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County Court Judgement

To get a CCJ awarded against your debt, the creditor must firstly make a Money Claim which causes you to receive a “Claim Form” from the Court.

Do Not Ignore A Money Claim.
Otherwise, the CCJ is awarded by default. You have 14 days to respond and can ask to extend this to 28 days. Details of how to respond are on the form.

Responding to the claim

County Court Judgement

If you have received a money claim and are concerned about a CCJ contact Swift.

If you make an offer which is acceptable, you will receive a County Court Judgment (CCJ) giving you details of when and how to make payments.

If your offer is not acceptable you will be issued with a CCJ to pay an amount decided by the Court. You can ask the Court to look at this again (called a redetermination) if the repayments are more than you can reasonably afford.

Please note:  either way – a judgment is made and a CCJ issued.

How can I prevent the CCJ from being issued?

There are 3 ways to stop the CCJ after receiving a money claim:

  1. To repay the debt in full before the time limit expires to return the claim form.
  2. To launch a successful defence of the claim which absolves you from all liability. Obviously, you’d only consider this if you know there are reasons why such an outcome has a high degree of probability.
  3. To reach an agreement with the creditor, a condition of which is that the legal action is stopped.

After the CCJ is issued

The CCJ will contain details of the term of the repayment terms you are now formally ordered to make.

If applicable, your creditor now has the option of applying for a Charging Order; making your unsecured debt secured on your property,

If you do not comply to the repayment terms of the CCJ; your creditor can apply to the Court for further measures to encourage or enforce payment, including but not limited to:

CCJs & Your Credit Rating

A CCJ or a High Court judgment, is recorded on the Government’s “Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines” and stays there for 6 years.

Credit reference agencies use this information in your credit report. Lenders use this among other factors when deciding whether to and at what rate to offer you credit.

Getting a CCJ removed from the Register of Judgments

  • If you pay the debt within one month, it is removed.
  • If you pay later but within 12 months, it is marked as satisfied, but remains on the register
  • You can apply to have it removed. The application costs £155, and you need to prove a genuine reason such an error by the Court or creditor. Failing to inform the  creditor of your current address and claiming ignorance of the money claim is not grounds for removal.

Further reading : How credit ratings and credit reports work

I Can’t Afford The Payments Set Out In The CCJ?

If you could pay – but just need more time, you can apply for more time to pay. But if you’ve this and other debts you are struggling to afford – you need to get professional advice