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County Court Judgment (CCJ)

A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a legal order issued by a county court in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland against someone who owes money to a creditor.

It is a common way for creditors to take legal action against debtors who have not paid their debts. A CCJ can have serious consequences for the debtor, including damage to their credit score and ability to obtain credit in the future.

Apply for a CCJ using an N1 Claim form

A creditor can apply for a CCJ against a debtor if they have been unable to recover their debt through other means, such as sending reminders, issuing a default notice, or using a debt collection agency.

To apply for a CCJ, the creditor must fill out a N1 claim form (Make a claim against a person or organisation (Claim form CPR Part 7) and submit it to the court, along with the court fee.

The court will then send a copy of the claim form to the debtor, who will have the opportunity to respond within 14 days.

If the debtor does not respond within 14 days, the court will assume that they have admitted to the debt and will issue a CCJ. If the debtor does respond, the court will review the case and may schedule a hearing to determine whether a CCJ should be issued.

Once a CCJ is issued, it will be recorded in the Register of Judgments, Orders, and Fines, which is maintained by the Registry Trust. This means that the CCJ will appear on the debtor’s credit report for six years, even if they pay the debt in full. This can have a significant impact on the debtor’s ability to obtain credit in the future, as lenders are likely to view the CCJ as evidence that the debtor is a higher credit risk.

Money Claim Online

Money Claim Online (MCOL) is a service provided by His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) in England and Wales that allows individuals and businesses to make and respond to claims for money owed online. It is a fast and convenient way to resolve disputes and recover debts without the need to attend a court hearing.

MCOL allows individuals and businesses to initiate a claim for money owed by filling out an online form and paying a fee. The system will then generate a claim form and send it to the defendant, who will have 14 days to respond. If the defendant does not respond within 14 days, a judgment can be entered against them.

If the defendant disputes the claim, the case may proceed to a court hearing. However, in many cases, disputes can be resolved without the need for a hearing, through negotiation or mediation.

MCOL is designed to be easy to use and accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of legal knowledge or experience. It is also cost-effective, as it eliminates the need for individuals and businesses to pay legal fees and attend court hearings.

To use MCOL, individuals and businesses must register for an account on the HMCTS website and follow the instructions provided. It is important to ensure that all the details entered on the claim form are accurate and complete, as any errors could result in the claim being rejected or delayed.

Money Claim Online (MCOL) is a service provided by HMCTS that allows individuals and businesses to make and respond to claims for money owed online. It is a fast, convenient, and cost-effective way to resolve disputes and recover debts, without the need to attend a court hearing.

Consequences of a County Court Judgment

In addition to damaging the debtor’s credit score, a CCJ can also have other consequences. For example, the creditor may be able to use bailiffs to seize the debtor’s possessions in order to recover the debt. They may also be able to apply for an attachment of earnings order, which means that the debtor’s employer will be required to deduct money from their wages to pay off the debt.

If a CCJ is issued against a person, it is important that they take action to address the debt as soon as possible. One option is to pay the debt in full, which will result in the CCJ being marked as satisfied on the debtor’s credit report. However, if the debtor is unable to pay the debt in full, they may be able to negotiate a payment plan with the creditor or apply to the court to have the CCJ set aside.

Setting aside a CCJ

If a person believes that a CCJ has been issued against them unfairly, they may be able to apply to have the CCJ set aside. This means that the CCJ will be cancelled and the case will be reopened. To apply to have a CCJ set aside, the debtor must fill out an application form and submit it to the court, along with any supporting evidence.

There are several reasons why a CCJ may be set aside, including:

  • The debtor did not receive the original claim form.
  • The debtor has a valid defence to the claim.
  • The creditor did not follow the correct procedures when applying for the CCJ.

It is important to note that setting aside a CCJ can be a complex and time-consuming process, and it is recommended that the debtor seeks legal advice from a solicitor or other legal professional before taking this step.

Conclusion

A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a legal order issued by a county court against someone who owes money to a creditor. CCJs can have serious consequences for the debtor, including damage to their credit score and ability to obtain credit in the future. If a CCJ is issued against a person, it is important that they take action to address the debt as soon as possible, including negotiating a payment plan with the creditor or applying to have the CCJ set aside. It is also important to understand the procedures for issuing a CCJ and the potential consequences of not paying debts on time.

If you have a CCJ against you, it is important to take steps to address the debt as soon as possible. This may involve negotiating a payment plan with the creditor or seeking legal advice to have the CCJ set aside. It is also important to be aware of the impact of a CCJ on your credit report and to take steps to rebuild your credit score over time.

CCJ Resources

There are a number of resources available to help individuals understand and address CCJ’s. These include:

  • The Money and Pension Service, which provides free advice and guidance on managing debt and dealing with CCJs.
  • The Registry Trust, which maintains the Register of Judgments, Orders, and Fines and provides information on how to access this register.
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau, which provides free legal advice and guidance on a range of issues, including CCJs and debt management.
  • Credit reference agencies, such as Experian and Equifax which provide information on credit reports and how to manage credit scores.
  • Clearscore – Your credit score and report. For free, forever.

The gov.uk website has various help and guidance on Crime, justice and the law.

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By Dom Watts

Dom Watts founded the Ministry of Injustice in July 2021. Dom works in IT and has no legal training and is not a lawyer. You can find Dom on X or Google.

Dom publishes the Ministry of Injustice as a citizen journalist. The journalism exemption is detailed in the Data protection and journalism code of practice published by the ICO and Section 124 of the Data Protection Act 2018.

In 2002 Dom Watts was an unlikely consumer champion. The dad of three from Croydon took on the power and might of Kodak – and won………

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