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What is a CCJ ?

County Court Judgments (CCJ) can be issued by a County Court if you owe money to someone and they take legal action to recover the debt. You are known as the “debtor” and they are known as a “creditor” or “claimant”. A CCJ is an easy and simple way for them to recover the money that they say they are owed. Prior to applying for a CCJ a creditor must have sent the debtor a letter before action, advising them that they are going to take action, how much the debt is what can be done to resolve the matter.

It is worth noting that if the debtor does acknowledge that there is an outstanding debt to be paid, then mediation with the creditor is generally the best policy and in some instances this can be successful in resolving the situation. An overview of the debtor’s financial position should be provided to the creditor to back up any proposal of repayment, remembering that the amounts should always be affordable.

How does someone get a CCJ ?

Obtaining a CCJ involves the court deciding if there really is a debt to be repaid. The creditor has to complete a County Court Claim Form, which must clearly state how much they believe they are owed. The debtor will receive this form and will have 14 days to reply to the court. If the debtor does not reply within this timescale, the creditor can obtain the CCJ by default and this can lead to the debt having to be repaid in full plus any reasonable additional costs that may have been incurred by the creditor.

Dealing with a CCJ

Once a debtor receives the Claim Form, they should complete it in full and return it to the court. The form includes a section which details the debtor’s monthly income and expenditure and this will show the court how much money is available to pay the debt. If an offer of payment is being made, the debtor should take care and only offer an amount that is affordable to them in the short term. It should also be sustainable in the long term. If an offer of payment is accepted, confirmation of how and when to make the payments will be provided. If an offer is not accepted, the court may decide an amount that should be paid.

If the debtor believes that they do not owe any money or they do not think that they owe as much 
as the court claims, then the CCJ can be disputed.  This is done by completing a “Defence Form” which should have been included within the court paperwork and returning it to the court. You cannot dispute a claim on the basis that you had forgotten about the debt or that you simply cannot afford to repay it. However, you can dispute a CCJ for genuine reasons such as:-

  • You are not the person named on the claim
  • You have already paid the debt in full
  • You did not take out the loan

 

What happens if I do not make payments to a CCJ ?

If a debtor does not make payments to a creditor in response to the CCJ, then a creditor can apply to the court for a charging order, which means the debt can be secured against any property that the debtor may own. Creditors can also apply for an attachment of earnings, meaning that a debtor’s employer would not only know about the action, but would also be obliged to deduct monies from their salary. It is also possible for the County Court to instruct a Bailiff to collect the debt. The Bailiff is an officer of the court and they have powers to seize a debtor’s goods or assets and sell them to settle the debt.

Get a CCJ removed

CCJ can be recorded on your credit file with a matter of days. If it is not disputed and you have the funds to pay it off in full then you should do so. If this is done within one month of it being recorded then it will be removed and it will as if it was never recorded. The person you are paying has a responsibility to inform the court that you have paid in full but it is also worth telling the court yourself by sending proof of payment. If you wait more than one month before paying, then the CCJ will not be removed from your credit rating but will be marked as satisfied.

You can apply to have a CCJ set aside if it is a default judgement (this is a judgment that is made when the debtor does not acknowledge the claim or fails to defend it). In order for this to happen you would need to provide evidence that you could have defended the claim – for example, you did not receive the court paperwork as it was sent to the wrong address.

CCJ will be removed automatically after 6 years from the date of judgement. It will be removed from your credit rating without you having to do anything, even if you do not repay the amount outstanding.

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Anderson Brookes Ltd

Anderson Brookes Ltd provides advice to individuals, business owners and company directors that are struggling with debt. Anderson Brookes Ltd is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority; our registration number is 669796. You can confirm our details on the FCA website www.fca.org.uk. Anderson Brookes Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales; company registration number is 4213701. You can read more about the services provided by Anderson Brookes Ltd by visiting OUR SERVICES. A printed copy of our Initial Disclosure Document will be provided to you before any Instructions are accepted from you. You can request a copy at any time by calling 01204 255 051. Some of the services provided by Anderson Brookes Ltd are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Anderson Brookes Insolvency Practitioners Ltd

Anderson Brookes Insolvency Practitioners Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales; company registration number is 10324159. Registered office address is 4th Floor, Churchgate House, Bolton, Lancashire BL1 1HL. Brendan P Hogan is licensed to act as an Insolvency Practitioner in the UK by the Insolvency Practitioners Association. Licence Number 101680.