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...the CSA are completely useless?

(54 Posts)
Holly129 Mon 17-Jun-13 19:10:38

Hi All,

I am hoping some of you will tell me some success stories with the CSA, however I have had pretty much 0. In 3 and a half years I had one payment of £40 when I first claimed and since have had nothing. I've told them where dd's father lives, works, provided phone numbers. I've called the CSA (0845 number!) every month, and everytime I call it's either a different excuse or "you should receive something next month." How is he buying a house, new cars, brand new TVs etc, and avoiding the CSA for over 3 years! I asked today if they would consider taking it to court as now he has over £5,000 of debt towards me (calculating at their basic rate as he and his employer have refused to provide payslips) and they told me they would not consider taking it to court as he has an employer! Is there any other way to get what I'm owed? I feel like nothing is happening, I'm being fobbed off all the time, if there's such a massive back log why don't they hire more workers?

It seems like if a father wants to pay, he will pay, and surely you don't need the CSA for that. If a father doesn't want to pay, he can avoid the CSA forever. AIBU to think the CSA are completely useless?

Tooearlyintheday Tue 18-Jun-13 08:17:14

There is no impetus on the CSA to do a good job because maintenance does not save the gov't any money - it doesn't actually matter to them if children and rp's receive maintenance or not. I'd assume that at some stage the CSA will be done away with all together and it will go back to court ordered or voluntary agreements which will be even more difficult to enforce.

sashh Tue 18-Jun-13 09:27:24

Not saying to do this, it does depend on the person and the business.

A relative of mine was paid 1 day later every month, she realised what her ex was doing and that he was trying to miss a month.

When it came to the month she didn't get a payment she sent a fax to his office saying he was 30 days late with the maintenance of $X for his 2 children.

This was in Australia and he was paying the legal minimum although he had a good job. So everyone in the office knew he was paying the minimum and it was late.

He phoned her and gave her a telling off for embarrassing him in front of his work colleagues.

He never missed another payment.

I think the best scheme I heard of was in America, I don't know if it was ever implemented, but the plan was that if anyone stopped paying the equivalent of the CSA then all licences they held would be suspended.

So Driving licence, licence to practise medicine, licence for a gun etc.

I suppose here it would include TV licence. Obviously you need to give people a bit of time, 2 weeks perhaps. But if the CSA could cancel driving licences until a payment is made I bet a lot more payments would be made.

SusanneLinder Tue 18-Jun-13 10:30:02

Complain, complain, complain and then complain some more.Go to your MP also, and I badgered the CSA on a weekly basis, and asked them for explanations of why the DEO was taking so long, forgot to send it ......

I was one of those annoying little mosquitos that never went away, and eventually I got the 14 grand I was owed.

You need to be VERY persisant.I was never rude or obnoxious but was very assertive.

Log EVERY call, and who you spoke to, and what time you spoke to them and what they said, and follow it up...eg on the 28th I spoke to x and they said etc etc

Get the name of your case officer (which seemed to change weekly in my case-involved another complaint grin)

In my experience, it is those that shout the loudest that get results.

needaholidaynow Tue 18-Jun-13 10:50:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Holly129 Tue 18-Jun-13 11:48:15

meddie You are so right! If you owe council tax or income tax they find you and make you pay up ASAP, so why aren't they applying the same tactics to absent parents who refuse to pay maintenance?

sleeplessbunny Tue 18-Jun-13 12:07:15

yy meddie

RedHelenB Tue 18-Jun-13 17:01:56

needaholiday - because the NRP WILL pay if they risk losing a well paid livliehood!

needaholidaynow Tue 18-Jun-13 17:54:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

racmun Tue 18-Jun-13 18:00:06

The CSA are appalling. My dh pays maintenance happily and regularly like he should but they are a nightmare to deal with.

I escalated an issue we had to the complaints team despite being told we'd go to the bottom of the queue etc if we did. we got decent service and the issue was resolved within 12 weeks and we were given courtesy phone calls and a ddi for the case handler.

I would definitely recommend you do that.

Dahlen Tue 18-Jun-13 18:02:42

Think about it this way needaholiday - if making sure one's own child is clothed and fed is not motivation enough for a man to pay for his child, chances are nothing short of the extremely punitive will make him face up to his responsibilities.

The child will only end up with nothing if the father still continues to refuse to pay. As he was already paying nothing, the child is not 'losing out' anyway.

IneedAyoniNickname Tue 18-Jun-13 18:03:16

Yanbu. CSA are shite. I've just been given a nil award as ex has no income. Or so he told them. When I told them that couldn't be possible as he must be funding his lifestyle somehow I was told that's not the CSAs concern.

I agree with the ppps

Dahlen Tue 18-Jun-13 18:03:27

It sends a very clear message about the unacceptability of non-payment, however - one which would hopefully become seeped into the national consciousness in the same way as drunk driving has become once it was made a criminal offence.

IneedAyoniNickname Tue 18-Jun-13 18:04:36

Sorry, agree with the pps whos said there need to be stricter rules about maintenance. The whole system is crap.

ThingummyBob Thu 20-Jun-13 09:33:41

Yanbu. CSA are shite. I've just been given a nil award as ex has no income. Or so he told them. When I told them that couldn't be possible as he must be funding his lifestyle somehow I was told that's not the CSAs concern

Ineed you need to read this CSA variations and Appeals

You can ask them to look more closely basically.

hth

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 20-Jun-13 11:45:30

Thanks Thingummy they've told me if I can prove he has a.company they can look into it. I will look at that link too.

mummytime Thu 20-Jun-13 12:04:10

If someone has a proper company then it will be registered at co meanies house, and usually shows up on a simple google search. Even better they have to register accounts etc.

However if they just work for themselves it can be harder to track down. However I don't see why CSA has a so much harder job of this than HMRC.

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 20-Jun-13 17:03:27

That's the trouble, I don't know if its a real registered company. He has a facebook page, and business cards bit not sure that means much!

Bye4Now Thu 19-Oct-17 10:01:43

There seems to be a common thread in a lot of the communications relating to the CSA and that is that, as one contributor put it they are "monumentally incompetent."
My daughter has had three and a half years of trying to get some movement on the collection of payments from her husband with regard to her three children. A number of letters and contacts have been made and nothing has ever happened to get one penny out of said partner. In desperation we contacted her local MP who has intervened with the CSA and so far nothing more has been forthcoming other than they have said they are sorry that they have not done what was required of them and have made her a payment of £100 as some form of compensation. Keeping in mind her husband has been and is working full time and has until recently been employed with reputable company whose name, address and the necessary insurance, payroll details of her husband were known to them I believe this is nothing short of a travesty. She has struggled with an abusive husband who has refused to pay any monies towards the upkeep of his three children and now she has to struggle with the incompetence of a government office clearly overwhelmed by work and run by headless chickens.
I'd dearly like to know if others have had success where we have failed or whether there are others whose cases are similar. If the later is true perhaps we should start a movement to get things improved - a few thousand discontented and disaffected voices might help to get something done.
Looking forward to hearing stories from both sides of the divide and glad to receive any advice you might give on getting things moving and claiming back unpaid orders.

Lethaldrizzle Thu 19-Oct-17 10:06:21

Cut your losses and move on?

designforanew Thu 19-Oct-17 10:22:56

This issue makes me so angry. I understand walking away, but really it's not fucking good enough!

I think there's been some good advice on this thread. But why don't government DO anything? Like so I've read upthread if this was HMRC they'd have the powers to collect. We could start a petition to take away licences it would be a start.

Or else - name and shame non-paying parents in the newspaper like they do speeding offences!

Lethaldrizzle Thu 19-Oct-17 10:25:54

But it's not a tax is it? It's a private arrangement that's broken down between two people. It's completely different to council tax etc

Givemeallthechocolate Thu 19-Oct-17 10:47:13

I can understand where you are coming from, I really do. The fact that NRP can play the system so they don't pay any CSA makes me feel sick.
My ex paid nothing for first 3 years of DDs life, started paying £25 per month from march-October. Payments very rarely came through. I applied for CSA, when CSA contacted him, he told them he had been paying £25 per month (he hadn't because that money hadn't arrived for 3 months by this point) CSA said he had OVERPAID and I wasn't due anything for 4 weeks or so, because he had just lost his job.
So they struggled to set up CSA for 3 months after, they got an attachment to his benefits. He got a job, he didn't comply with CSA, few months down the line there was an attachment of earnings. He lost his job. At this point, he went on benefits, they started to take money, he moved without telling them and stopped seeing DD.

I chased for a little while longer, but actually they were useless and I got to the point where I gave up,

They contacted me about 18 months later saying they were getting ready to take legal action against DDs father because by this point he owed a lot of money, and they had proof he had been working whilst claiming benefits and they wanted to help me get what I was due. By that point he had been out of DDs life 18 months and we could do without him coming back in, and DD being emptionally abused by him, or physically abused by his wife. I closed down the case. That was an empowering moment.

So in DDs 10years, he has paid a total of £170 which includes £40 he borrowed from me when she was born, plus 2 baby grows, a pair of bootees, and a pack of nappies.

There is a small part of me that feels pissed off he should have been paying towards her, it would have made life a lot easier, for not only me, but also her, but I'm glad I don't have anything to thank him for.

I have brought her up without his help, and I'm sure that if I continued to try and have him support DD at all financially he would do all he could to get DD live with him so he didn't need to pay me a penny, horrible bastard he is.

Bye4Now Fri 20-Oct-17 15:08:38

Thanks to those of you who have added your thoughts to mine.
I guess that one of the things that makes this whole system so hard to understand is there appear to be so many legal loopholes through which scoundrels like my son in law can slip there is little recourse once they've decided to work "off the books" or hide their money in other ways.
To have an agency that has been operating for so long and for little if anything to have been done about these loopholes is scandalous, to have paid for the privilege in the first instance adds insult to injury. What is the point of the CSA? Is it just another sop that is supposed to make us think things are happening when we know that in many cases they most definitely are not?
Perhaps the whole notion of such an organisation needs to be re-thought. This re-thinking may well be where a few thousand voices and a petition may have some clout. I'm wondering what others think.
Is moving in that direction something worth considering?
I appreciate how hard pressed single parents are and how little time there is to do much other than fire fight but keeping in mind the enormity of the issue any new thoughts would be well worth adding to those so far offered. If you're not prepared to "cut our losses and move on" more voices and details would be helpful as in the first instance it might be worth me taking this additional info to my daughter's MP who is already on board with shaking the CSA's cage.

mothertruck3r Fri 20-Oct-17 15:56:32

Why don't your report him to HMRC (anonymously - you can do it online www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/reporting-tax-evasion) if you think he and his work are doing something dodgy or he is not declaring but able to pay for all these expensive things? At least if you don't get your money they will put some heat on him?

lalalalyra Fri 20-Oct-17 16:23:29

The CSA are hopeless and always have been. My "father" died in the last few years and a debt to the CSA (monies were owed to the sec. of state) was one of the things my siblings had to deal with. I'm the youngest and I have children in their teens!

The ridiculous thing is that they have a lot of powers. They can remove driving licenses etc, but they never do. They are the most toothless department there is.

Contact your MP. Some MP's are quite effective with them.

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