The Ultimate Guide to a CCJ

Aug 03

The Ultimate Guide to a CCJ

If you owe someone money, they can take court action against you. This is called a county court judgement, otherwise known as a CCJ.

It means that the court will formally decide if you do owe money and you have 14 days to respond to the court’s claim.

Before this, creditors usually serve a default notice if you have missed several repayments and made no effort to communicate. You’ll know when you have been issued a CCJ because the court will send you a claims pack in the post which will be printed on official stamped blue and white court paper.

What does a claims pack include?

It will say how much you owe, how you should pay, the pay deadline, and details of who you need to pay. It should state where to send paperwork and there should be an N9b Defence form if you disagree with the amount owed.

How long does it stay on my record?

A CCJ remains on your record for six years unless you pay the outstanding amount in full within a month. Many individuals and businesses will find it difficult to be approved credit if they have a CCJ on their credit history, so it is imperative if you owe money to arrange a payment plan before a court judgement.

Can I get a CCJ removed?

In some cases it is possible. If your details on the register are wrong, you can get them amended.

You can also apply for the judgement to be set aside for a fee of £80 if you genuinely disagree with it. However, your reason has to be authentic and if the court thinks that you are wasting their time, you could face further fines or a prison sentence.

Reasons can include that there was a mistake made and that you don’t owe the money; you didn’t get the papers, or if you missed the hearing for a candid reason.

Moreover, you can pay the CCJ later if you get a certificate of satisfaction. This means that it stays on the register but is marked as satisfactory so any lenders that check will know that you have paid your debt.

There are no other ways to get a CCJ removed from the register.

How do I pay a CCJ?

If you do owe the money then it is imperative that you pay it. You pay the creditor in question, not the court.

If you need more time to complete the paperwork, use the Acknowledgement of Service form in the pack. It shows that you intend on dealing with the CCJ as soon as possible but that more time is required.

Make sure you have proof of all payment. Don’t send cash through the post. If you can, pay by cheque or make a bank transfer. If you can’t pay the debt in full, ask the creditor about an instalment plan. If you’re late with a payment, you could be taken back to court.

If you can’t realistically afford the repayment amounts, ask for it to be changed but be prepared that the offer may be rejected.

The creditor can use bailiffs to collect the money but they must get a warrant from the court. You have 7 days to pay before they visit but you can stop them by filling in a N245 application form stating how you’ll repay the money.

If you have received a CCJ through the post, don’t just bury your head in the sand. Speak to a debt advisor who can deal with the situation properly and decide the right course of action.

This article was written by Ian Chase on behalf of Solvemydebt.co.uk. We offer a number of debt management solutions designed to help your situation, no matter what your personal circumstances.