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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30896
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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The csa have increased my arrears from £5,500 from feb 2012

Customer Question

The csa have increased my arrears from £5,500 from feb 2012 to over £25,000 in nov 2012 even though i have been paying them back monthly and I have been asking for a reason why or breakdown to these figures all to no avail. I have hard copies of the previous arrears but they are not interested just demand the new figure. Help. What can I do? Thanks. XXXXX
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but I need some further information first.
Have you asked for a full copy of your file from the CSA
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes they have recently changed an old assessment calculation from as far back as 2008 with no explanation and also added on more arrears with no understanding as to why. Will not tell me the reason it has increased by £18'000 in nine months even though I was paying it off. The majority of my arrears were accrued between 2008 to 2011 when me and my ex wife appealed the assessment they made then, were as the Pwc with one child on this case received considerably more money than we would have had left with two children. We told the csa we could not afford to pay and they said to let the appeal go through and await result. The appeal was subsequently lost by the csa after a period of time and we had no further contact for three years. Then they rang demanding the money and hence three years of arrears had been accrued. They have since claimed no appeal ever was received even though there is evidence in their own communications to the Pwc.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Sorry - just to check - you have got a full copy of the file including the evidence that they were aware of the arrears?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes I have numerous documents stating my correct arrears up until Feb 2012 then nothing til nov/dec 2012 with a totally inflated set of figures. I have sent copies to the agency and again they are not interested or willing to give an explanation.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Does the file also give evidence of the appeal that you made?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I did not keep a copy of appeal letter as my ex wife sent it in.she was acting as my representative at the time because I work nights and was never avail when they rang. It was stored on hard drive of laptop which has subsequently been replaced. Have dates etc of follow up calls made and to whom at the agency with brief details of call contents and progress of appeal, none of which remain on there data print which we asked for back in 2012. There is however the entry remaining on there which clearly states that an agency employee explains to the Pwc of no payment forthcoming as the database says an appeal is still ongoing. Entry dated 29.10.2009. Hope this helps
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Have you had your full file from them?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Not a recent one the most recent full history was sent in early 2012. Have requested detailed case breakdown but no response yet.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Have you gone through the formal complaints procedure?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes they admitted small scale maladministration but rufused the appeal as they said we didnt submit one and have used the ICE who looked into the lost appeal etc but came back with limited findings as the csa didn't provide full and correct info. I am in the process of wringing to mp and ombudsman but with the csa refusing to admit we appealed I think this will be in vain. The increased arrears happened after involving the ICE and as such they didn't cover this although it was picked up in their report but not explained.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Are you old rules or new rules?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
On the new rules since 2006. Paid off old rule arrears through their debt collection service Iqor.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Have you got evidence of your earnings and benefits for all the years involved?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The earnings figures are correct at the time of each assessment when they were made from 2006 and on each of the forms I still have. The new assessment amounts for this period calculated in late 2012 are considerably higher though for these old assessments yet I have there own original paperwork claiming a lower figure. They will not explain why the figure has increased. Have no longer got info from before 2006 as I thought this was all closed off when moved to new deal and debt company were claiming previous arrears.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Sorry I am confused (it is CSA after all) which period do these alleged arrears relate to?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The majority of mrrears relate to 2008 to 2011 when we lodged an appeal,told them we couldn't pay the assessment, they told my ex wife to await appeal result and as this never happened we had assumed the appeal had gone through and the assessment quashed.we heard nothing for over three years from the csa and it is this period about £8000 arrears accrued. I started paying them back whilst I lodged complaints and by feb 2012 the official arrears figure was £5'500 verified on there own paperwork. Then in nov it shot up to £25'000 with no real explanation and they claim they have no record of it ever being any less. When I sent in my copy they just ignored it and have told me they looked into the case and new arrears are correct but won't explain the massive rise owed.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Did you identify what the fault was with the assessment in 2008 - bearing in mind that the calculations are straightforward?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No they have not sent me an explanation or breakdown of why the assessment is different to the one calculated back in 2008. The reason we appealed back in 2008 was because the assessment with phasing gave the Pwc almost as much for one child as we would have had after paying our mortgage for two adults and two kids( one from my ex wife's I took on through marriage) to live off. The csa never got a penny from the absent father in 18 years even though they were supplied with his details so we appealed the fairness of me having to pay for three kids when i only parented two whilst someone else through the csa errors got away scott free. At the time it was £55 a week and has now gone up to £89 thus massively increasing the arrears over this period alone.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
In 2008 was it under the new rules? (Well new then)
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes was on the new rules since 2006.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
So did you do the relatively easy calculation based on your income (including tax credits)?
Were the CSA in fact correct?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes the £55 per week was about right as my weekly income was about £430. On their new figure they worked out post dated last nov i would have had to be earning over £700 a week to have needed to pay that much.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Were you getting tax credits?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes I think £42 a month in total.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How far has the enforcement reached?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am on deduction from earnings order to pay back the arrears I owe on top of the assessment currently in place.my issue is they changed the arrears and I should be nearly completed paying back the £5'500 from feb 2012 but the new arrears mean that I still owe thousands and their is no end in sight. And still no explanation as to the increase when I ring them.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.

Hi Well the good news is that we don't have a tight deadline until they sell the property or something similar You clearly understand most of the process - and it is marginally easier to challenge the calculations - once you have them - under the new(er) rules. I have to be honest from what you said about the appeal it was doomed to failure from the beginning as none of the grounds that you speak of represent an actual answer to the assessment.

Of course that does not explain the incredible hike in the arrears but a freedom of information request relating to the calculations should assist and allow you to challenge the figure

This group http://www.nacsa.co.uk/ is likely to be able to support you in this.

I hope that this is of assistance

Claire

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