County Court Judgment (CCJ)

County Court Judgment (CCJ). Written by John A Waller. Consultant. Reviewed July 12th, 2024.

A County court judgment (CCJ) is issued by a county court if someone has not paid culpable money. CCJs are an easy way for creditors to reclaim their due money. The court will review the case and decide whether you should pay a debt. If so, they’ll issue a CCJ. It sets out how you will pay the debt back.

Before someone takes legal action against you, they will likely have written to you several times requesting payment. If you cannot pay at this stage or decline to pay for any reason, you can obtain a County Court Judgment (CCJ) Claim Form. Therefore, this form, which allows you to enter a defence, may result in a CCJ being issued by default.

At what point does the court have to agree?

It may happen that a default judgment is issued against you if no hearing has taken place and you have not sent back the confirmation of the service to say that you intend to defend yourself. You may also have a default judgment issued against you if you have not sent the reply form asking for payment deadlines.

The court shall set aside a default judgment if you:

  • Have paid the total amount owed (including interest and costs) before the date of the creditor’s judgment;
  • Send back the confirmation of the service within the time limit;
  • Submit a defence within the period; 
  • Send the reply form within the deadline, asking for more payment.

Even if you have no defence, the court must overturn the verdict in those circumstances. For these reasons, there is no deadline for applying.

Dealing with receiving a default notice

Should negotiations fail or if you do not respond within the specified timeframe following receipt of the initial letter from your creditor, you will receive either a warning communication or a formal default notice alerting you to settle outstanding debts promptly; non-compliance could lead to judicial intervention.

In adherence with regulations outlined in the Consumer Credit Act concerning credit agreements, serving such default notices requires at least a 14-day advance notice period before taking further steps against parties involved; these communications should clearly outline response protocols along with consequences tied to non-adherence while including relevant informational resources like Financial Conduct Authority’s default information sheet.

County Court Judgment (CCJ) & Your Options

If you have received a Claim Form, you therefore have several choices:

  • Pay the amount in full (including any interest and court fees). If you do, you don’t have to return the forms. There will be no court hearing, and you will not have a County Court Judgment (CCJ) brought against you either.
  • Request to pay later or by specified instalments. If you do this, a CCJ will still be issued, but the creditor may agree to your repayment terms.
  • Dispute the amount owed. If you think you have less debt than you claimed, you could return the forms explaining why. The court will then review the case and determine the matter. If they believe the creditor’s case is correct, they will issue a CCJ against you.
  • Oppose the entire claim. If you don’t think you owe anything, return the Defence Form to the court, setting out your side of the argument. Again, the court will review the case and determine who they deem right. If they believe the creditors’ claim, they will issue a CCJ against you.
  • Counter Claim against the creditor. If you dispute the creditors’ claim and believe they owe you money, you must fill out the counterclaim form. A fee may apply. 

What happens in court?

When your case comes to court, there will be a closed-door hearing. You don’t need to attend unless you’re disputing the claim or counterclaiming. During the hearing, the court will review the evidence and decide whether in your favour or your favour. If the court rules you owe them money, it will issue a CCJ. The CCJ is a court order saying you must repay the debt. It also sets out how you will make the repayment.

What if you can’t pay the County Court Judgment (CCJ)?

If you don’t or can’t pay, the creditor can return to court to ‘enforce’ the CCJ; this usually involves additional costs to you. The enforcement action could include;

  • Bailiffs;
  • Charging order: – This means the ECJ secures against a property you own, which means you have to pay off the debt before selling the property or remortgage;
  • Attachment of the earnings order: – The court may approve an order allowing payments to be deducted directly from the salary. Here, the court will directly address the employer.

Receiving an Attachment of Earnings Order

Attachment of Earnings Orders mandate wage deductions to settle outstanding dues. Charging Orders allow creditors to address repayment of debts through the sale or re-mortgaging of your property, with limitations if the property is your primary residence and supports dependents.

How to get a County Court Judgment (CCJ) marked as satisfied

You must pay in full within one calendar month of the judgment date of the CCJ to have a County Court Judgment (CCJ) marked as ‘satisfied‘. This action signifies complete debt settlement, while an ‘unsatisfied status indicates non-payment. If any inaccuracies are present, you can request corrections from the court.

A satisfied CCJ remains on record for six years from its issuance but reflects full payment and settlement date. Once settled, credit reference agencies will remove the default. You can also obtain a ‘Certificate of Satisfaction from the relevant court for official confirmation; note that a £14 fee applies.

How do I remove a cancelled County Court Judgment (CCJ)?

Cancelling or setting aside an erroneous judgment before its court date through payment submission or full repayment within one month post-judgment day authorises courts to nullify such judgments upon application accompanied by prescribed fees if needed. Furnishing proof of payment after settling a CCJ promptly also permits applications for cancellation/set-aside while ensuring that relevant authorities update their records accordingly.

The process involves removing cancelled or set-aside CCJs from registers maintained by Orders and Fines along with corresponding credit reference agencies’ following proper notification procedures outlined based on specific circumstances like insurance-related claims against individuals requiring formal documentation listing pertinent case details – including county court name, case number, judgment date, and amount – mandated for deletion requests sent via authorised channels.

Please ensure you send the letter to:

Registry Trust Ltd

Insurance Cancellation Request

153-157 Cleveland Street

London W1T 6QW

For further inquiries regarding cancelling and satisfying CCJs, please email Registry Trust at info@registrinfo@registrinsurers’rg on their website.

Can I get a County Court Judgment (CCJ) removed?

When contesting a County Court Judgment (CCJ), it is essential to consider the facts. Applying to the courts to set aside a judgment is a serious task and must not be abused. If you deliberately apply to know you owe the money, are you changing the situation? The court may decline your application, costing time and money. An application to set aside a judgment as of 7/1/21 is £255, payable to the court actioned using the N244 form.

Not keeping to the terms of a CCJ.

Non-compliance with CCJ terms can lead to serious creditor recourse, including bailiff interventions, Attachment of Earnings Orders, and Charging Orders. These actions can significantly impact your financial situation. Bailiff intervention involves executing debt collection duties, seizing saleable assets, and enabling manageable rate adjustments.

CCJ register

A Register of Orders, Judgments, and Fines in the UK maintains record CCJs for six years.

Most CCJs will appear in the register, but some will not. Therefore, for the judgment to be registered, it must either be delayed or defended, payment must be made in instalments, or enforcement measures must be taken. 

Banks and additional lenders can handle a CCJ check against the CCJ Registry when determining whether to grant loans. Obtaining a mortgage with a CCJ or a loan with a CCJ is problematic. Notwithstanding, if you receive credit, you may pay a more expensive interest rate.

How to Avoid a CCJ

If you have trouble repaying, seek advice from a debt adviser to avoid a CCJ. This step ensures you feel supported and guided in your financial decisions. Respond promptly to creditors, submit required documents on time, and communicate if you need additional time. Completing a financial statement with guidance can help assess your ability to settle debts. Transparent communication with creditors and judicial entities helps reach agreements for manageable payments and avoid legal actions.

Credit repair firms

You may have heard of firms offering to delete your credit rating from credit reference agencies so you can apply for more credit.

Credit repair firms can try to charge you a fee and often send you a packet of information explaining how to sort out your debts.

The Financial Conduct Authority must authorise credit repair firms (FCA). Please ensure the company is on the FCA register before using its service. If you wish to complain about something a credit repair company has done since October 2008, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service for assistance.

If you are unhappy with a credit reference company, you can complain to:

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