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Late Penalty Fees

I would like some advise on how to get CSA to revise them, as they refuse to do so.

Hubby's ex applied fir CSA collect after quitting her well paid job, claiming 0% of care and a few other things, like double dipping.
We paid the ammount based on regular care and accumulated 4k in arrears by April 2012 (7 months worth including double dipping). These arrears accumulated a lot in late fees by April. In April the SSAt decision came through and they havd waived most of the arrears, except from 1500, which was the double dipping issue SSAt couldn't do anything about. We have recieved our may statement and they adjusted to arrears but not the penalties and keep adding on like if there was 4k owing for April and based on the 1.5k for may. Hubby called CSA to enter into a payment plan but CSA does not want to revise the incorrect penalties.
We are happy to pay penalties based on 1500 outstanding but not 4000!

What are our options?
I'd suggest trying to get your local Federal MP, the MP for the DHS portfolio or the Commonwealth Ombudsman involved. The CSA will very likely not change their tune without the intervention of an influential kick up the rear end.
My partner got hit with penalties while waiting for a COA decision, they ending up remitting 90% of the arrears but not the penalties. He was told that once he pays off the remaining arrears he can ask in writing to have all penalties removed and they will do it.
Frenzy, sounds good, but still is not ok. CSA screwed up and should revise them irregardless of this. Also, I do not trust CSA, they have never kept their promises.
I know a couple of people who have had penalties remitted once their debt was paid. So if they don't do it your case, contact the ombudsman ect like MikeT said. I don't get why they won't remit penalties when they remit arrears. The officer that did our COA actually tried on my OH's behalf to get the penalties remitted by said his hands were tied while there was any outstanding debt. I have not looked at the legislation to see if it specifically covers this issue.  
This is most definitely a policy and not a legislative position. The Guide (5.1.6.) is silent on the need for the arrears being paid in full, in fact it states that CSP will consider remission if you have taken steps to mitigate the effect of your non payment…

The Guide said
Some examples of attempts to mitigate the circumstances that led to late payment, or to mitigate the effects of those circumstances:

  • part payment of the liability
  • attempting to or succeeding in borrowing to pay some or all of the liability
  • negotiating with creditors or debtors or both
  • paying in full following resolution of a dispute (e.g. over arrears or a payment made directly to the payee)
  • making and meeting an acceptable arrangement for payment.
If you have requested the CSA remit the penalties and they have said no, then they need to inform you of this in writing as you have appeal rights.

The Guide said

Notification of decision

If CSA refuses a persons request to remit a late payment penalty in part or in full, it must provide the person with notice of that decision in writing (section 68(2)). CSA's notice must also state that the person can object to CSA's decision(sections 68(3)(a) and 80) and apply to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal for a review of CSA's objection decision if dissatisfied with it (sections 68(3)(b) and 89).

  The other thing to ask about is LPP cancellation as opposed to LPP remittance. LPP cancellation looks at the fact that the majority of the arrears was never really payable due to the COA. If your arrears has reduced by 50% then CSA should reduce your LPPs by the same percentage, plus an additional 10-20% to take into account the compound nature of LPPs. You won't find this on the Guide, however an FOI request for PI - Remitting Penalties certainly will reveal this.
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