What is a County Court Judgment (CCJ)?
A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a legal ruling issued by a county court in favour of a creditor against an individual or a business that fails to repay a debt. County Court Judgments (CCJs) have significant implications for both the debtor and the creditor. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of what a CCJ entails, how it is obtained, and the various options available to enforce it.
For the record we are not Solicitors and therefore we cannot directly undertake reserved legal activity on your behalf however we do have partnerships with Law Firms who we would use as they complement our business.
A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a court order issued by a county court in England or Wales. It is a legal ruling that states a debtor's liability to repay a debt owed to a creditor. County Court Judgments (CCJs) are primarily used for outstanding financial obligations, such as goods or services provided but not paid, unpaid bills, loans, rent, credit card debts. Once a County Court Judgment (CCJ) is granted, it becomes a matter of public record and can significantly impact a person's or company’s creditworthiness. It is listed on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for a period of up to six years making it difficult to obtain mainstream credit. If a County Court Judgment (CCJ) is paid within one calendar month of the date it was obtained, then the County Court Judgment (CCJ) can be removed entirely from the Register. If the County Court Judgment (CCJ) is paid after one calendar month of the date it was obtained, then it will stay on the Register for six years, but it will show as ‘Satisfied’, this is slightly better from a creditworthiness perspective as it shows that whilst a creditor had to obtain a County Court Judgment (CCJ), it was ultimately paid. Finally, if no payment of the County Court Judgment (CCJ) is made then, it will show as ‘Unsatisfied’ on the Register for up to six years.
Obtaining a County Court Judgment (CCJ):
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There are two ways of doing this… To obtain a County Court Judgment (CCJ), a creditor may instruct a 3rd party such as us or they can do it themselves but either way the party taking the action must follow a specific legal process. It is very important at this stage that the creditor has followed and complied with the correct Pre-Action Protocol. It is also very important that the legal entity, address, debt amount for the debtor is listed correctly before any claim is issued as this could lead to future complications and having to amend proceedings which comes at a further cost. The process begins with the creditor or legal representative filing a claim with the county court, outlining the details of the debt owed. The court then serves a copy of the claim to the debtor, who is given the opportunity to respond within a specified timeframe. If the debtor fails to respond or disputes the claim, the court may issue a County Court Judgment (CCJ) in favour of the creditor. In cases where the debtor acknowledges the debt but cannot pay in full, the court may issue a County Court Judgment (CCJ) by Instalments with an agreed repayment plan.
Consequences of a County Court Judgment (CCJ):
A County Court Judgment (CCJ) can have several implications for both the debtor and the creditor. For debtors, a County Court Judgment (CCJ) negatively affects their credit rating, making it difficult to obtain future credit or secure loans. It can also lead to increased difficulties in renting accommodation or acquiring certain job positions. Creditors, on the other hand, can use the County Court Judgment (CCJ) as a tool to enforce repayment. It provides legal backing for various enforcement options.
What are my Options to Enforce a County Court Judgment (CCJ)? we have covered this in a separate post which you can find here.