have the hearing 3.6.09 confirmation of all of this. And even sent watchdog anm email now you. I and others will agree that CSA has too many depts that do not liase with each other. Just a sorry or  a phone call at least is good customer service dont take too much. I am totally annoyed on the way I have received no money for nearlly 3 months. no phone call from CSA once. Me and my partner all we do is argue about the fathers appealing of an extra £5 a week my son is owed and the CSA. As this is all I go on about all day to him. I tell you it is making me ill. I wish I could wake up and think of something else but can’t.

Its like getting blood out of a stone. Miss Natalie Letford. I am so annoyed at their rubbish service. I just hope I get my money.!!!as someones got it if the father said he has paid them.

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