A CCJ is a court order that can be registered against you, should you fail to repay your debts to a creditor.
CCJs can only be issued across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland and Ireland, creditors follow a different debt collection process.
If you receive a CCJ, you should seek advice from a Free Debt Advice Service straight-away. This will help you to respond correctly and allow the courts to take your circumstances into account.
If you’re worried about getting accepted with a CCJ, you can Check Your Eligibility For Free without affecting your credit score and receive an instant decision.
If a CCJ is issued against you, you’ll receive a ‘letter of claim’ in the post, outlining details of your debt. You have 14 days to respond to the claim before the creditor can proceed with court action.
If you can’t afford to pay the debt in full, you must use the reply form to make an offer of payment.
You’ll need to complete an income and expenditure form so the court can see how much money you have available to repay the debt. You should also let the creditor know that you’re seeking debt advice.
It’s important that you respond within the 14-day notice period otherwise the court is entitled to issue a judgement forthwith, whereby the whole amount you owe is due immediately.
If this happens, you may lose the opportunity to repay the debt over a longer period. Instead the debt may be enforced by bailiff action, a charging order or attachment of earnings.
But don’t worry – provided you respond to the claim within the 14-day notice period you should be able to reach a suitable arrangement with the creditor.
If you pay the full amount within one month of receiving the judgement, it’s possible to remove the CCJ from your credit profile and the Register of Judgements, Orders and Fines.
This is a public register that can be accessed by anyone who wishes to check if you have an outstanding CCJ, provided they pay a £4 fee.
To remove the judgement, you’ll need to request a Certificate of Satisfaction from the County Court hearing centre that issued the judgement, and provide proof of payment.
A £15 court fee is also payable, although this is sometimes free for individuals on a low income.
As soon as the court receives confirmation of payment, they will contact the Registry Trust and request for it to be removed from the public register.
If you do not repay the CCJ within one month of the judgement, it will remain on your credit file for 6 years.
If you apply for credit during this period, the CCJ will be visible to any lender that performs a credit search on your profile, and this will often reduce your chances of acceptance.
After the 6-year period, the CCJ will be removed from the public register and your credit file. Even if you’re still repaying the debt.
If you believe your CCJ has been issued incorrectly and you do not agree with the amount owed, you can apply to cancel it by ‘setting it aside’.
To set aside a CCJ, you are required to attend a hearing and pay a £255 court fee, although this fee can sometimes be waived if you’re on a low income.
Without a genuine argument, it's very unlikely the court will set aside a CCJ, so it’s a good idea to speak to a debt advice service first.
If you’re struggling to continue your payments, the best option is to seek help from a free debt advice service, as they can often provide a debt solution to help prevent you from obtaining a CCJ.
Below are just a few examples of online debt advice services available:
Alternatively, you can speak to your creditor and try to negotiate an arrangement whereby your monthly payments are temporarily paused or reduced until your financial situation improves.
At Creditplus, we’ll always run a soft-credit search to check your loan is affordable for your current situation.
But if your circumstances change and you’re struggling to maintain your payments, we’ll always do our best to work with you to reach a solution.
Check your eligibility today without affecting your credit score and receive an instant decision.