What are County Court Judgements and CCJ checks?
In This brief blog we are going to discuss what a CCJ is, how to carry out a CCJ check and why carrying a CCJ check is important.
What are County Court judgements??
A county court judgement is a type of court order that can be placed against you if you stop making payments and default on any agreement you have.
In Scotland the same process is known as enforcing a debt by diligence.
When are County Court Judgements issued??
Country court judgements are issued after you receive a warning letter or a default notice which will give you 14 days to respond and if you don’t then the county court judgement can be filed by the person or company you owe.
If you receive a county court judgement claim you should seek debt advice immediately. If you do not respond to the letter the county court judgement will be issued against you and you will have to pay the full amount you owe plus any fees.
The county court judgement claim form?
The county court claim form will allow you to challenge the claim or accept the claim.It will also let you inform the court that you intend to defend the claim but need more than 14 days. If you accept the claim, the court will allow you to by by installments or in one lump sum. This will be mostly due to what you indicated in your income and expenses document
Enforcement of a County Court Judgement??⚖️
If you fail to keep up on your agreement then the person or company you owe can ask the court to enforce the debt you owe by bailiff action, a charging order or an a attachment of earnings order.
Bailiffs will add extra charges to the debt and try to collect it. If this doesn’t work they can come into your home and seize your goods and sell them to get the debt repaid.You can stop this step by asking the court to suspend the bailiffs warrant.
What is a charging order?
A charging order is when there is a charge placed on any property you own. This means if you don’t pay your debt back you can lose your property.
An attachment of earnings order will ask the court to collect the debt directly from your wages.
The effects of a CCJ on your credit score?
CCJs(Country Court Judgements) are very bad for your credit score as they stay on your credit file for 6 years and make your score fall incredibly. The only way to remove a CCJ from your credit file is if you pay the debt within 30 days of the county court judgement. You can also ask the court to set the judgement aside if you have reason to believe the borrower did not follow the right process or you never owed them. This will take the judgement off your credit file.
Can I check if I have a CCJ?
Yes,you can check if you have a CCJ. There are two ways you can carry out this check. You can do this CCJ check online via theRegistry trust online system(The registry trust database of CCjs is the official central register of all CCJs ) or you can do the CCJ check via your credit report from any of the four credit bureaus such as Experian, Equifax, Transunion and Crediva.
There are a variety of reasons why you may want to get a CCJ check, this could be:
You have been refused for credit one or several times and you want to check if you have a CCJ. The credit provider could have informed you that they have declined you for credit because you have CCJ.
You may also want to have a CCJ check because you have a lot of debts which you have been ignoring and you are worried about one of the credit providers may have registered a CCJ against your name.
A CCJ check via your credditfile
You can check your credit file to see if you have a CCJ marked against your name. You can do this by requesting your credit report from either of any of the four credit bureaus such as Experian, Equifax, Crediva and Transunion. You may also be able to get your credit file via services such as Clearscore and Checkmyfile.
Some of the credit bureaus may charge a fee for you to access your credit file but you will be able to get a free statutory credit report.
Your credit report will contain all your credit accounts, your current balance on those credit accounts and if you have any CCJS.
You may be worried that your creditors may see that you have accessed your credit profile, if that’s you then this will be the best solution for you as your credit providers will not be able to see that you have accessed your credit report.
A CCJ check via the registry trust system
An alternative to checking your credit file is to use the Registry trust online system.
You can use the registry trust system to carry out a CCJ check on anyone. If you are a business you can use the registry trust system to carry out checks on any of your potential customer.
The only bad thing about doing a CCJ check with registry trust online is that you will need to have the exact full name and address of the person you are doing the check on. If the person has recently moved address and gives you a new address then you will not be able to locate their CCJ record bydonga registry trust CCJ check.
Ifyouhave moved houses a lotthenyou will need to carryout variousrgistry trust CCJ checks which means you will have to pay the £4 charge for every address you have had.
How long does a CCJ stay on file?
A CCJ will usually stay on your file for 6 years. If you pay the CCJ after the 14 days from when you received the claimants letter then it will still remain on your credit file as a CCJ but will be marked as satisfied. To some credit providers this is better than having an unsatisfied CCJ.
After 6 years a CCJ will then be removed from your credit file but it doesn’t mean that the CCJ still exists. The CCJ does not become statute barred. If a credit provider wants to enforce a CCJ after 6 years they may not have much luck with getting an enforcement order from the court. In any case, if this happens to you then you should contact debt charity for immediate help.
In some cases. You may be able to get a county judgement set aside if you weren’t aware of the CCJ or the credit provider made some error when they sent the initial county court judgement claimant form. Setting a county court judgement aside can cost as much as £220.
How do you get a CCJ?
You can get a CCJ if you have debts that you are not paying towards. The credit provider or debt collection agency will usually give you enough time to pay your debts and after you’ve had enough time but still not done this the creditor may then apply to the county court to get a county court judgement placed against you.
Can a CCJ be removed?
Yes a CCJ can be removed if you find a CCJ after doing a CCJ check. You can either remove the CCJ by paying what’s owed and clearing the debt with the credit provider or debt collection agency within 14 days of receiving the county court judgement claimant letter.
You may also be able to get a CCJ removed by asking the court to set the judgement aside if the credit provider or debt collection agency made some errors when sending the country court judgment claimant letter
Can I rent with a CCJ?
Yes, you may be able to rent with a CCJ but it is very likely that the landlord will carry out a CCJ check and find out you have a CCJ. If this is the case then you may be required to put a larger initial rental deposit down.
If you ignore a CCJ the CCJ will be registered on your credit file and this may affect your ability to get credit in the future. The CCJ will stay on your credit file for 6 years before it drops off.
Will paying a CCJ improve credit?
Yes, paying a CCJwillimprove your credit score but this is likely within 14 days after you have received a county court judgement claimant letter. After the 14 days have passed the CCJ will be registered on your credit file and will damage your credit score and history for 6 years. If you are unsure if you have a CCJ on your credit file you should perform a CCJ check.
The CCJ will be marked as satisfied if you pay if after the 14 days since you received the county court judgement claimant letter but will still remain on your credit file for 6 years. The only time when a CCJ may be removed from your credit file will be if you have theCCJ set aside.
Can I borrow money if I have a CCJ?
Yes, you may be able to borrow if you have a CCJ as there are a lot of lenders ut there that focus on subprime borrowers who have bad credit no credit. Most bad credit lenders will be more likely to lend to you if the CCJ has been satisfied or it has been a few years since you had the CCJ and your recent credit behavior is now much better. In any case, you can expect to pay a higher APR due to having a CCJ found when a CCJ check was conducted by the credit provider.
Do CCJs get written off?
No, CCJs done get written off. They vanish off your credit file after 6 years but they are still available for anyone who searches the CCJ registry trust online system and remain valid as they don’t become statute barred .
Can you get a mortgage if you have a CCJ?
Yes you may be able to get a mortgage if you have a CCJ as there are some mortgage lenders outnthere who offer bad credit mortgages to those who have bad credit such as CCJs, bankruptcies, IVAs, mortgage defaults, missed payments etc.
How many points does a CCJ affect your credit score?
It is not clear how many points a CCJ will affect your credit score but usually most people which have a CCJ can expect to see their credit score fall below 140 points and remain around that threshold for the next 6 years.
How do I clear a paid CCJ?
If you have paid a CCJ then you can get it cleared from your credit score if it is still within the 14 days since you received the county court judgement claimant letter from the county court.
If it has been 14 days since you received the county court claim letter and you attempt to clear a paid CCJ which you paid outside of those 14 days then the CCJ will only be marked as satisfied on your credit file but will still remain on your credit file for the total 6years.
Is a debt written off after 6 years?
No debts are not written off after 6 years but after 6 years have passed a debt is marked as statute barred which means the credit provider or debt collection agency cannot get a CCJ to enforce and collect the debt.
Can you get 2 CCJs for the same debt?
No, you cannot get two CCJs for the same debt. A CCJ can only be issued once for one particular debt but the credit provider or debt collection agency may be able to get permission from the county court to enforce a CCJ after 6yearshave passed.
Can a CCJ be enforced after 6 years?
Yes, a CCJ can be enforced after 6 years but you may find that most county courts will not approve a request for a CCJ to be enforced after 6 years have passed.
How badly does a CCJ affect credit?
A CCJ is very bad for your credit. It may affect you from getting a lot of credit in the future including credit cards, personal loans and even mortgages. If you have a lot of debt which you have been ignoring and you are unsure if you have a CCJ then you should do a CCJ check by looking at your credit file or using the registry trust online system.
Do you have to declare a CCJ after 6 years?
There is no legal requirement to declare a CCJ after 6 years but if a credit provider asks you if you have ever had a CCJ and you lie then you could potentially be committing fraud and could end up being rejected for the credit provider and having your details registered on CIfas. CCjs don’t vanish from existence after 6years, they only vaish from your credit file but a credit provider or anybody for that matter can still carry out a CCJ check by searching the online registry trust system
What will a CCJ check reveal?
A CCJ check done via your credit report will produce the below information.
The date the CCJ was issued
The unique court reference number, which you can give to the issuing court for more information
The full amount owed
Whether the judgment is active or has been marked as satisfied
Whether the judgment was disputed
How long until the CCJ will be removed from your credit file
Which Credit Reference Agencies are reporting the CCJ
Remember If you paid the full amount owed within the first calendar month of the judgment being issued, it will not appear on your Credit Report and hence a CCJ check will show nothing.
Who can see my CCJ?
Because court information is part of the Public Information this means that anyone can look up the information on your credit report (as long as they have your consent).
This means any potential lender, employer or landlord may be able to see yourCCJ by doing a simple CCJ check on your credit file.
If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.
You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.