Getting a County Court judgement (CCJ) will have a huge effect on a debtor’s credit rating and it will make it much more difficult for them to obtain credit in the future. However, a CCJ does not last forever, as it expires after six years.
Paying the CCJ straight away
When a debtor has a CCJ against them, they have 14 days to respond and then a month to pay the amount they owe in order to avoid the CCJ from affecting their credit file. If they can afford to pay the amount they owe straight away, they may have the CCJ removed from their credit file.
How does a CCJ affect a debtor’s credit file?
In the vast majority of cases, the credit file of a debtor will already be affected before a CCJ is actually issued, as they usually have missed payments and default notices. The CCJ is the last step creditors take to recover debts, but the credit file is often badly damaged by then.
A CCJ remains on the debtor’s file for six years starting from the date of the judgement, even if they manage to pay it off at some point. During this period of six years, anyone can see that an individual has an outstanding CCJ by checking the public registry. If the person tries to take out further credit, every lender will be able to see the CCJ. However, the CCJ expires after six years, and it will be removed from a credit file and the public registry, even if it was not paid off.
Can a debtor remove a CCJ from their credit file?
In order to remove a CCJ from a credit file, the debtor needs to pay the outstanding amount in full within a month from the date of the judgement and then apply to have the CCJ removed from their credit file and public registry.
To apply for a removal of CCJ from a credit file, the debtor needs to provide the County Court hearing centre that issued the judgement with proof of payment and apply for a certificate of cancellation from the same court. There is a £15 court fee required with the application, but it may be waived for those on a low income. Once the court is satisfied with the evidence of payment, they will contact the Registry Trust to remove the CCJ from the public registry within a month.
However, if a debtor pays the CCJ more than a month after the date of the judgement they will not be able to remove it from their credit file. This means that the CCJ will continue to appear on their credit file for six years before it expires. By applying for a “certificate of satisfaction” by using the same process above, a debtor can make sure that anyone who checks the registry can see that the CCJ has been paid off in full.
Enforcing a CCJ
If you have applied for and been successful in obtaining a CCJ but have not been paid by the debtor then you may think all you can do is wait. Fortunately, if the amount is for a sum of more than £600, this is incorrect. By using the expertise of Able Investigations, we can transfer the CCJ up to the High Court. This allows High Court Enforcement Officers to apply for a Writ of Control meaning they can force entry to commercial premises and take control of goods.