How to Deal with A CCJ
What is a County Court Judgement?
Someone you owe money to (known as a ‘creditor’) can take a county court action against you to claim the money. The court will issue an order saying you must repay the debt and how much to pay. This order is called a County Court Judgement (CCJ) and will either be for a payment amount agreed between you and your creditor or, if you can’t agree, a payment set by the court.
Dealing with a County Court Judgement
When processing loan applications at First Defence Finance, we have to take many things into consideration to ensure that we meet the objectives of our responsible lending policy.
From time to time we find that an applicant has outstanding County Court Judgements (CCJ’s) and are provided with a Date, Amount and Court Reference Number. It is part of our responsible lending policy to provide you with the information, and also to provide you with some helpful information enabling you to deal with the judgement itself.
Who Issued the County Court Judgement?
It is very common for members not to have prior knowledge of a Judgement against them. This can be for various reasons, such as moving house, or usually because a creditor that you have already paid has not yet advised the court that the judgement has now been satisfied.
In order to correct, or deal with the judgement you must first find out the details of the creditor who issued the claim. To do this you will need some important information, which a member of staff will be able to provide to you if you contact our office.
What can you do next?
You need to contact the County Court Bulk Centre on 01604 619 400 selecting option 6 to speak to the customer helpdesk.
They will ask you for the information regarding the claim, and then be able to provide you with further details about who the money is owed to. You will need to make a note of their details. Once you have all of this information you will now be able to take the next step.
What to do if you believe you do not owe this amount?
The filing of county court judgements is quite complex, and it is not uncommon that amounts which have already been paid for remain as unsatisfied just because some final administration processes have not been carried out by the creditor, court or defendant.
Although it may be a bit of a pain, it is worth while spending a little time getting the whole thing cleared up and removed from your credit history. The steps needed to mark the judgement as satisfied are:
Contact the creditor (the company who raised the claim) asking them to issue you with confirmation that the account is no longer outstanding. This is usually referred to as a ‘Letter of Satisfaction’.
When you receive the ‘Letter of Satisfaction’ if you can, take a scan or copy of it, and keep it in a safe place. You must then again contact the court to request a ‘Certificate of Satisfaction’.
Unfortunately the courts do charge £15 for issuing the certificate, but it is the only way to ensure that it is marked as satisfied. You can arrange this using the following methods:
Call them on 01604 619400 selecting option 5. They will be able to take the £15 payment over the phone between these times. They may also ask you to send in a copy of your letter of satisfaction from the creditor, as it can take some time before their records are updated.
Alternatively write to them enclosing a cheque for £15 made payable to HMCS and a copy of the letter of satisfaction.
Don’t forget to include a letter or addressed envelope for them to return the certificate to you.
Their contact details are: firstname.lastname@example.org
What to do if you do owe this money?
Obviously if you do owe the outstanding amount, the CCJ can’t be marked as satisfied until it is settled in full. It will always remain on your credit history and appear whenever you apply for credit, or even things like utilities for your home.
You can contact the company you owe the money to (the creditor) to arrange an affordable repayment method if you are able to do so, or if you are not comfortable dealing with them directly, we can often speak to them on your behalf once you have given them permission to speak to us.