County Court Judgements (CCJs) - What is a county court judgement?
A County Court Judgement (CCJ) is a document sent out to a borrower by the court in the event that that individual or business owes money to another party
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In the UK, a CCJ is a document received by post that outlines a set of information regarding a debt that is owed. This document is sent out when an individual or business has not been paid an amount owed and takes the matter to court.
The court then examines the case and if they determine that the money is owed, follow up by sending a CCJ to the party that owes the money. This is an official document that requires the recipient to take specific action depending on the situation.
What is included in a county court judgement
A CCJ will include the following information about the claim:
- The total amount that the recipient owes
- Whether full payment must be made or installments are possible
- The payment deadline
- The individual or business that must be paid
It’s important to note that payment within 30 days is preferable, as otherwise the record of the CCJ is kept by authorities for 6 years and will have a negative impact on your credit rating, which could in turn impact your ability to receive financing.
If you do not owe the money stated in the CCJ
In the event that a mistake has been made, that you have already made the payment, or that there was a miscommunication along the way - basically, if you do not owe the money, you can request that the CCJ be cancelled.
This is referred to as getting the judgement ‘set aside’. In order to do so, you will need to fill out a specific form (application notice N244) and send it to the court. You’ll then be required to appear in court at a private hearing and present your case. Failure to attend will mean that you’ll need to pay the amount stated in the CCJ. Note that you may also need to pay a court fee.
If you do owe the money stated in the CCJ
If you do owe the money, it’s important to pay the judgement as soon as possible. The details for making the payment will be stated on the judgement (who you will need to pay and any further payment information).
Be sure to select a payment method that is trackable - that enables you to prove that you made the payment. For example, a bank transfer or online payment will provide you with proof of payment if necessary. Do not pay in cash.
In the event that you’re paying in installments, it’s crucial to make the payments on-time or you risk being taken back to court for late payments and can potentially face additional penalty fees. If you like to change the amounts you pay, you will need to fill in a form to request this change as well as to provide documentation on your income and details about what kind of payments you can afford.
If the person that is owed money applies for a warrant on behalf of a bailiff, you’ll have 7 days to pay before the bailiff can come to your residence. There are other options for potentially preventing the warrant from being issued. Again, this requires a form and may not be successful.
After the CCJ has been paid
Once you’ve paid the judgement in full, it’s likely that you’ll want proof of payment - acknowledgement from the recipient and/or from the court that the debt has been settled. In order to receive proof from the court, you will need to provide proof from the person owed.
In the event that the full amount was paid within 30 days, you can submit an application to the court to receive a ‘certificate of cancellation’.
If the full amount was paid after the 30 day mark, then you can apply to receive a ‘certificate of satisfaction’. In both cases you need to complete a form (N443) with a £15 cheque addressed to HMCTS.
However, if the person paid is unable to or does not respond to your request for proof of payment, you can still apply to the court by filling in the form and providing your own proof of payment. The court will then follow up with the person you paid and make a decision.
Learn more about CCJs on HMRC’s overview of ‘County court judgements for debt’.