Can I get rid of a CCJ?
A CCJ (County Court Judgment) can be issued when a creditor applies to the County Court to try to claim money they believe they are owed.
The court will review the creditor’s application to find out if there is a debt to be claimed – and then decide how this amount should be repaid.
If you have received notification of a CCJ being issued against your debt, there are ways of removing it from your credit report before it does any damage to your credit rating and ability to borrow in the future.
How to get rid of a CCJ
A CCJ will remain on your credit report for six years. This means it can be seen by future creditors and impact your credit rating and their likelihood to accept your credit applications.
However, you can get rid of a CCJ if you can do one of the following:
- Pay the CCJ within a month – Paying what you owe up front, within a month from the CCJ being issued, will have it removed from your credit report. Not only will the debt be paid off but your credit report will also remain unmarked.
- Ask for the judgment to be set aside if you don’t believe it is fair, for example, if you have arranged to repay your debt another way – We’ve covered what this means and how to do this in detail below.
How to set aside a CCJ
If you don’t believe the CCJ is fair and feel it should not have been issued against you, you can ask that the court set it aside. This means it will no longer be assigned to the debt or affect your credit rating. There is a fee to do this of £255, so you must be confident you can prove you have a genuine reason for asking the court to set the judgment aside.
Bear in mind if the court has agreed to set the judgment aside it can still be picked up again later and the case isn’t ‘over’. This may happen if a creditor can provide counter-evidence against you that you have not repaid your debts or cooperated with them.
Wait six years
If you are unable to make the payment up front or do not have a reason for the judgment to be set aside, you will need to comply with the terms of your CCJ and wait six years from the date is was issued for it to be removed from your credit report. There is no other way to have it removed.
Once your CCJ has been paid, it should appear on your credit report as satisfied. If this does not happen, then get in touch with the relevant credit reference agencies to have them update your report.
The CCJ will show future creditors that the debt is settled and you no longer owe money. However, bear in mind that it may still affect your ability to obtain credit.
You can also ask for a Certificate of Satisfaction. You’ll need to apply to the court for this and pay a £15 fee. This allows you to provide evidence if a creditor should start chasing you again for payment, or if another creditor wants to see proof of your finished CCJ before accepting you.
How does a CCJ show on your credit report?
A CCJ will be marked against the credit product it relates to.
So, let’s say you have a credit card from a high street bank. You have missed payments on this for four months, each of these missed payments is marked in red on your credit report and numbered with each month you have not paid.
Once the CCJ is issued, there will be a note added to the latest month. Creditors will be able to see this when they review your past history when you make any future applications for credit.
When the CCJ is paid and the debt satisfied it will remain listed on your credit report as a note. These can still be viewed by creditors and so it may continue to impact you even when it has been paid.
How to deal with a CCJ
When a CCJ is issued, you will receive notice from the court.
You can either pay the CCJ as the court has ordered or request to change the payment terms.
If you want to change the payment terms there will be a form to fill in, which will ask for details of your income and expenses and the amount you wish to offer as payment. You must respond to this within the time frame given by the court, which is usually 14 days.
Redetermination of a CCJ
If you have asked that the creditor lower your payments but they have said no, you can apply for redetermination.
A redetermination means the court will reassess how much you pay and may make it a more manageable amount for you. You will have to provide evidence of your income and outgoings to be successful in amending the monthly payment amount.
You can only apply for redetermination if you returned your paperwork within the initial month the CCJ was issued (or no later than 16 days from the date on the letter).
Variation of a CCJ
Again, if you and the creditor can’t come to an agreement on how much you should pay you could apply for variation.
This involves the court deciding if the instalments agreed between you and the creditor can be lowered. You will need to provide proof of your income and expenditure as evidence of why your CCJ payments should be lowered.
Send this, along with an N425 form that you can find online, asking the court to re-assess your situation. There is a £50 fee to do this.
It’s very important you do not ignore a CCJ. The court’s job is to retrieve money on your creditors’ behalf and so if you do not respond to the notice, the creditor can start to take further action against you. This could lead to applications for bailiffs to visit your home or other court action.