A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a legal ruling that can have significant implications on your credit rating and financial stability. If you have a CCJ against you in England and Wales and you believe it was issued in error, or if you want to resolve the matter, you can follow these general steps to address the situation. Keep in mind that this information is accurate as of my last knowledge update in September 2021, and you should consult legal professionals or official sources for the most up-to-date advice.
- Check the Details: First, verify the accuracy of the CCJ details, including the amount, date, and creditor information. Make sure you have the correct information about the CCJ before proceeding.
- Contact the Creditor: If you believe the CCJ was issued in error or you want to settle the debt, contact the creditor listed on the CCJ. You may negotiate a repayment plan or a settlement amount. If you reach an agreement, make sure to get it in writing.
- Set Aside the CCJ: If you were not properly served with the claim or if you believe the CCJ was unjustly obtained, you can apply to the court to “set aside” the judgment. This means the CCJ will be removed from your credit record. You’ll need to complete the appropriate forms (N244) and provide reasons for your application. There might be a fee involved.
- Time Limit for Setting Aside: There’s a time limit for applying to set aside a CCJ, usually around one month from the date of the judgment. In exceptional circumstances, this time limit might be extended, but it’s better to act promptly.
- Reasons for Setting Aside: You can apply to set aside a CCJ if you can demonstrate that you had a valid defense for the original claim, you were not properly served with the claim, you were not given enough time to respond, or there was some other significant procedural error.
- Complete the Forms: Fill out the N244 form, providing all necessary details about your case. You might need to attach a witness statement explaining your reasons for setting aside the CCJ.
- Attend a Hearing: Once you’ve submitted the forms, the court will review your application and may schedule a hearing. Attend the hearing and present your case to the judge. Be prepared to explain why the CCJ should be set aside.
- Pay the Debt: If the court decides not to set aside the CCJ, you will need to pay the debt or reach a new agreement with the creditor to avoid further enforcement actions.
- Credit Report Update: If the CCJ is set aside or you settle the debt, make sure to inform the credit reference agencies so they can update your credit report accordingly.
- Seek Legal Advice: If you’re uncertain about the process or need legal guidance, consider consulting a solicitor or a legal advisor with expertise in debt and CCJs.
Remember that legal processes can be complex, and it’s crucial to follow the correct procedures. This information is intended as a general guide, and you should always seek professional legal advice tailored to your specific situation.
How our panel of CCJ solicitors can assist
A CCJ removal solicitor from our panel can help in several ways:
1. Advising on the best course of action: A CCJ removal solicitor can advise the client on their CCJ removal services and the best course of action to take to remove the CCJ from their credit file, taking into account their specific circumstances and the merits of their case.
2. Assessing the validity of the CCJ: The solicitor can review the client’s case and assess the validity of the CCJ, identifying if there are any grounds to challenge it, such as if the judgment was obtained through fraud or if the court did not have jurisdiction.
3. Representing the client in court: The solicitor can represent the client in court, making the necessary applications and providing evidence to support the client’s case to have the CCJ set aside or to apply for a “Notice of Disregard”.
4. Negotiating with creditors: The solicitor can negotiate with the creditor on behalf of the client to try to reach a settlement that will satisfy the debt and lead to the removal of the CCJ from the client’s credit file.
5. Providing guidance on financial management: The solicitor can provide guidance on financial management to help the client avoid similar situations in the future and to help improve the credit score.
It’s worth noting that a CCJ removal solicitor can help the client navigate the legal process and increase the chances of success in removing the CCJ, but there are no guarantees of success and it’s important for the client to understand that the solicitor can only work with the information and evidence provided by the client.