If you have been issued a County Court Judgement (CCJ) for a debt, it can significantly impact your financial future, including your credit score and your ability to obtain credit for years to come. Fortunately, it is possible to have a CCJ discharged, which can alleviate some of these burdens.
A CCJ is a legal order handed down by a County Court in the UK requiring you to pay a debt owed to a creditor. If you fail to pay the debt within a specified time frame, the court may take further legal action to enforce the judgement, potentially leading to wage deductions, asset seizure, and other serious consequences.
Applying for a CCJ discharge involves filling out a form and paying a fee to the court. To be eligible, you must have paid the debt in full within one month of the judgement or have agreed on a payment plan with the creditor. Once your application is accepted, the CCJ is removed from your credit record and will no longer be visible to lenders. Despite the benefits of a CCJ discharge, it is important to note that there are still some limitations. The CCJ will remain on your court record, which can be accessed by certain parties, such as landlords and employers. Additionally, while it will no longer be visible to lenders, the impact of the judgement may still affect your ability to obtain credit in the future
This guide will delve into:
- what is a CCJ?
- what it means to have County Court Judgments ‘discharged’
- how you can have a CCJ discharged
- other options you have to limit the effect CCJs have on your financial life
It’s important to remember that you have a limited amount of time to get your CCJ discharged, so acting quickly is essential for the best chance at success.
What is a CCJ?
A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a legal order issued by a County Court in the UK against an individual who owes a debt to a creditor. CCJs are typically issued when a creditor has exhausted all other options for repayment and has taken the matter to court. Once a CCJ is issued, the debtor has limited time to either pay the debt in full or make arrangements with the creditor to pay back the debt over time.
How can a CCJ affect my life?
A CCJ can profoundly and long-lasting affect your financial and personal life. Firstly, it can significantly impact your credit score, making it more challenging to obtain future credit. This includes credit cards, loans, mortgages, and even mobile phone contracts.
Having a CCJ on your credit record could also impact your employment prospects, particularly if you are in a position of financial responsibility. Many employers conduct credit checks, and a CCJ on your record could raise doubts about your ability to manage finances appropriately. This is particularly true in roles involving finances, accounting or management.
Furthermore, a CCJ can make it more difficult for you to rent a property or lease a car, as landlords and car dealerships may view you as a higher-risk customer, leading to higher deposits and less favourable payment terms.
It is also important to note that a CCJ can have a significant emotional impact, causing stress, anxiety, shame, or embarrassment. These feelings can be particularly acute if the CCJ results in bailiffs or enforcement officers knocking on your door or seizing your assets. Moreover, bailiffs may be knocking on your door if you cannot make timely payments towards a CCJ – even due to misfortune or negligence – and extra costs will likely be added onto what is owed. Therefore, it’s ideal to avoid a CCJ if possible.
How long does a CCJ stay on my credit report?
A County Court Judgment (CCJ) will remain on your credit report for a period of 6 years if it is not discharged. During this time, while you may experience an increase in your credit score as the CCJ grows older, it will still be considered a significant factor that could prevent you from obtaining certain types of loans or bank accounts during those 6 years.
Where else is a CCJ recorded?
Not only is a CCJ officially registered with each Credit Reference Agency and added to the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines – a public database open to anyone willing to pay for access. Here they can see every detail concerning your County Court Judgment.
All the following details are accessible:
The amount you owe The case number issued by the court in connection to your CCJ.
How can Credibble help me?
Dealing with debt can be overwhelming, especially when debt collectors or bailiffs are involved. Don’t panic! The Credibble Team is here to help. We can help you to stop proceedings and reduce the cost of your debt for free.
We offer a unique debt solution service partnered with Equifax, a world leader providing consumer credit report data. This means we have instant access to all your major debt without you searching through paperwork. Furthermore, we’re supported by the Natwest Accelerator Programme for business and have a multiyear relationship with the organisation. Our extensive and unique personal finance knowledge goes far beyond debt solutions – so you can trust that you are in safe hands.
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What does it mean if a CCJ is ‘discharged’
A CCJ will be erased from any and all documents, including your credit report, once the amount of money owed is paid in full within one calendar month from when it was issued. This means a discharged CCJ won’t hinder you from getting credit or obtaining certain jobs. Remembering this timeline is crucial as it can mean the difference between financial freedom and continued debt-related stress.
Having a CCJ discharged
When a CCJ is issued, you get one month from the date to pay it off. This period grants you an opportunity to eliminate your debt and initiate the process of scrubbing away all traces of it in public records. Fortunately for those involved, this part is handled by court personnel – they’ll ensure that any evidence on public registers will be erased.
On the other hand, having a CCJ wiped off of your credit record is much more complicated. First, you’ll need to request a “Certificate of Satisfaction” from the court by downloading an N443 claim form for free on the government website. Additionally, for your application to be successful, it’s essential that you retain some evidence when paying back what was owed e.g. a bank account statement or receipt, as this will also have to be submitted and seen by the court too.
Submitting the payment and discharge documents should erase your outstanding debt from your credit file. Remember that though this process is typically quick, there can sometimes be delays- so to guarantee that this has been accurately reflected on your credit report, it’s best to contact each of the major credit reference agencies directly.
What if you can’t have your CCJ discharged?
Don’t worry if you can’t get your CCJ discharged; many active CCJs are registered against individuals and companies in the UK, so you won’t be alone.
If you make all payments towards your debt on time, the court should not take further action against you. Additionally, if you can pay off more than what is requested, there’s a chance that your County Court Judgement could be resolved faster than expected!
It’s essential to note that ignoring a County Court Judgment (CCJ) is not recommended. Generally, United Kingdom debts are subject to the ‘statute of limitations, which dictates that it cannot be enforced if it isn’t paid or acknowledged within six years. Unfortunately, this rule does not apply to CCJs: there is no set time limit regarding collecting debt linked with CCJs, so they can collect indefinitely and may even hire bailiffs.
What if I can’t afford to make payments toward my CCJ?
If you have been asked to appear in court, the judge will want to hear what repayment amount is realistic for you, weekly or monthly. The goal of their decision-making will be affordability – yet many people opt not to show up at all which can lead to an unaffordable payment plan being set with no leniency from your creditors. It’s always better, if possible that you attend the hearing; however, if this debt is too overwhelming, it may be wise to seek free professional advice about your options.
When you discuss your financial situation, debt solutions may be brought up. A debt solution is an accepted government method of taking care of debts too much to realistically pay off within a reasonable time frame. Not only will it stop any legal action that could have been taken against you for not making payments on your CCJ – but by enlisting the help of a company specializing in debt solutions, they can talk directly with all creditors and work out an affordable payment plan for everyone involved.
If you find yourself unable to promptly pay off your CCJ or simply cannot figure out how to settle it over time, then a form of debt relief could be an ideal way to address what is owed and start rebuilding towards the financial life that you have always desired. Nevertheless, this approach may not work for everyone – even so, it can help many individuals move forward with their lives free from overwhelming debt.
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