Anybody else having nightmares with CMS?

(14 Posts)
SunFlower222 Thu 15-Mar-18 23:48:12

DH’s ex requested a reassessment of the maintenance he pays a few months ago, he spoke to them on the phone and they advised him of a new payment amount.
The new amount was considerably more than the old amount but they explained that it wasn’t taking in to account his resident children or the number of nights he has them but he would receive a letter detailing the new amount and he had 2 weeks to respond with additional info such as resident children and shared care (they’re with us 2 nights a week).
DH’s wage hasn’t changed since the last assessment 2 years ago so we weren’t expecting any increase.
So we never received the letter they promised us and every time DH called to try and resolve the issue he was told he’d failed security questions and they terminated the call.
We wrote a letter to them which they never responded to.
A few weeks ago DH phoned them again and spoke to somebody very helpful who didn’t ask any security questions and said that there wasn’t a password set on his account, DH informed her of the additional info regarding resident children and shared care and she said she’d updated the account, they would backdate the info to when he first phoned and he’d receive a letter. Still no letter.
A few days ago DH phoned again for an update and they wouldn’t discuss it over the phone and said they’d send a letter. Today he got a letter saying they’re setting up an attachment to earnings and charging him £50pcm for this.
It’s ridiculous, he is happy to pay what he owes but he is yet to receive a correct calculation but it’s like getting blood from a stone.
We really can not afford to pay what CMS are saying they will take from his pay, we struggle from month to month as it is. Of course DH is happy to pay what he should but the new payment is nearly double the old payment but his wage is the same.

Just wondering if anybody else has had similar problems and if so how they managed to resolve it?
Would it be any use speaking to citizens advice maybe?

OP’s posts: |
The1975 Fri 16-Mar-18 00:04:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fizzymama Fri 16-Mar-18 19:36:38

OP you need to find out why his ex was able to ask for reassessment, as under CMS it is only supposed to be once a year for income change called a yearly review I think. Obviously the only thing to make payments increase is increase in income. Was your yearly review due?
Your DH needs to write a letter of complaint immediately as they cannot take payments from wages unless he refuses to continuously not pay ANYTHING , even if he paid the old amount whilst he is waiting for confirmation of new amount an attachment of earnings shouldn't be done. This is the first point in your complaint.
Secondly you state the new decision does not take account of children living with him and shared care and you have advised of this many times. Ask for a mandatory reconsideration of the decision. If you can put the date of the letter telling you of increased amount that would be good. The £50 you have referred to sounds like the one off enforcement charge for setting up taking it from his wages. State you will pay by your previous payment method.

fizzymama Fri 16-Mar-18 19:50:26

The1975 it's frustrating that so many of the self employed / director NRPs get away with paying very little towards upbringing of their children. However in by no way defence of CMS some of these people use trained accountants to derive an earnings figure. The CMS are not trained accountants and therefore rely heavily on the information they are provided with which is all well and good if every body was an honest individual. I have been through appeal process it was lengthy but the people who deal with appeal side are not CMS you should speak with the tribunal people about the length of time it is taking to set your hearing date. Also ask if you think it's necessary if one if their accountants can attend.

SunFlower222 Fri 16-Mar-18 20:38:12

Fizzymama the last assessment was approx 2 years ago, maybe longer ago but that was under CSA, DH has paid his ex directly for years so I believe she’s just asked CMS to do a reassessment but they’ve only looked at his annual income.
When my case was transferred from CSA to CMS I was told if I wanted CMS to take it on I’d have to pay a £20 fee and they would do an assessment.
We’ve no problem with the figures being reassessed but they need to at least take all the facts in to consideration and respond to letters and phone calls.
I’ve written a new letter today FAO of a manager/complained department, sending it recorded delivery tomorrow.

Interesting to hear that they can’t do an attachment to earning unless DH is making no payments, he has still been paying the old amount until he receives an accurate figure.

OP’s posts: |
fizzymama Fri 16-Mar-18 21:26:08

It's frustrating isn't it to receive conflicting information in my experience the nrp was paying... just not the right amount as he didn't agree with it so as he was at least paying something they wouldn't take it any further. Hope you and DH get it sorted.

Racmactac Fri 16-Mar-18 21:31:20

CMS are horrendous. I end up arguing with them every time we speak.
My advice is to keep a log of times and dates and name of person you speak to.
Then go and see your MP. They have a special department to deal with MP complaints and they tend to get resolved quite quickly.
Keep complaining every single bloody time.


Willyoujustbequiet Sat 17-Mar-18 02:01:00

It could easily be that your DH was paying a figure based on a tax return provided to the CMS by HMRC from years ago. Technically I think they can go back 6 years.

When they have reassessed him it may be that they've had a more up to date tax return figure and so the new figure is accurate. It could well be that he has been underpaying in reality. Put the figures in the calculator.

This happened with my ex. They used a tax year from when he was a student and I got next to nothing even though he was on a good salary. The following year they had a more recent tax return and his payments jumped up even though he was earning the same.

Be careful.

TwoDots Sat 17-Mar-18 08:49:49

I could be wrong but do the new cms calculate using income before tax, NI and pensions? The old system calculated it after so if your DP is paying a good chunk into a pension, that would affect things now

I could be wrong though

SunFlower222 Sat 17-Mar-18 09:08:21

DH doesn’t do a tax return, he pays tax through PAYE, he’s on a flat salary. Previously CSA asked for 3 months pay slips and they calculated from that, now CMS calculate based on HMRC figures in the system but that doesn’t make any difference as his pay is the same every month.
I think CMS do calculate figures slightly differently, think they do it from gross salary instead of net but again that shouldn’t make much difference as all he has coming out of his salary is about £50pcm for his pension.

CMS have confirmed that the calculation is just based on income and deductions haven’t been made to take in to account resident children or shared care.
Each time DH has spoken to them they’ve said they’ll add info to his file and then a few weeks later somebody else tells him that there’s no record of the resident children or shared care, and it just goes round in circles.

OP’s posts: |
Willyoujustbequiet Sat 17-Mar-18 09:21:59

Sorry I didn't mean tax return as in self employed I meant the annual figure held by HMRC. They can use one from 6 years ago if they see fit. Ask them which year they are basing their calculations on.

The1975 Sat 17-Mar-18 11:31:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

swingofthings Sat 17-Mar-18 14:03:11

Something doesn't add up. Even if they factor in 2 days a week and resident children (how many?), it should explain why the amount would be double what it was before. Are you sure there aren't other things such as a company car, private insurance that would make his gross income significantly larger than his net bare taxes?

Ilovecamping Wed 21-Mar-18 12:11:05

He needs to put in an official written complaint, confirming all dates he contacted them and the advice given at the time, if they record calls they can check back and transcribe. If no written response within 14 days escalate to your MP.

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