Our experienced team of lawyers has developed a widespread understanding of dealing with all aspects relating to County Court Judgments. We are often approached by parties who have unknowingly had a CCJ placed against their credit profile and are seeking advice.
Our lawyers can:
- Advise you on your legal position in relation to the CCJ
- Assist with resolving the debt with the creditor
- Seek to reach an agreement with the creditor over the removal of the CCJ and make the necessary application to Court by consent
- Prepare the necessary application to set aside the CCJ if the Creditor will not consent to the removal of the CCJ
- Represent you at the hearing of the application to set the CCJ aside.
What is a county court judgement (CCJ)?
A County Court Judgment is a form of a court order which provides that money is owed by you to a third party.
A County Court Judgment can be issued in default (i.e. without consideration of the merit of the claim) if you do not respond to a Claim Form within the specified period. That can occur, for example, when the Claim Form is sent to an address at which you no longer live.
How do I remove a CCJ?
A County Court Judgment will be removed from your credit record in the event that you pay the sum specified within the time specified within the Judgment, which is usually one month from the date of the Judgment in the case of default Judgments.
If that period has lapsed, a County Court Judgment can be removed by obtaining a court order for the set aside of the Judgment. There are two methods to obtain a Court Order for the set aside:-
By Consent Order (i.e. with the consent of the creditor); or
By application to the Court using Form N244.
Dealing with the set aside by Consent Order is usually cheaper and quicker and should be considered before an application to the Court using the Form N244 is submitted.
The entry of the County Court Judgement on your credit record will be removed after 6 years from the date of the Judgment.
How do I recover money I am owed?
The method by which you can seek to recover money owed to you will largely depend on the circumstances of the matter. Your options to recover owed money will usually include:-
Issuing a Court claim. You are expected to engage in the Pre-Action Protocol before the issue of a claim and could be penalised on costs if you fail to do so.
Engaging in mediation and/or negotiation.
Serving a Statutory Demand. If payment is not made, you can then apply to the Court to make an individual bankrupt (for debts of £5,000 or more) or wind up a company (for debts over £750).
How long does a CCJ stay on record?
If the Judgment sum is paid within the period specified in the County Court Judgment (which is usually within one month of the date of the Judgment in the case of Default Judgments) the creditor (the party that has been paid) should inform the Court of the payment and the entry on your credit record should be removed.
After that period, the County Court Judgment will be entered on your credit record at the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines and will remain for six years.
What is meant by unsatisfied CCJ?
An unsatisfied Judgment is one that has not been paid.
If the Judgment has been marked as satisfied, it confirms that you have paid the sum due (i.e. no monies are owing).
If you have paid the Judgment sum and the entry has not been marked as satisfied, you can make an application to the Court on Form N443 for a Certificate of Satisfaction. Evidence of payment should be provided within the application and a Court fee of £15 is payable.
How much does a CCJ affect your credit rating?
The entry of a County Court Judgment (whether satisfied or unsatisfied) is likely to have an adverse impact on your credit rating.
It may affect your ability to secure funding (e.g. by way of mortgage, loan or credit card) or your ability to take out a financing agreement (e.g. phone or car contract).
In some circumstances (e.g. the financial sector) the entry of a County Court Judgment can affect your employment opportunities/current employment.
Payment of the County Court Judgment so that the entry is marked as satisfied will usually alleviate the impact on your credit record, but it is likely to still have a negative affect.