You’ll liable to have a County Court Judgment if someone or a business applies to Court for money owed by you to them.

In many instances CCJ are incorrectly registered, however once they have been, it can be quite time consuming and potentially expensive to have them removed.

However, there are ways of heading off the distress a CCJ can bring…

Below I’ve listed 5 different ways to stop CCJs from being made. However, for those unlucky enough to have CCJs registered against them or their business, I have also listed Four Ways of Dealing with CCJs (once registered).

 

Five Ways of Avoiding CCJs

There are two distinct times when you can act. Prior to having CCJs registered, you will receive an application – this is your early warning, and you may be able to head a CCJ off at this stage.

 

  1. You can pay in full.

Choosing this options means that you don’t have to worry about sending anything back. If you settle the debt before the one month deadline, you won’t need to go to court and the CCJ will not be entered against you. Make sure you get confirmation that payment has been received, and keep an eye out for a mistake at the court and incorrect registering of a judgement.

  1. You can suggest a different payment plan.

Would you like to pay the outstanding amount at a later date? Alternatively, perhaps you can’t afford to pay the debt. If so, you can fill in the admission form that comes with the CCJ and suggest paying a certain amount in installments. It’s worth noting though, that with this option, a CCJ will be recorded against yours or your businesses name, and will stay on record for 6 years after it has been paid off.

  1. You can dispute the amount of money you owe.

Use the admission form to have your say. Again, specify what you’re prepared to pay and by when. The court will then decide who is in the right. If they side with the claimant, or you agree you are part liable, then a CCJ will be issued against you for the amount the Court sees fit. Again, this will stay on your credit file for 6 years, and unless you pay, further action may be taken against you.

  1. You can dispute the whole CCJ debt.

Of course, if you don’t feel that you owe any money at all, then you can dispute the claim in its entirety. Fill in the ‘Defence Form’ (this is with the court forms sent to you) and return it to the court. Again, the court will reassess and decide who is correct. In this process you will be required to either attend court or put in your defence at a hearing. If the court side with the claimant, then a CCJ will be recorded.

  1. You can make a counter-claim.

Upon receiving a CCJ, you might think that actually, it’s you that’s owed money from the claimant. An example where this situation might arise is if you employ a builder to build an extension for your home. If for some reason they try to sue you for non-payment, you could counter-sue them if you think that they’ve breached a contract. The court will decide who owes what and, if necessary, issue a CCJ. To make a counter-claim, fill in the special counter-claim form.

 

Four Ways of Dealing with a CCJ (once registered)

  1. Repay it in full

Once a CCJ has been granted if you settle it in full plus any of the other side’s court costs within 28 days, it will be removed from your credit file.

  1. Reach Agreement to pay over time

If the claimant allows, you can repay CCJs over time. However, the CCJs will stay on your credit file until 6 years after you have made your final payment.

  1. Apply to have CCJs set aside

If you feel that a CCJ should not have been made, you can apply to have this set aside. At the time of writing this blog (February 2015), there is a court filing cost of £155 that you will need to pay the court. Sadly, this is non -negotiable regardless of the merits of your case. If you want to apply to set-aside CCJs, complete this form and send it along with the payment to the issuing court.

  1. Deal with all your debts in one go

In many cases, when businesses or individuals have CCJs registered against them it is a symptom of a larger debt problem. Where there are multiple debts we can assist with advice for individuals or businesses. You can find much more information on our services throughout our website, but if you want to contact me directly with some questions, feel free to email me on ewall@robsonscott.co.uk or phone 01325 365 950.

Best of luck,

Eamonn