My local MP helped me with the CSA

December 4, 2009

the CSA have a deduction of earnings on my wages for £30 a week, they also said the arrears i owed had to be paid back at £36 a week, which is rediculous because if i can only afford £30 a week how can i then pay an additional £36 in arrears? i asked for a face to face meeting with them to which they did everything possible not to have one until i got my MP involved, the meeting was in April and they said they will report back within 30 days which is what their guidelines say they should, but they didn’t.

my payments went out weekly through the deduction of earnings, but not as much as they wanted, this was because of the shift pattern i was working and me not earning enough, over a month it ended up at around £46 a week though, but this wasn’t enough for them as they have an “operational improvement plan” in place, this is something they have come up with and nothing legal, what it means is they want all arrears paid off within two years and they don’t care about the persons situation who has to pay.

what they are doing to get their way is going to court to get liability orders against the non resident parent, if they are successful in court in means if you dont pay under their terms they have the power to send in the bailiffs.

this is what they tried with me, so i went along too (which surprisingly a lot of people don’t do) the CSA prosecutor told the magistrates i wasn’t even paying the minimum of £30, to which i disagreed, the magistrates adjourned the hearing for 8 weeks so the CSA could get up to date information, because what they had was 4 months out of date, the magistartes also asked me to help the CSA out by giving them copies of my payslips showing i had been paying, even though i paid weekly out of my wages the company i worked for only had to forward it on to them on a monthly basis.

before we went back i wrote and offered the CSA £12 a week towards the arrears on a monthly basis by standing order as well as the £30 basic amount, they didn’t reply to my letter so i sent it again, and again, it was only after i sent the 4th one recorded delivery that they did reply and then turned it down saying they wanted it paid off within two years and £12 a week wouldn’t do that, so we ended up back at court.

their records were still a least 4 weeks out of date due to my employer only having to send the money off on a monthly basis, but they did admit that i might be paying of some of the arrears on a regular basis, the magistrates weren’t happy, a liability order can only be issued against someone if they were not paying the debt off at all, for example, if you owe £1000 and you are paying it off at £5 a week they cannot issue a liability order, just because the CSA want it back within two years does not stand up in court, the two magistrates at my hearing said that in all the years they had been on the bench they had never been asked to issue an order under those circumstances, and it would be unlawful to do so, the case was thrown out.

every letter i wrote to the CSA i also sent a copy to my MP, he wrote back saying my case had been handled badly and he wrote to them saying they should reimburse me my expenses, but even with him involved the CSA still have an unbelievable arrogance and dragged their feet, it was only when i put them on 7 day notice that i was going to the press (with a copy of the letter to my MP) that the CSA came back to me with a proposal which laughingly was for me to pay my arrears back at £12.58 a week, 58 pence a week more than i had offered 3 months previously.

all i can say is don’t be put off by the bullying from them and also involve your MP, remember there is an election next year and these people want to keep their jobs, finally, i have work colleague who has just agreed with the CSA to pay off his arrears over a 3 year period, the point here is the two year issue is only what the CSA have come up with because of pressure from the government, it is not a legal thing, as long as you are paying off your arrears regularly the CSA cannot get a liability order against you.

i hope this is of some help.


  • D Sanders says:

    Thank you for this informative post, you directed me here after you read my post on the link below.

    You have made me feel a lot happier knowing that I should be protected from a Liability Order because I have never stopped paying the agreed £10.80 per week.

    The CSA has, and still is, one of the most unjust agency’s around.
    In 1993 when I was on a pittiful wage coming home with £127 p/w, I was paying a regular weekly £20 direct to my ex-wife, being a soft-target (an NRP not evading payment because they have already got an agreement in place) the CSA decided I could afford to pay them £90 per week. My ex-wife was unemployed (and never ever intended to get off he bum), the most disgusting thing was – she did not ever receive a single penny more than before this was in place.

    Never believe a thing the CSA tell you, when they were first set-up their policy was to target the maintenance avoiding parent, but when they could not meet their seriously inflated target, they hit all of the honourable parents who were already paying (The Soft Targets).

  • zip says:

    The CSA have told me I need to pay my arrears off in 6 months. The arrears have been caused by them dragging there feet and not sorting out the claim. I eventually had enough with the threatening letters and being spoken to as if I am something they have trod in and have now contacted my local MP. I spoke to someone in his office who thought I was the PWC (as I am a woman) I informed him I was in fact the NRP and the ordeal I have been through. The CSA have tried to make out that I have been non-complient even though I have sent every document they have asked for and payed them on time (before time actually). It makes me sick that a GOVERNMENT agency thinks they have a right to treat people this way people that have payed their taxes and have done nothing but assist them in what they want and need to know. I think its time more of us fought back and not wait till we are at our wits end to contact our MP’s we should do it much sooner then the Government will have to stand up and take notice. Just one more thing Mothers suffer to from nasty Fathers so please remember when you are having ago at the mothers not all of us are like that.

  • stud says:


    currently trying to get my MP to help me out. Do you mind providing the name of the magistrate and the court. It would be greatly appreciated.

    If you dont want to post on here e-mail [email protected]


  • bluenosetel says:

    To follow on from my original Dec 2009 comment above and also replying to studioclub with their query of the 8th feb 2012.

    i’m sorry but i can’t disclose who the Magistrate is for two reasons, one i have to respect their privacy and secondly i don’t know their name, but i it is true and if you spoke to anyone legally experienced in this field they would tell you the CSA have far too much power and are allowed to get away with far too much, but that is partly due to people just sitting back and letting them.
    for example, like i said previously if the CSA take your case to court then go and defend yourself, it surprised me when they did it to me how few people turn up, all that happens then is the CSA get their way and you end up looking the bad guy (so to speak) with the bailiffs at your door.
    Every now and again the CSA try it on with me and come back for more, and you have to, if you believe you are right stand up to them, recently they sent 6 letters to me in 7 days, one was a statement another was a telling me how much i should pay, another said they had made two mistakes in their working out of how much i should be paying since 2008!!!!! and i hadn’t paid enough because of this, and they wanted it and NOW, they went on to say that if i didn’t pay it they would have a deduction of earnings against me and take it out of my wages, another was telling me they wanted my arrears paid of in a shorter time than what it was being paid off and what had previously been agreed, there was a couple more with repeated stuff on them which is what they seem to be good at, my reply to them (in writing) was for them to send that many letters in such a short time amounted to HARASSMENT, and for them to say they wanted the shortfall now otherwise they would have a deduction of earnings against me was BULLYING tactics, which are seen as very serious allegations nowadays, especially after they had admitted it was due to their mistakes.
    i NEVER repeat NEVER deal with the CSA over the phone, don’t give them your phone number and if they have it tell them to delete it from their records, they have to under data protection laws and quote that to them, the reason i don’t deal with them over the phone is because there is no record of conversation, i always write to them, keep copies and send a copy to my MP, then if you do end up in conflict or in court you have proof of what has gone on, and due to experience they go to court with very little paperwork and what they do have is a mess, so you will have the magistrates on your side from the start, also you will notice that when they write to you they say they want a reply in so many days (usually 5 working days), so turn the tables and give them the same to reply to your letter, they won’t achieve it because they are disorganised but you have something else in your favour, you reply in their timescale but they don’t in yours, they usually invariable even miss their own deadlines (“we will get back to you within 15 working days” etc) when they don’t and you have to again reply to them make a point of saying that you received their letter after, for example 20 days even though you were promised it after 15, this again puts them in a bad light (don’t forget to keep sending copies to your MP of every letter sent and received).
    You have to be prepared to stand your ground and stand up to them, and at the end of the day you have to pay something so be reasonable but don’t let them walk all over you, i can honestly say by doing it my way and keeping records you end in the stronger position, i have many and i mean many letters from them apologising for their mistakes and for the way they have gone about things (harassment and bullying), the latest being for demanding my arrears be paid off sooner than what was previously agreed.
    As for your MP, since the general election i have now got a different one (Conservative now Labour previously) but it doesn’t matter who you have that person is elected to represent you, but again, as with the CSA they want to dictate the rules and have it their way and if you let them that is you fault, my previous MP wrote to me once over an issue saying “i can’t do anything more for you” and basically wanted me to stop writing to him, he then expected me to give up and go away, that in fact had the opposite affect, he knew the situation and he knew what was going on was wrong but it was to much hassle for him, and he also had his own career to think of as he wanted to get a cabinet post, i carried on writing to him and reminded him he was elected to represent his constituents, and also because his was the party in Government he had more chance to do something about the issues i raised, i also told him a would write to the local newspapers if i had to, and i did, what i also did was when he was in the local paper bragging about things he was doing (he had some kind of overseas role for the government) i wrote in and commended him but also said wouldn’t it be better though if he put more time in first working for the local residents on issues like for example sorting out fathers rights and the shambolic organisation called the CSA, by doing that he knew not to fob me off again and started to do something about the issues i was raising, i carried on writing to him and sending him copies of every letter i sent to the CSA as well as every letter i received, and unlike us (Jo Public) who write letters to the CSA at the address on the top of their letter, MP’s have a designated person who they write to, and that person has to act quickly and give a reason for the actions of that organisation.

    sorry for going on a bit with this but i can’t say it enough, DON’T LET THE CSA OR YOUR MP DICTATE THE RULES AS THEY WANT THEM, your MP is working for you (as they like to tell us at election time), he or she knows the CSA is a shambles and the government don’t know what to do about it, they would prefer it if no one mentions them at all, there are two ways to go about it, be bullied or stand up to the bully.
    Good luck

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