Have you been handed a CCJ? Are you worried about what it might mean?

CCJ stands for County Court Judgment. When a person or business thinks that you owe them money, they can apply to the County Court for a judgment that will help them claim their funds.

People or businesses usually apply for a CCJ when the debtor is ignoring their letters or calls, or if they can’t agree on a debt (or repayment schedule). The person or business behind the County Court Judgment can’t just apply for a CCJ whenever they want. They need to warn the debtor first via default notice or a ‘letter before action’.

Understanding the significance of a CCJ is vital. When someone applies for a CCJ, the court investigates the issue. So here’s the point – if you’ve received a CCJ then the courts have already decided that you do indeed owe the money in question. You then have 14 days in which to respond.

How does a CCJ work?

You’ll get a CCJ through the post.

A County Court Judgment will document what you owe, to whom you owe it to and the date you have to settle the debt by. It may also include payment details if it’s been decided that the debt can be paid in installments.

The role of the courts.

After receiving a CCJ – and depending on your course of action – the courts may have to make a final decision over who is in the right. There are occasions when the Courts get it wrong, and in these circumstances, you may need to apply to have the CCJ set aside.

Getting a CCJ can often be quite worrying, but if you repay your debt within 28 days or you reply with the appropriate forms within the time limit, the courts must stay or set aside the judgment.  Here is a link to another blog on the topic of CCJs – What Can I Do?

The impact of a CCJ.

County Court Judgments have a degree of urgency, but they’re not only about the here and now. If you owe money and you don’t settle in full within 28 days of receiving the CCJ, the judgment will be registered against your name and kept on record at the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for 6 years.

Having a CCJ will affect your credit rating and can severely hamper your chances of getting a loan, credit card, mortgage or any type of credit.

If quick agreement can’t be reached to settle a CCJ, whoever you owe money to can request that a bailiff (Enforcement Officer) attend your premises and uplift goods. More about bailiffs here.

What if I have multiple debts?

If your CCJ is one of many debts, or you are unable to settle your CCJ, then you need to get advice. You can email me with some details at ewall@robsonscott.co.uk or telephone 0191 303 7170. We’ll be happy to help.