If you fail to pay certain debts in full and on time, you may find that you are subject to what is known as a County Court Judgment, or more widely known as a CCJ.
A CCJ is a court order submitted in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which will arrive as a summons if the debt you owe goes past a certain amount of time overdue. You will be sent a number of communications from your creditor before the courts get involved, and you will always receive a default notification via mail at least 14 days before legal action begins.
There has been an increase in the number of CCJs issued to consumers in the past few years, as more people are struggling to deal with debt problems.
But what is a County Court Judgement? How can it apply to your own situation? How long do CCJs last, and how can you easily pay them off and remove them from your credit file? In this guide, we will take a closer look at what is to be expected from you with regard to a CCJ, and what you can do to remedy such a situation – and what you should do in the event you need to make an appeal, or require further help.
How Long Does a CCJ Last?
A CCJ can last several months, depending entirely upon how much you owe, and how long the court is willing to offer you in terms of time for you to clear the debt.
- A court can request that you pay debt off over time, in which can a CCJ can last months at a time before it is fully cleared and accepted.
- Alternatively, a judge can decide that debt must be paid in full and with immediate effect. This will likely not be the case if your circumstances dictate otherwise, though it is important to remember that a CCJ is not always going to guarantee you a monthly instalment plan.
- If you agree that you need to pay the money
demanded, you will need to reply to a claim form issued via post within 14
days. During this time, you’ll have to
let the court know your income and expenditure, and you can take one of three
different routes of action:
- You can agree to terms and submit the claim form as described above, and you will also need to make an offer of payment.
- You can dispute the charges levied against you if you feel or know you don’t owe the money being demanded of you. We will cover this in a little more detail below.
- You can also acknowledge the request but advise than you need more than the 14 days requested so you can establish a defence.
- CCJs can stay on your credit file for up to six years – unless you pay the full amount due within 30 days of the request being made, or unless the demands are found to be false. A CCJ can be a serious knock-back for borrowing money for some time – meaning it is well worth seeking the advice of a debt advisor should you find yourself in this position.
How to Pay a County Court Judgement
To pay a County Court Judgement, you’ll have to acknowledge a CCJ written request and advise of your intentions. If you’ve agree that you owe the money demanded of you, and can pay in full, you should make an offer then and there.
Arrangements will be made for you to clear the debt as soon as possible. What’s more, paying your debt in full within 30 days will mean your credit file remains unaffected. Anything beyond this deadline and you will have a mark on your file for up to six years.
If you cannot pay the full amount right away but may be able to do so over an instalment plan, you must advise that this is your intention. As stated above, you will need to fill in a supplied form advising of your income and outgoings so that the court may be able to make arrangements for you. In any case, you may need to attend to court hearings so that you can state your case to a judge.
Even if you’re willing to pay by instalments, you may still need to pay a lump sum if it’s determined that you have the money and/or assets available. In any case, as this is a matter of law, you must tell the court and presiding judge the truth with regard to your financial circumstances. Other evidence may be requested, in which case, you must be ready to provide it.
What Happens if a CCJ is Not Paid?
Should you fail to pay your CCJ as agreed with the court, the creditor having placed the initial claim has the legal right to take further action. This may include:
- Issuing a charging order – which can mean you lose your home or mortgage, as this order can and will be tied to a major asset
- Issuing an attachment of earnings order – which means a deduction is made from your wages each month
- Pursue bailiff action – which means bailiffs can attend your home to seize goods to pay for the debt.
CCJ Debt Advice UK
If you’re in need of CCJ debt advice UK individuals and families rely upon, we are always here to help. Call our team directly today for tailored support with CCJs, court action, charging orders and more besides. You don’t have to go it alone!
Appealing a County Court Judgement
Appealing a County Court Judgement is completely possible. If you understand that the debt you are pursued for is incorrect, you can issue a rebuttal against a CCJ request. You will need to attend court and provide evidence to support your case.
You may also need to pay court fees. If your request is successful, the debt may be wiped and your credit file unaffected. If not, however – you will have to arrange to make payments to clear the debt requested.
At Humber Debt, we can offer more help and advice on these issues so be sure to contact us if you have any questions.