How to set aside a County Court Judgment

19/05/2021

We have previously covered how to enforce a County Court Judgment (CCJ). However, as the Prime Minster recently found out, it can also be necessary to set them aside as well.

In this article we take a look at the process for this.

When?

A Default Judgment is entered by the Court when a County Court Claim is issued, and the Defendant does not respond to the claim. This can occur when the Defendant ignores the claim or does not receive the paperwork (such as when moving to a new house).

After paying a small fee you can find out if a CCJ has been made against you by:

  1. Searching the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines
  2. Instructing a credit reference agency to get a copy of your credit report.

Why?

A CCJ can affect your credit rating. Once a CCJ is obtained it is noted on the Register of Judgments, Orders, and Fines. This information is then provided to credit reference agencies who include it on their credit reports. This means it might be difficult for you to borrow money or get credit from a bank or a shop.

A CCJ can also enable the Claimant to take enforcement action against you. This in turn can lead to more legal fees being claimed against you.

How?

If you do not owe the debt referred to in the Default Judgment, there are certain circumstances where you can apply to Court to set it aside. The circumstances are:

  • Where the proceedings did not follow the court rules.
  • Where you have a real prospect of successfully defending the claim.
  • Where there is some other good reason why the judgment should be set aside, or you should be allowed to defend the claim.

A factor the Court will consider is why you did not respond to the court paperwork and the promptness in the application being made. If the Court agrees with the application, your CCJ will be removed from the Register.

What else?

If your CCJ is over 6 years old it will no longer appear on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines, even if it has not been paid.

If you pay the debt in full within 1 month of the date of the CCJ, you can apply to the Court have the entry in the Register removed. You will need to get a certificate from the Court to prove you’ve paid off the debt.

If you pay the debt in full after 1 month of the date of the CCJ, you can apply to the Court have the entry in the Register marked as “satisfied”. The CCJ will still stay on your credit report until the 6 years is up but your record will show that you have paid the debt. You will need to get a certificate from the Court to prove you’ve paid off the debt.

How Pinney Talfourd can help

Pinney Talfourd has experienced solicitors who regularly deal with debt recovery matters and are recommended in the Legal 500 UK. The Dispute Resolution Department is headed by Stephen Eccles and the commercial litigation department by Nick Hatchett.

Contact either team here.

The above is meant to be only advice and is correct as of the time of posting. This article was written by Oliver-James Topping, Solicitor in the Commercial Litigation Team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of May 2021.

19/05/2021

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