Removing a County Court Judgment (CCJ) from Your Credit Record
If you are taken to Court for debts, such as bank loans or credit card debts, these cases are typically dealt with by a Country Court where a County Court Judgement or CCJ may be granted against you.
CCJ’s and Your Credit Score
Receiving a CCJ can have serious repercussions if it’s not dealt with and removed from your credit record promptly as it will make it almost impossible to borrow and may even prevent employers from hiring you.
Whether you’re applying for a bank loan, credit card, mortgage or business finance, the CCJ is going to severely hamper your ability to enter into an agreement.
That said, there are just three ways to get a CCJ removed or to prevent it being registered in the first instance in spite of the promises made by dubious credit repair agencies.
3 Ways to Remove a CCJ from Your Credit Records
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 within a month, its details will be subsequently removed from the Register of Orders Judgments and Fines. If it’s paid within this timeframe and the Court is made aware of it, it will be as if it was never entered on the register in the first place.
It’s the responsibility of the creditor that has been paid to inform the Court and if they fail to do so then the Court will be unaware of the payment and the CCJ won’t be removed the public register. When the debt is settled, it’s worth asking the creditor to confirm whether they have informed the Court. You may have to tell the Court yourself if the creditor hasn’t done so. This process will require 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 doesn’t remove the CCJ from your credit record. However, it will make it slightly easier to obtain credit. In short, the CCJ will still be on the register, but 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. Even if it isn’t 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 it’s recent, you should consider whether you can afford to hang on for six 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 may have been sent to the wrong address, so you didn’t receive it or have the opportunity to pay the debt within a month.
The Court can also set aside a judgment if you didn’t attend the hearing for a good reason. 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.
Beware Credit Repair Companies
While there are many companies on the internet ready to charge you for ‘repairing your credit’, these should be viewed with caution, a view echoed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
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 08000 746 757 or email [email protected] for free and confidential advice from one of our professional advisers.