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 telling you 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.

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:

  • Date
  • Amount (£)
  • Case/Claim number

What to do next

You need to contact the County Court Business Centre on 0300 123 1056, selecting option 4 to speak to the customer help desk. They will ask you for the information stated above, and will then be able to provide you with further details about who the money is owed to. You may also need to make a note of their details.

Once you have all this information you will be able to take the next step.

If you believe you do not owe this amount

The filling of CCJs is quite complex and it is not uncommon for amounts that have already been paid to remain as unsatisfied, because some final administration processes have not been carried out by the creditor, court, or defendant. Although it can be a pain, it is worthwhile 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’.
  • Once you have received the letter of satisfaction take a scan or copy of it and keep it in a safe place. You can then contact the court and provide them with this letter of satisfaction to request them to update their records.

Optional next steps:

  • You have the option of obtaining a ‘Certificate of Satisfaction’ from the court. You don’t have to do this and the court charges £15 for issuing the certificate. However, it will give you official confirmation that the CCJ is marked as satisfied.

If you want to obtain this certificate you can do this using the following methods:

  • Call them on 0300 123 1056 and select option 2. You will be able to make a card payment over the phone between 9am and 3.30pm. You may be asked to send in a copy of your letter of satisfaction from the creditor as it can take some time before their records are updated.
  • Write to them enclosing a cheque for £15 made payable to ‘HMCS’ and a copy of the letter of satisfaction. Don’t forget to enclose a letter or addressed envelope for them to return the certificate to you.

If you believe you do owe this amount

If you do owe the outstanding amount, the CCJ can’t be marked as satisfied until it is settled in full. It will remain on your credit history for six years from the judgement date and will appear whenever you apply for credit or 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.

Never pay for debt advice

There are an incredible number of debt management companies that advertise their services, offering to help manage your finances and gain control of your debts, but unfortunately many of them have large hidden fees and charges of which you may not be made aware.

For more serious financial problems, you can contact Step Change on 0800 138 1111 or PayPlan on 0800 280 2816.