CCJ is short for County Court Judgement and is a type of court order used in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You could get a CCJ if you fail to repay the money you owe and the person you owe decides to take court action. The judgement will arrive by post and you must respond within 14 days.
It is unlikely that you will receive a CCJ without warning. The person or organisation making the claim must first have informed you that you owe them money.
What should you do if you get a CCJ?
If you get a CCJ then you should never ignore it. If you ignore it, then you could be taken to court. The letter you receive should explain what action you need to take and what will happen if you don’t respond.
If you agree that you owe the money, then you should pay it back in full if you can. If you cannot afford to pay it immediately then you could ask to pay in instalments. If you do not owe the money, then you could dispute the claim or the amount that is owed. Whatever you choose to do, you should always respond to the claim.
What if you don't make the repayments?
If the court instructs you to repay the debt and you don’t, then the person you owe money to could ask the court to enforce the judgement. This could lead to bailiffs visiting you and seizing property that can be sold to repay the debt. The court could also ask for money to be taken from your wages, this is called an Attachment of Earnings Order.
Will there be a record of your CCJ?
If you pay your CCJ in full within 30 days, then it will usually be removed from the register. If you do not pay within 30 days, then the CCJ may remain on the register of Judgement, Orders and Fines for six years.
When you apply for mortgages, loans and other finance, the lender could check your file and see any CCJs registered against you. Some lenders might decide not to lend you money if you have received a CCJ.
How to avoid getting a CCJ
The best way to avoid getting a CCJ is to make loan repayments on time. Pay your bills, credit cards, loans and other debt within the agreed payment deadlines.
If you cannot pay, speak to the lender. Some lenders may offer you a payment plan to help you pay back the money without getting the courts involved, but this will depend on the lender.
Try to only borrow money that you can afford to pay back. Make sure you understand the amount you are borrowing, the amount you will have to pay back with interest and what the repayment terms are.
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Author: Morses Club