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facing possible bankruptcy csa debt too big

Hi all, can anyone tell me if CSA has ever bankrupted someone over unpaid child support debt, I am at the end of the road and desperate, I cannot pay the bill and am comming up to a court date for financial investigation.

I do have a house but mortgage payout vs current market price leaves negative asset value and the bill is near 50k now.

like I said, i am desperate in not knowing what is coming, can anyone comment PLEASE

cheers

Last edit: by Aussie

In theory, according to the legislation as per section 3 of the Child Support Assessment Act, a parent has a greater duty to maintain them-self and as such no act of the CSA should bankrupt a person. However, the reality is that the CSA, are known to not adhere to the full extent of the legislation and conveniently ignore aspects of the legislation, most especially when doing so increases the amount that can be collected or transferred. I believe that posts indicate that the CSA have shown utter disrespect for people very obviously at the end of their tether. Undoubtedly some have taken the most extreme of measures to end their misery and others attempt to do so. I have no doubt that the CSA have sent many parents bankrupt and especially the self-employed or small business owner; who under are very frequently subject to great abuses of power by the CSA. The CSA have been known to base the accounts of businesses on years old business loans to vastly increase the amount of CS. A search on here for Ladd will reveal some other abhorrent acts that are known to be commonly enacted by the CSA.  Although I can't recall any actual instances of bankruptcy occurring, it is highly unlikely that the CSA has not caused liable parents to become bankrupt. As the two Joes (Hockey and Ludwig, if I recall correctly, said they will chase them (fathers) to the grave. However, this was already then part of the MO of the CSA

I don't think I can comment on what is coming as you have provided very little information. However, the following is from the CSA's guide, which you may find of use. As it;s quite long I've not formatted the section so you may find it easier to follow this link to The CSA Guide - 5.4.5: Bankruptcy (following the link has the advantage that links within the guide can also be followed):

The CSA Guide - 5.4.5: Bankruptcy said
5.4.5: Bankruptcy
Version 2.0, Last updated 17 March 2008 5:00pm
Context

Bankruptcy may be an option in the enforcement of arrears of child support. As a creditor, CSA can take action to bankrupt a debtor. Arrears of child support are provable in bankruptcy.
Legislative references

    Sections 5(1), 27, 40, 58(5A), 82(1), 122(2)©, 153(2)© and 153(2A), Parts IX and X Bankruptcy Act 1966

Explanation

Most registrable maintenance liabilities receive special treatment under the Bankruptcy Act 1966. This means they can still be enforced despite the payer's bankruptcy (section 58(5A) Bankruptcy Act). This puts CSA in a different position to other creditors. In addition, a bankrupt is not released from child support or child or spousal maintenance arrears on discharge from bankruptcy (section 153(2)© Bankruptcy Act). A liability for child support or child or spousal maintenance arrears continues despite a bankrupt's release from bankruptcy.

CSA may still collect child support, or child or spousal maintenance, from a bankrupt payer by negotiating voluntary payment arrangements, by deductions from salary or wages and by intercepting and applying taxation refunds.

CSA may also be asked to participate in other agreements and arrangements under the Bankruptcy Act that are alternatives to bankruptcy, if the bankrupt payer has other debts apart from his or her debt to CSA.
Enforcement against bankrupts

Bankrupts are people who are unable to pay their debts and have been forced into bankruptcy (by a creditor's petition), or declared themselves bankrupt (by a debtor's petition for bankruptcy). The Bankruptcy Act 1966 is a Commonwealth Act. It applies in all States and Territories.

A bankruptcy notice can be issued where the debtor has committed an 'act of bankruptcy'. The Bankruptcy Act sets out the various acts of bankruptcy which can be committed (section 40) e.g. failing to satisfy a warrant of execution (see discussion on civil enforcement action).

Anyone who owes a debt to another person can enter bankruptcy voluntarily by filing a debtor's petition. There is no minimum debt level required before a voluntary debtor's petition can be filed. When the court accepts the petition, the debtor is automatically declared bankrupt.

Where a creditor takes court action the debt must be at least $2000. The creditor needs to file a creditor's petition in the Federal Court. The court can make an order declaring the debtor bankrupt. Once a debtor is declared bankrupt:

    a trustee in bankruptcy will take ownership of most of the debtor's assets;
    creditors are generally unable to take legal action to collect their debts; and
    all debts are notified to the trustee, and it becomes their responsibility to sell the assets and distribute any funds among the creditors in accordance with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Act.

There are certain rules as to which creditors are to be paid first:

    the bankrupt is not generally responsible for any debts incurred up to the date of bankruptcy. These become the responsibility of the trustee;
    debts relating to child support and child and spousal maintenance are afforded some concessional treatment under the Bankruptcy Act. CSA may continue to recover these debts even though a payer is bankrupt;
    the bankrupt is responsible for debts incurred after the date of bankruptcy;
    any property acquired by the debtor after the date of the bankruptcy will generally become a part of the bankruptcy estate for distribution among the creditors, for example, lottery winnings.

Other effects of bankruptcy can include:

    losing most assets, including a house (but not furniture, clothing or tools of trade);
    only being able to keep a car up to a prescribed value;
    giving up passports;
    not being able to obtain credit of more than a prescribed value without disclosing the bankruptcy to the financial institution;
    not being able to remain a director of a company, become a director of a company or administer a trust account (e.g. as a solicitor or accountant) during bankruptcy; and
    having to make payments to the bankrupt estate from ongoing earnings.

Bankruptcy usually lasts for 3 years, but a debtor can apply to the court to be discharged earlier. Creditors and the trustee can also apply to the court for a bankruptcy to be extended past 3 years.

Debts arising from a child support assessment, or for child or spousal maintenance, are not released automatically by a discharge from bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Act specifies that a bankrupt is not automatically released from these debts at the time of discharge (section 153 (2)©). This means that all registrable maintenance liabilities (except for those arising from a parentage overpayment order) will survive the payer's bankruptcy. However, a bankrupt may apply to the Federal Court or Federal Magistrates Court for discharge from debts of these types (sections 27 and 153(2A)).

While the payer remains bankrupt, CSA is able to take action to enforce any child support or spousal or child maintenance arrears that accrued before the payer's bankruptcy. This enforcement action may include:

    legal action against any property which does not vest in the trustee of the bankrupt. Any property which the payer is entitled to keep can be the subject of proceedings by CSA to try and satisfy a child support debt. However, the property left with a debtor after bankruptcy is usually of very little value and unlikely to produce much towards satisfying any child support debt;
    the use of specific powers such as tax intercepts, salary deduction, payment arrangements and deduction of arrears from salary; and
    lodging a claim with the trustee.

After a bankrupt is released from bankruptcy, CSA is free to use all the methods at its disposal to collect the surviving debt (i.e. arrears of child support or child or spousal maintenance).
Proof Of Debt

Upon being notified that a child support debtor has become bankrupt, CSA may lodge a proof of debt with the trustee. It is generally unnecessary to lodge a proof of debt until the trustee asks. The trustee will usually do this only where there is a likelihood of a dividend being paid to the creditors.

CSA can prove in the bankruptcy for all of the payer's debt outstanding at the date of bankruptcy. A debt due under the Registration and Collection Act is a provable debt (section 82(1) Bankruptcy Act). This includes any late payment penalties which accrued up to that date and amounts recoverable from the payer through a registered parentage overpayment order

The proof of debt should specify the amount being claimed from the trustee (the 'provable debt'). It should also give a breakdown of the amounts of the debt which are for child support and maintenance; parentage overpayment orders; and penalties.
Collection during Bankruptcy

Most liabilities registered under the Registration and Collection Act fall within the term 'maintenance agreement or maintenance order' (section 5(1) Bankruptcy Act). Debts falling within that definition are given some special protection where a debtor becomes bankrupt. The exception is amounts recoverable by CSA from a former payee under a parentage overpayment order. These concessional provisions do not allow CSA to continue to take action to recover penalties or to recover debts arising from a parentage overpayment order.
Administrative Collection

CSA can continue to collect the provable debt for child support, child or spousal maintenance (not penalties or debts arising from a parentage overpayment order), by salary deduction (arrears by auto-withholding) and by intercepting tax refunds. CSA will also collect any ongoing liability for child support, child maintenance or spousal maintenance through salary deductions.

A notice to a third party under section 72A of the Registration and Collection Act is effective against the divisible property of the bankrupt if it was served before the date of bankruptcy. If a notice is served after the date of bankruptcy, it only has effect against any non-divisible property (i.e. property which does not vest in the trustee and remains in the possession and control of the bankrupt).
Voluntary payments

CSA can continue to accept voluntary payments made by a bankrupt during bankruptcy. These payments do not constitute a preference (section 122(2)© Bankruptcy Act).

CSA can also continue to credit non-agency payments during the period of the bankruptcy in respect of debts which are provable in the bankrupt estate.
Legal action

CSA can take legal action to enforce a remedy against the non-divisible property in respect of a debt for child support, child or spousal maintenance (section 58(5A) Bankruptcy Act).

The payee can also take legal action to enforce the debt  see chapter 5.4.7.
Amending proof of debt

An amended proof of debt can be lodged at any stage during the administration of the bankrupt estate. If CSA has lodged a proof of debt with the trustee and subsequently collects any part of the provable debt during bankruptcy, it will lodge an amended proof of debt.
Effect Of Discharge

After a discharge from bankruptcy, CSA is still able to recover the child support or maintenance debt relating to the period before the bankruptcy.

The bankrupt may apply to court for a specific order discharging him or her from all or part of the surviving debt (i.e. that part of the provable debt which relates to child support, or child or spousal maintenance) (section 153(2A) Bankruptcy Act). CSA will not discharge the child support or maintenance portion of a registered child support debt unless the court has made an order under section 153(2A).

CSA cannot recover any pre-bankruptcy debt relating to a parentage overpayment order, or any penalties relating to that period, as these debts are not specially protected under the Bankruptcy Act. They are automatically discharged upon the bankrupt's discharge from bankruptcy. After the bankrupt is discharged, CSA will vary the child support register to remove any amounts relating to penalties or registered parentage overpayment orders that were included in the provable debt, as these are not recoverable at law.
Alternatives to bankruptcy

Creditors can be asked to participate in debt agreements and arrangements under Parts IX and X of the Bankruptcy Act as alternatives to bankruptcy. These arrangements or agreements limit the collection of provable debts.

CSA will not take part in making an agreement under Part IX and is not bound by any Part IX agreement made which affects the collection of amounts payable for child support, child or spousal maintenance, that are registered under the Registration and Collection Act (section 185K).

An arrangement under Part X of the Bankruptcy Act is a formal process in which creditors vote on the proposed arrangement. CSA is not bound by any Part X arrangement made which affects the collection of liabilities registered under the Registration and Collection Act (section 229(4)).
Thanks Mike, obviously they can and even if you are bankrupt they can still chase the debt also, even when you come out the other side.

My situation has been a nightmare from the start and is getting worse (I do understand that I am not alone and some others out there are worse off than me), would you like to hear the story as I have only 6 days left to lodge and appeal in the FMC re their decision to dismiss my application for stay of CSA enforcement action and departure re SSAT, CSA etc, no appeal lodgement and I am off for financial assessment under CSA application before the court in mid Dec.

I do run a company and if CSA is successful in Dec then the dominoes will start to fall which will result in my bankruptcy anyway, the business side of me says make a commercial decision but I cannot raise the funds, the company has no ability to give me any as it is heavily involved in a contractual debt repayment to the ATO (another story) and if I were just to do it then that places the company insolvent and me in the hot seat there.

My solicitor is saying "a torpedo is coming straight for my ship" but then again he has stuffed up so many times already, he even admits that some of my problems are due to his inefficiency at times.

help please or supply me with sufficient buoyancy to keep my ship float no matter how big that bloody torpedo is.

My situation is (in precis);

I own 85% of a company, brother owns other 15% and I am in personal debt to him for approx 300k and company owes him another 300K

8 years or so of FLC saw approx 300k go west on legals just to fight to stay in my childrens lives and most of that came from brother and the company, that left the company in a very tight situation.

approx2.5 years ago CSA says 400 per week on capacity to earn of 150k pa and I say nah can't do it, company at that time gets ato audit that results in 400k debt and an arrangement to pay at 8k per month.

when csa does coa they advise me on the 27th day with no reason, i go to solicitor and he tries to get reasons but they refuse to talk to him but later say ok and they faxed them to me some 5 days after receiving coa notice, we lodge objection and csa says out of time but we know it is 28 days from reasons being received, we tell this to csa and they say too bad but you can lodge and application for an extension to lodge objection, this is lodged with days and then nothing heard from csa for months even after me phoning them so off to the ssat and they give me a phone call (conference) only to be told they refuse my application to the ssat.

solicitor sits on his but for too long and we miss out on going to the aat and then csa serves summons so we apply for stay and departure.

on the 3rd menntion in the fmc the fm says that it is out of her field of expertise and hat she is handing up to fm slack as he is the csa expert, 4th trip to brisbane in front of fm slack and respondent tries to have the applications dismissed but i argue the whole thing and fm slack says and i quote "he has a right to be heard and I am definitely going to hear this one", I am self repping in all court appearances, solicitor is just helping me.

to court again but fm slack is "unavailable" so a visiting fm sits in his place and within 1 hour he dismisses the applications and sets a date for financial examination and that is where I am at now with less that a week o lodge an appeal or go to examination in dec.

Csa knows of debt to ato, even confirms it with them, i give csa full company financials that clearly show that whist company is paying off ato debt there has not been and aint no more funds available and by the way ato repayments are now 9.5k per month.

I draw 20k wages and take another approx 30k in loan repayments to me and i even agree (not at first) now that i am happy to have my csa liability assessed on 50k pa but they still insist on 150k, long story short is that there just is not any more money available even when you add back depreciation etc they in no way can get to 150k as the net profit in the year the assessed me on was 110k even though they had financials for the year after that showed approx 35k, yes I gave it all to them after they asked nicely ! and i realise now that i should not have so easily, AND they fixed the assessment for a period of 3 years.

all is transparent, nothing missing, no trusts, no hiding anything, i have been struggling financially for some years and will do for some time yet but i can make it if they leave me alone and my children will be significantly better off if they do, shut me down now and we all loose (thats my soap box bit), oh by the way I am 63 years old and getting tired.

so there we go, not much left out but dates etc and obviously sig detail, forgot to mention that i have always been paying csa, never have not, just can't pay the amount they want.

over to you, anybody, what can i do … cheers

Last edit: by Aussie

Aussie,
           as far as I can tell you've done everything that you can do, the two exceptions being to appeal or to up your roots and move to a non-reciprocal jurisdiction and then I'd guess that you'd then lose a lot if not all of your super, although you'll probably lose of lot or all of it anyway unless justice is put in place. With regard to lodging an appeal to the FMC decision, that's beyond me but hopefully others might be able to offer advice. Perhaps you could lodge it and then withdraw it if you then decide that it's not what you believe is right or of use, considering the available window of opportunity. It is quite clear that the CSA have abused their power and have done so using despicable tactics, it's also a clear indication why some have called it "deem and destroy".
Thanks Mike, have no super to speak of, that went along with my former house.

I feel that the csa have abused their rights, i also feel that i have been denied the right to be heard, the right to justice etc but have come to understand that the csa pretty much get away with anything.

the "ability to pay" bit has not even been considered, don't get me wrong, if i could pay it i would but they have not taken into account my inability to pay at all and it seems nor will they, they have pigeonholed holed me, they just want blood, i am a dead beat dad.

i am going to appeal but if it ends up the only avenue i will go through it and from what i have been told/advised/learnt of late i will most likely loose the appeal, can't afford a barrister etc, will have to do it myself and i am hopeless at this stuff and if i do loose i face costs that will only make the situation a lot lot worse…. if i dont i am gone and if i do i will probably be gone a lot more.

the situation is real and desperate with little time to get anything done if at all anything can be done.

surely there must be some avenue to get this whole nightmare halted and have some non biased person of influence step in but where does one go to find that person or can't the torpedo be stopped, is our system that screwed up that there is no hope for people like me and our children.

i am at a total loss, i have nearly given up, left alone my children will be millionaires in 2 to 3 years, the situation left unchecked will produce paupers all round and me on the streets, i am not kidding thats what will happen, how is that in the best interests of the children, of the payer and of the payee, how is that good for the 5 people that i employ that will be out of work.

prior to my csa experiences i believed in justice etc, yes even after my visits to the flc, but now know that there is little and there are few that care about that.

anyone … what can i do, who can i go to, who can i talk to, what can be done …. or am i screwed and should i just give up and accept the inevitable

please

Last edit: by Aussie

aussie,
i thought my problems were bad, but am still a bit younger than you. and also……Att mike, i have finally had progress, my 2008/2009 has been reassessed from $400 pm to $30, with everything i have given them, this should now continue. i am a bit afraid to answer the phone now, just in case it is them telling me they just made a mistake  :lol: , my point being that change is possible, unlikely, but possible.  how did this happen????, i really dont know, after all the stories i have read here. for the last 6 months i have been in the middle of the ocean, so all i have really done is yell down a telephone, and while csa staff are paid to cop this, threats of suicide to eating their children have gone to more than a dozen polaticians,4 ombudsman, 2 judges(there secrataies anyway) and about 30 lawyers(because they rip you off too) and while csa may not accept the impact it is having on my life, there are a lot of people in high places who have no doubt in their mind, and my mothers list is longer. (ok, i exagerated about the eating kids bit) but my point being, csa wont listen, find someone who will, "if u want something done, go to the opposition".
if it is having an impact, talk to some one, have it recognised, and whack it up em, they wont care, your health and ability to care for yourself is priority to everyone, including this site i am sure. and what the hell they attack u with dirty tactics, defend yourself likewise
finally, if i was your brother, i'd be worried about my investments, and be calling my local polly for advice. if u had a choice, go broke to your brother, or to csa,?? houses are just bricks and motor, get a caravan and park it at your brothers place, or get out and see a bit of aussie aussie.
good luck Aussie, i hope you dont take any offence in any of my coments or their delivery. my situation is different, i literally dont own anything, so i am not so concerned about the money, as indicatedthings are being corrected, and i am normally a patient person, however, in csa efforts to get what they can, they have resorted to blackmail and extortion tactics to take from me what no money can ever buy if i dont pay up. 16/11 is armagedon. my mental condition is real but competently managed by my responsabilities of work, however i have 10 days left with my practitioner then im on my own.
sorry i cant offer expert advice, i hope you can gleen something, at the very least a light hearted look at things
all the best
Aussie

If you have a matter before the court you may be able to make an application under section 116 of the Child Support Assessment Act to have the court make a decision about your child support.  If so, that may resolve the problem for you.

thanks guys, i always look for something positive out of everything so any input is appreciated.

i have tried section 116 in court for departure (last fmc visit) and whilst i got up on part a (another action in court) i got done under the "special circumstances" bit (part b i think), now if my situation is not special circumstances i dont know what is, it is that decision that i must now appeal.

i am perplexed by the fact that the "csa matters specialist" FM Slack said at directions (they tried to have my applications dismissed at that point) that "I had a right to be heard and he was going to hear it" and set a date, then along comes a visiting magistrate and dismisses my applications in no time at all.

my brother is at this point looking at his options to protect his investments and whilst he has a registered mortgage over the company he has no security over his personal loans to me and i have no personal equity because of the sharp downturn in house values in this area.

Here is a question for all … what happens if i lodge a COA application now and request it go back 18 months, can this start the ball rolling all over again and can this course have any effect on the previous (current) one.

cheers, desperate aussie
Get the courts to back date it as far as you can go as this will help.

Mick
taylor said
Get the courts to back date it as far as you can go as this will help.
From what I read the matter has been dismissed "by the visiting Federal Magistrate" so it is now no longer in the court.


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
your are correct spca, subject to me appealing that matter is finished but …..

Some positive news today … because I owe more on my house than what it will bring in the current market there is no advantage for them to move on my house, in fact the most likely result if they were to sell me up would be to worsen my situation by at least 25 to 30k, lets hope logic prevails on that one.

My solicitor is talking to them and it turns out that the camper trailer that i own that is worth approx $3500.00 was reported to them (csa) to be a "motor home" worth approx $80,000.00 (now i wonder what nice ex would have told them that) … the ags will have copies of valuations and bank payouts etc tomorrow on all and is going to go back to the csa and report same, it all came as a shock to him so lets hope it comes as a shock to the csa.

I am lodging a coa application later this week or early next week so we will see where that goes.

Moderators please … now that the CSA has agreed to a "trial" on responding to posts on this forum I would suggest that it may be prudent for posters to be very careful as to what they post and this in itself may be restrictive, just my thoughts.

still a desperate but now a tad hopeful aussie

Last edit: by Aussie

Aussie said
Moderators please … now that the CSA has agreed to a "trial" on responding to posts on this forum I would suggest that it may be prudent for posters to be very careful as to what they post and this in itself may be restrictive, just my thoughts.
Where have you got that information from? CSA have always had an account on these forums to post direct responses. The Government departmental crest is used on their Avatar. There are two issues for them

One is they generally get some robust responses (can I say less than polite) when they do post in public forums regardless of what they post and secondly they have a significant issue with timing of responses so can understand why they limit their posts. This is because they need to get approvals to post any significant responses, from their communications group which can take a lengthy period of time, particularly if the post is at all contentious or complex.

A significant number of posts are made by moderators or OTHER SITE USERS if they know the answers or a guide to the answer through directing to the "CSA guide" or the web site FAQ's or Child support area. As with any PUBLIC site these forums are open and able to be indexed by search engines so ANYTHING you post is pubic.

You will have read the site rules and agreed to those when you joined as well when you come into the FORUMS area through the web site proper you would have again seen the disclaimers and site rules. The posts on the site are reviewed by a number of Government departments from time to time as an indicator to see what main topics are being discussed. We do collate continuously information off the forums for a range of reports we are working on such as "Self Employed" , COA - Change of Assessment", "Forms and Statements", Specific SSAT matters that come to our attention for additional commentary and or mentoring. Non of the advice here is intended as authoritative legal advice, and nor can it, but a number of us are involved in the legal profession and cover jobs such as Police Prosecutions, Legal Aid, Law students, to Lawyers and a range of arm chair paralegals.

The main comment I make to you Aussie is that provided anonymity is maintained there should not be to much of a problem and thus restrictive. If you want a personal topic with a poster you can do that as well which is confidential as a personal topic cannot be seen by others and you have "in line" (in the topic) personal posts which cannot be seen by others but can be seen by moderators. You also have currently private forums but we are pretty much going to abandon those as they are to difficult to moderate and we do not have anywhere near the resources or funds to maintain private and personal legal aid to the large numbers of members here who require it. We are currently working up a  revised version of the site but it is taking much longer than I would like due to again constraints of funding and resources.

I do say that the site is an excellent place to air issues as we do pick these up, and do deal with them in our on going and voluminous reform works in both the Child Support and Family Law area. My only regret is that I do not have enough physical hours in a day to post much more about some of the work and statistics we are seeing out of our CSNSEG membership.


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
Hi SPCA, firstly let me acknowledge the input of yourself and many others to this forum, I have first hand knowledge of what it takes and how time consuming something like this site can be for those like you, saying well done and thank you to all will never be enough.

Even though the terms and conditions are there and that we all know that the content is able to be viewed by the public, I was reminded when I went to post by a "pop up" that the CSA had been invited to take part and shivers went down my spine, don't get me wrong, the more the CSA is subjected to what others think and say can hopefully only lead to improvments for all (hopefully), but it still shook me.

My take on the CSA for what it is worth … in my case they have done nothing but contribute to my financial downfall (the dominoes have started falling) even though they are in receipt of all relevant documentation, 3rd party and otherwise included, they have not seen fit to believe anything that i have said nor be even a tad reasonable towards my situation, all they have done is come after me based on suspicion, not fact and one can only wonder if the whole thing is "politically driven", in fairness i will give them this much though as to when they made their assessment they were not in receipt of all the facts but when they were made available to them they did not change one bit, they stuck to their wrongful decision and even screwed me around in the process of objection etc.

I read many posts and most so far wreak of the CSA's inability or lack of willingness to get to the facts and at times even when they do, will not back off or admit they are wrong and the worst part is that through legislation they can pretty much get away with anything, keeping in mind though the only ones you read about are the tough ones, we rarely if ever hear about the fair ones.

I have been further disappointed in the fact that courts from my experience to date seem to look for "reasons" or "loopholes" to side with the CSA and the concept of being entitled to justice etc is long gone.

Now i also understand that my experience with the CSA is only one sad tale of many and both mine and those other sad tales will make NO difference at all to the CSA and their pathetic attitudes because they have "right" on their side, the only change will come through legislation and accountability and I will not be holding my breath waiting for either.

I commend you and others for what you are trying to achieve and prey that you never give up and for many others to join you and lighten the load but for me I am close to the last straw, they have managed to break me financially and hence have not acted in my own, the payee or children's best interest at all, in fact they will have at the end of the day only have succeeded to place more pressure/reliance on the social security system, now how can they or any one call that a step in the right direction.

In short they are thieves and fraudsters protected by legislation, motivated by who knows what or whom to "collect" monies under any circumstances and at any cost and not likely to undergo any change.

with respect, aussie

Last edit: by Aussie

Maybe the courts side with the CSA because the CSA is doing the right thing.  Unless you wish to accuse the courts of being part of 'The Great Child Support Conspiracy' that people on here supposedly have no evidence of, but know it exists?

I don't know anything about your case in particular, and I do not want to know, however it does seem odd that you could provide CSA with evidence that they would simply ignore.  

Further, it is almost 0% likely that the CSA, or any government department for that matter, would take a matter to court unless they were of the view that their position was sound - not legally arguable, but sound.  There are far too many negatives for government departments to take matters to court on anything less than solid grounds and after all reasonable attempts have been made to resolve the issue before commencing any legal actions.

Therefore, I suggest that your story is probably not completely accurate.  Not saying the CSA may not have made some mistakes in your case, they may well have.  However, there is no chance that CSA would have gone to court unless they were reasonably sure they had a solid case.  

I can only assume, from that, that there is a lot you are not telling us because it doesn't suit your argument against the CSA.  Did you appeal to the SSAT? What was its decision?  What 'facts' did you present the CSA with for your objection?  As above, these questions are rhetorical because I really don't want to know the answers.  The point I am making is that the story you have provided is incomplete and doesn't give any support to your conclusions.
Eclipse said
Maybe the courts side with the CSA because the CSA is doing the right thing. 
Or it could be that under the law, it doesn't matter whether the "right thing" is done or not - once a decision is made it becomes "valid" whether it is correct or not. It seems you like to try to use the same methodology in your debating…


Eclipse said
 it does seem odd that you could provide CSA with evidence that they would simply ignore.
The CSA is not required under the Act to use all information available. there is considerable scope under a COA to be selective and in fact, there is not even any requirement for CSOs doing COAs to take notes. I can reproduce here a letter from Angela Tillmanns telling me that "as the officer will make a decision immediately, no notes need be taken", which was in response to a FOI request for those notes.

Does it seem likely to you that notes would not be taken in a situation in which the officer is exerting quasi-judicial authority? Even Judges take notes…
Craigo.  The point I was making is that, unless you are going to accuse the courts of being corrupt, the fact that they 'side' with the CSA is probably an indication that the CSA has done the right thing.  A court will not simply say - the CSA made a decision, therefore it is valid in all respects.  A court will set aside a decisin of the CSA if the decision is unsound.  Look up the case law.

CSA is required by law to consider all relevant information and not to consider any irrelevant information when it makes a decision.  That is administrative law and it applies to all administrative decision makers.  There is no scope to be selective.  Any decision that ignores relevant information and considers irrelvant information is unsound.  Nothing in the child support legislation overrides that.  However, discretionary decision making requires a decision maker to weigh evidence - which is often where the arguments arise.  Did they give correct weight to the evidence.

How a decision maker makes their decision is up to them.  If they do not keep notes, that may be odd, but it may not.  If they make their decision striaght away, why would they need to make notes?  They would simply write the decision statement that should explain the decision.
Eclipse said
Craigo.  The point I was making is that, unless you are going to accuse the courts of being corrupt, the fact that they 'side' with the CSA is probably an indication that the CSA has done the right thing.  A court will not simply say - the CSA made a decision, therefore it is valid in all respects.  A court will set aside a decisin of the CSA if the decision is unsound.  Look up the case law.
Oh, I agree that there are examples of such matters, but the scope for the CSA to make arbitrary decisions that are effectively unchallengeable is very broad. Therefore, the fact that a legaly-binding decision is made does not necessarily reflect the correctness of the decsion in terms of fairness or accuracy.

Eclipse said
CSA is required by law to consider all relevant information and not to consider any irrelevant information when it makes a decision.  That is administrative law and it applies to all administrative decision makers.  There is no scope to be selective.  Any decision that ignores relevant information and considers irrelvant information is unsound.  Nothing in the child support legislation overrides that.  However, discretionary decision making requires a decision maker to weigh evidence - which is often where the arguments arise.  Did they give correct weight to the evidence.
or did they simply give zero weight to factors they don't understand or don't like?

Eclipse said
How a decision maker makes their decision is up to them.  If they do not keep notes, that may be odd, but it may not.  If they make their decision striaght away, why would they need to make notes?  They would simply write the decision statement that should explain the decision.
They should take and keep notes because they may be needed to explain how the decision/determination was arrived at. Unlike judicial decisions, COA determinations are often simple assertions with little explicatory detail and if they are wrong, it is important to know why the wrong decision was made.

Even schoolchildren have to show their working.
I generally agree with you.  I will say that a court will find a way if it is of the view there has been an injustice requiring remedy.  

If a decision maker gives inappropriate weight to something, that is reviewable.  The oft quoted Ladd case is an example of how the system can work when decisions are made that misinterpret or misapply the law.  

Administrative law provides that decisions are supposed to be properly explained and/or that detailed reasons can be obtained from the decision maker.  CSA is not immune from those requirements.  Whether they take notes, or not, is not really the issue (in my view).

Last edit: by MikeT

If only life was all that simple just to fill you in a tad more, my application to the fmc was not rejected on the merits of the case but on a point of law, the merits did not even get heard at all so the concept of justice did not even get a chance.

My rejection from the ssat was similar in nature in that they said that they did not consider that my chances were good so no hearing.
At no stage of my ordeal did ANY of the agencies consider the full facts and in fact, worked to the contrary.

I hear some say that there are avenues to have all the wrong things corrected but in reality I was denied those opportunities all along up to and including the fmc, in one way or another.

What many do not understand is that from the csa through to the fmc, they all have the power to make wrong decisions and to vetoe applications etc based on what they believe and points of law etc, not on the merits of the case and THIS is the reality in the system we have.

To believe otherwise indicates lack of exposure to the system and a possible desire to believe in things like fairness and justice prevailing over all else like they should in a perfect world.

You have to remember that a csa debt is a debt to the commonwealth and one for all intensive purposes is a proven debt, if this whole scenario involved private or corporate parties then they would be called on to prove the debt and that this would in fact be based on actual and proven circumstance and documentation whereas the csa can use things like capacity to earn but at the same time, disregard capacity to pay.

Now I hear someone say that they have to take into account capacity to pay under legislation and yes they may be right but they chose not to in may case even after confirming my level of debt and repayment schedule to the ATO, this showed me that they were not interested in my capacity to pay even though it was confirmed.

Now to the sceptics, they (csa) know I am not earning the money they say I can, they know that from what I am earning that I have to repay most of what is left over to the ATO (another debt to the commonwealth) and that I am in fact on the brink of going under both in my company and now personally and yet they proceed.

They have everything in front of them that shows that I cannot possibly afford what they want.

So in short, dream on if you wish but that IS the way it is.

Last edit: by Aussie

Never would suggest everything is simple, Aussie.  In simple terms, if you have the capacity to earn you should be earning the amount that would give you the capacity to pay.  That is the point of those provisions.  Of course, there should be some consideration of capacity to pay, however the lack of capacity to pay cannot be based on you not earning what you have been assessed as having the capacity to earn.    

In the ordinary course of events, there is no way a decision can go through all the review mechanisms without a substantive merits review.  If, as you suggest, nobody considered the merits of your case and only decided on matters of law, that indicates to me that either your applications were made out of time with no good reason for them being late, or your grounds for seeking review did not fall within the scope of what could be considered by the reviewer.  I may be wrong, but it is highly unusual and unlikely that you could end up going through all the reviews without anyone considering the merits of your case.
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