County Court Judgments (CCJ)
CCJs are usually issued as a result of an underlying debt problem. Receiving a County Court Judgment (CCJ) claim form or Court Summons can be a frightening and unsettling experience. At Payplan, we can give you free, immediate and professional debt advice to guide you in the right direction
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What is a County Court Judgment claim form?
If you are in debt, a creditor (or claimant) can attempt to reclaim money owed through the County Court. The starting point in this legal process is the County Court Claim Form, or Summons, which states clearly how much is owed to the creditor and will be sent to you by the Court.
When you receive this form it’s vital to act quickly – you only have 14 days to reply.
It will involve filling in an Income and Expenditure Form and making an offer of payment. Ignoring a claim or missing the deadline will allow your creditor to ask for judgment by default- which can mean paying the outstanding debt in full, plus costs. To keep things simple, we can guide you through what to do when you receive this form. Click here if you’ve received a CCJ claim form.
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I’ve filled in and returned the form – what happens next?
If the Court accepts your offer, you will receive a County Court Judgment giving you details of when and how to make payments. If the Court does not accept your offer or if you do not reply within the allowed time (14 days), you will be issued with a County Court Judgment to pay an amount decided by the Court.
Be aware that this may be more than you can afford. If the amount agreed is more than you can afford, you can write to the Court quoting your Case Number (which normally consists of 2 letters and 6 numbers) for redetermination (reassessment) of the payment/offer within 14 days of receiving the Judgment.
This will not cost you anything. It is a good idea to enclose a copy of your current financial statement with the offer asking for redetermination. If your circumstances change at a later date and you can no longer afford the requested monthly payment, you can apply to vary the amount using form N245.
Once completed with the revised offer of payment, you should send the N245 form to the Court. You will have to send a £14 fee with this form – if you receive benefits you should not have to pay but you will need to fill in a fee exemption form. If the offer of payment is still too high for you to afford, it is important to seek the help of a money adviser as soon as possible.
Once you default on a County Court Judgment, the creditor has access to more severe sanctions such as instructing bailiffs to remove goods from your home, contacting your employer to arrange for their debt to be paid direct from your wages (Attachment of Earnings), obtaining a Third Party Debt Order which freezes your bank account or attempting to petition for your bankruptcy.
What about keeping records of County Court Judgments?
It’s worth knowing that CCJs are recorded on The Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines (for England & Wales) for six years if the full amount due is not repaid within one month of the date of the Judgment.
If the amount is repaid during the six years, the CCJ is marked as ‘satisfied’‚ but your credit file will reflect that you had a CCJ awarded against you: if the amount is not paid back in full, the CCJ is marked as ‘unsatisfied’.
This may affect your credit rating adversely. For immediate, impartial and free debt advice please call PayPlan on 0800 280 2816 or Debt Help Form online for advice from experienced professionals.