If you find yourself on the receiving end of a CCJ, it is very important that you are fully aware of the facts, the consequences of having one as well as what you need to do next. At Payday Bad Credit, we tell you everything that you need to know when it comes to CCJs.
A CCJ is a County Court Judgement (sometimes known as a County Court Summons) it is filed by a county court if you have failed to make repayments and haven’t responded to previous letters asking you to make the payment. This is a court order that exists in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, whilst in Scotland, a CCJ is referred to as enforcing a debt diligence.
CCJs simplify the process for creditors (the people to whom you owe money) to retrieve the debt they are due. If you have received a CCJ, this means that the Court has determined that you owe money to the creditor. This is because Courts will assess the application made by a creditor prior to issuing a CCJ, to check whether or not they believe you owe money to a creditor or lender.
What Happens if I Receive a CCJ?
A County Court Judgement is something you will receive in the post and it will usually detail the following:
- Who you need to make repayments to
- How much you will need to pay (this could be in instalments or in full)
- The latest deadline you have to make the payments
- How much is owed in total
A CCJ must also have a copy of a default information sheet from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Remember, do not despair if you find yourself with a CCJ. If you are worried about what plan of action you need to take next, contact a free debt advice service as soon as you can, who can help you talk through your options.
What Do I Do if I Receive a CCJ?
It is important to remember that CCJs are not received in the post suddenly without warning. Creditors have to follow regulations, and this means that they have to send you a default notice, or a warning letter prior to sending you a County Court Summons, under the Consumer Credit Act a default notice is required at least 14 days prior to a CCJ being sent.
In any case, it is essential that you respond to the CCJ as soon as you possibly can. This is because of you ignore the letter, the CCJ will still be issued, but if you need an amendment to the payment plan it will be too late for your circumstances to be considered. For example, in the worst case scenario, you could be asked to pay it back all at once when you simply can’t afford to do so.
What Happens if I Disagree With the CCJ?
If you would like to file a complaint, or you disagree on the amount owed as stated in the CCJ you have 14 days in total to respond to the claim made by the court. For example, if you believe you do not owe the amount at all stated in the CCJ, you can ask for the County Court to ‘set aside’ the judgement, or cancel it entirely. You are able to do this if you either didn’t receive or respond to the original CCJ that stated that you owed money to a creditor. The GOV UK website provides further details on how you can do the latter, as you may have to fill out an N244 (an application notice) as well as a potential fee of £255.
What Happens if I Receive a CCJ in Scotland?
County Court Judgements (otherwise known as enforcing a debt diligence) works differently in Scotland. As a result, it is important that you read the guidance from Scotland’s insolvency service (the Accountant in Bankruptcy) prior to filing a complaint, to get further information as to what you need to next.
What Happens if I Don’t Keep to the Terms of a CCJ?
If you agree to the terms of a CCJ sent to you and start to fulfil the payment plan, but then at some point are unable to keep to the conditions of the CCJ. The creditor has the right to ask the court if they can enforce the debt. This can be done in numerous ways, such as:
- Changing the conditions of the order – through a charging order.
- Taking bailiff action against you – if the court grants permission this will come in the form of a Warrant of Execution. However, it is possible to ask the court to suspend the order and create a new, more affordable repayment plan.
- Sending an attachment of an Earnings Order – what this means, is that a creditor can ask for money to be deducted from your wages by asking your employer directly.