CCJs Explained in Layman’s Terms

When a person fails to pay money they owe to a creditor, the affected party can seek the court’s help in order to claim the money they’re owed. This act is usually referred to as a CCJ or a county court judgment.

Did you get a CCJ? If so, we can help you take care of your problem without stress!

What Exactly Is A CCJ?

A county court judgment is an official ruling that requests the debtor to pay the creditor the money they owe them. Unless the money is paid in full within 30 days, it is recorded for 6 years in the Register of Judgments (Orders and Fines). Paying off the debt early is a great way to ensure that you don’t face any future difficulties in getting approved for a loan, being denied credit or having to pay higher interest rates.

How Does The CCJ Process Work?

A creditor is unable to apply for a CCJ without sending an official default notice to the debtor. This letter must outline the amount of money owed and warn that the creditor has the opportunity to take legal action unless the debt is fully paid within 14 days.

If the creditor can go ahead and file with the court, the debtor receives the following paperwork:

*A claim form that details the amount owed as well as any calculated interest rates.

*A response pack that allows the debtor to confirm they received notice and acknowledge the amount owed. There’s also a form to contest the amount in question if incorrect. Debtors MUST respond to the forms within the allotted 14 days or a CCJ ruling is established by default.

How Can You Respond To A CCJ?

There are several options available as a response to a CCJ, such as:

*Paying the claim as well as any interest rates in full. 

*Negotiating a payment plan to pay the amount owed in installments. If the creditor is unable or unwilling to accept installments, the court must make the final ruling.

*Disputing the fact a claim was filed or the amount purportedly owed. (All CCJ claims are recorded by the court unless the claim is disputed.) Find out more in this article – Can a CCJ be enforced?

How Is It Possible To Dispute A Claim?

There are several options available when it comes to disputing a claim, such as:

*Disputing the amount of money owed while acknowledging that some money is actually owed.

*Defense of the claim that says no money is owed or the creditor has been repaid.

*A counterclaim is also an option.

For a defense claim, usually a court judgment is necessary and the paperwork found within the response pack needs to be adequately filled out. The court will reach a decision usually on the day of the hearing, but debtors have up to 21 days to appeal judgment.

Should a dispute fail, a CCJ is still recorded in the official Register.

How Can One Get A CCJ Removed From The Register?

CCJ rulings are recorded within the register for a 6 year period. It is, however, possible to remove the CCJ as long as the debt is paid in full within a month of the official ruling.

Should the debtor fail to pay the full amount, the CCJ will remain on record for the foreseeable future. One way to remedy this is by paying off the full amount at some point as the Register will receive a ‘satisfied’ marking. At the very least, this shows other companies that payment was satisfactorily made by the debtor.

In rare instances, it’s also possible to ask the court to set aside a CCJ via an N244 form. This is only a viable option if the debtor has a genuine reason for not paying such as not receiving the paperwork to the correct address. This does incur a £255 court fee.

Is It Possible To Vary A CCJ?

In certain extenuating circumstances, it is possible to vary a CCJ. This usually means that you don’t have the funds to pay the amount the court has ordered, therefore, you would like to change the repayment terms to an amount that you can afford.

If this is something you hope to achieve, you will need to fill out the necessary N245 form to vary the judgment. The process is fairly quick as each one is evaluated on a person-by-person basis.

A creditor is able to ask the court to vary the judgment in the following instances:

*There is an evident change in the defendant’s circumstances.

*New available information has surfaced.

*Evidence has come to light that the creditor may request more money or change in the amount owed.

The court decides whether a change is made based on a wide range of factors that include the cold facts, the assets involved, the amount valued in the judgment, and the overall outlook of the proceedings (history of payments made). In certain cases, it’s possible to ask a court to ask for a debtor to sell a certain asset to cover the amount of money owed versus agreeing to an installment payment plan.

Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on money, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.