Removing a County Court Judgment (CCJ) from Your Credit Record
If your business has 1 or more county court judgments against it, this may mean that you have been disorganised or that you don’t understand the implications. It can commonly also mean that your company is in financial difficulties.
The decision as to whether to try and remove a CCJ will often depend on which of the above applies. Whilst we are not lawyers and do not actually deal with the legal work to try and remove a CCJ (although we work closely with lawyers) we do advise small business owners for whom things have got on top of them and where they are ignoring mounting problems.
If your business may still be financially viable there are good reasons for removing any CCJ’s by paying them off and restructuring your finances, perhaps negotiating with creditors or HMRC. We have a lot of experience with this, so please do get in contact with us.
If your company has county court judgments against it, this will likely increase the chances of a creditor liquidation being commenced against your company, will possibly speed up that process and result in a more hostile form of liquidation where your actions will be looked at very closely by a liquidator appointed by the creditor.
Your business credit rating will also be reduced by having court judgments recorded against it.
These are all reasons why just leaving a CCJ in place and continuing to trade on may be a bad idea.
CCJ’s and Your Credit Score
Receiving a CCJ can have serious repercussions if it is not dealt with and removed from the credit record as held by the credit reference agency promptly – it may make it much harder for your company to borrow.
Whether you are applying for a bank loan, credit card, mortgage or business finance, the CCJ is going to show up on the credit file and severely hamper the ability to enter into these agreements.
That said, there are just three ways to get a CCJ removed or to prevent it being registered in the first instance.
3 Ways to Remove a CCJ from Your Credit Records
A CCJ results from legal action and there are limited routes to tackle the situation. There are just three ways to have a CCJ removed or to prevent it being registered on a credit record in the first instance as follows:
Pay the CCJ within a Month
Although a CCJ can appear on credit records within a couple of days of the judgment, if you take action quickly and the debt is paid it in full to the creditor within a month, its details will be subsequently removed from the Register of Orders, Judgements and Fines Source.UK “Registry Trust”
If it is paid within this timeframe and the court is made aware of it, it will be as if the CCJ was never entered on the register in the first place.
It is the responsibility of the creditor that has been paid to inform the court and if they fail to do so then the CCJ will not be removed the public register. When the debt is settled, the creditor should be asked to confirm whether they have informed the court. Otherwise, the business owner can do so directly, they will need to provide proof of payment and payment of a £15 fee.
If the CCJ is paid at a later date, you can get a certificate of satisfaction and the CCJ is marked as satisfied on the public register. Settling the debt in this case, however, does not remove the CCJ from your credit record. However, it will make it slightly easier to obtain credit. Although the CCJ will still be on the register, credit checks will also show that you have paid what is owed, albeit not on time. Unpaid County Court Judgments are shown as unsatisfied.
Wait Six Years for it to be Removed Automatically
The register holds the details of CCJs for six years from the date of the judgment. After this period, the CCJ will be removed automatically from your credit record.
The register holds the details of CCJs for 6 years from the date of the judgment. After this period, the CCJ will be removed automatically from a credit record. Even if it is not paid, the CCJ will still be removed, and it will be too late for the creditor to enforce it.
If the CCJ has been on the register for some time, waiting may be the best option for you. However, if is recent, you should consider whether you can afford to hang on for 6 years with a poor credit rating.
Apply to have the CCJ set Aside
When a CCJ is a “default judgment”, you can apply to have it set aside. These types of judgments are made when the defendant fails to acknowledge the claim or to defend it. If you attended the hearing when the judgment was handed down, then it’s not a default judgment. In a similar vein, if you replied to the claim and admitted to the debt then it will not be a default judgment.
If you can show the court that there is a prospect of successfully defending the claim or another good reason why you should be allowed to defend the claim, then you can have the CCJ set aside. For instance, the claim form detailing the CCJ may have been sent to the wrong address, so you did not receive it or have the opportunity to pay the debt within a month.
The court can also set aside a judgment if you did not attend the hearing for a good reason. and this resulted in an unpaid CCJ. If it is set aside, the CCJ will be removed from the public register immediately, and there will be no record of it. When exercising its discretion to set aside a CCJ, the court must consider whether or not you made the application promptly. For that reason, it’s important to act quickly once you know that a CCJ has been registered against you so that you have the best chance of the CCJ being set aside. Finally, there are no other ways of removing CCJs from the records.
Has Your Business Received a CCJ? Free Advice
It is possible to have a CCJ removed from the public register in some cases. However, dishonest credit repair agencies can make promises they can’t keep. If you would like to know more about the three ways you can have your CCJ removed from the register, please call 0800 074 6757 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for free and confidential advice from one of our professional advisers.
The primary sources for this article are listed below, including the relevant laws and Acts which provide their legal basis.
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- Source.UK “Registry Trust”