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Premature conversion example
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Premature conversion example

This is an example of the "premature conversion loophole" in action. It is copied with permission from private communication. Only the names have been changed.

2003 Original communication My commentary
27th January CSA announce new system in place.  
1st February Mr X pays maintenance payment through standing order. Mr X has paid maintenance via standing order through the CSA every month for the past 9 years (despite Mrs Y denying him contact with the children).  
5th February

After receiving her payment, Mrs Y cancels case without making alternative arrangements.

Mr X appeals against this decision.

This cancellation needed considerable specialist knowledge. The "13 week loophole" is buried in a Statutory Instrument. It has not been given widespread publicity.
25th March Mr X takes Mrs Y to court to apply to pay maintenance to her through the courts. Mrs Y refuses to make an agreement as she tells the Judge that she had been advised by the CSA to cancel and then re-apply after 13 weeks under the new system to double her payments without Mr X being phased onto new system.

The government's original intention was to have a 26-week interval before a case could be restarted under the new rules. This would have provided time for an application via a court. They have never said why they changed this to 13 weeks.

Court documentation states that it would take between 12 to 16 weeks (after the application is received) for a court case to be heard. So the new 13-week rule successfully (for the CSA) stops a court application by the NRP.

8th April Once he has found out what the PWC intends to do, Mr X send Form 1 (NRP) (application by NRP to pay maintenance) by recorded delivery to CSA. The CSA sign acceptance of delivery of this application on 10th April 2003. As it is sent within 13 weeks of cancellation, the old system should be reintroduced. A faxed copy is also sent to the CSA. Another communication (25th March) from Mr X said "the CSA have persistently refused to send out these forms to me and other fathers. I have asked twice now since the beginning of February why they are refusing to send these forms to fathers, but they have still not replied to me. I have managed to get a form for myself, but I am very concerned at why the CSA are now refusing to send other people this form. What reason can they have but to stop the NRP staying on the existing system?"
10th April The CSA sign acceptance of delivery of this application.  
11th April Mrs Y writes to CSA Appeal Tribunal stating that she did not tell the judge that she intended to abuse the loophole. However, the Judge informs Mr X that an audio recording was made of the court case, and Mr X informs appeal that a transcript of this tape can be obtained. Mrs Y also claims in her letter that she has no intention of re-applying to CSA and is "taking other legal action" which she's not prepared to tell Mr X about.  
May Mr X's Representative telephones CSA to find out what is happening to NRP application to pay. She is told that there are delays due to computer problems, but it will be actioned shortly and a Maintenance Enquiry Form sent to Mrs Y. An anonymous article (22nd April) said: "I've been told it was an oversight in the design process - basically the CSA didn't ask for NRP applications to be included in the programming and so it wasn't. This problem is apparently due to be rectified in a June update of the system."
3rd July

Nothing more is heard until [staff] from the CSA writes to Mr X stating that they are actioning an application made by Mrs Y 13 weeks after the closure date:- note that Mrs Y is still denying to the appeal that she has taken this action.

Mr X's Representative rings CSA to ask why they are processing Mrs Y's application and ignoring the earlier application from Mr X, which was made on 8th April.

Despite the fact that the CSA told Mr X's Representative in May that Mr X's application was being processed, she is now told that CSA have no record of receiving this application (even though it has been sent recorded delivery and signed for).

Representative is also told that despite Mr X's application (which they have conveniently lost in the last few weeks) they intend to action Mrs Y's application and ignore Mr X's application. Therefore Mr X will go onto new system with no phasing in. Representative has asked why this is, but no one will answer.

Representative has applied to Post Office for copy of who signed for the application. She is still waiting for replies to e-mails, letters, phone calls and faxes to CSA.

 

To come:

23rd July

Appeal date is due - despite all the lies Mrs Y has said, is envisaged that the appeal will be found in her favour.  

 

Page last updated: 7 July, 2004 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2003