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The County Court Judgment Process

There are many different terms and technical jargon associated with High Court Enforcement Procedures. One of those, in particular, is a common term called County Court Judgments, also referred to as CCJ. As with anything within this industry, there are certain procedures and systems in place in order to carry out a successful CCJ. This article is going to act as a guide for everything you’ll need to know about County Court judgments.

What is a County Court Judgment?

County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a court order for a payment that is owed by an individual or company. Once a CCJ is received, the debtor (the person who owes money) will have two weeks to respond and pay, or else this could lead to further enforcement action.

If the debtor refuses to pay then the payment could be enforced by High Court Enforcement, such as DCBL agents, to ensure the full amount is recovered.

What is a CCJ check?

Credit check companies often search to see if individuals have a County Court judgment against them. An unpaid CCJ can negatively impact an overall credit score. It is fairly easy to check if you have a CCJ, you simply need to search the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines through the Government website or get a copy of your credit report.

How long does a CCJ last?

Should a debt not be paid after 30 days of the County Court judgment being issued then this will be recorded on the individual’s credit record at the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines. If an individual has an unpaid CCJ against them then this will last for up to 6 years. Even if the payment is made after the 30 day period, the CCJ will still remain on a person’s credit record. This means that it will appear on credit checks conducted by other lenders.

Getting a County Court Judgment?

Perhaps you are wanting a company or individual to pay you the money they owe back to you for goods and services you have provided, then getting a CCJ could be a good option for you. The task of making a financial claim against someone, or a business, can seem daunting. However, the process is fairly straightforward.

If someone or a company owes you money then you can issue a County Court claim in order to retrieve owed finances. You will need to submit a form to the County Court in order to start your claim. You can either do this yourself via the government website or hire a solicitor to do this for you. Please note that you will need to pay a fee to the Court in order to process your claim.

Once your claim has been filed, the debtor will have 14 days to respond. At this time, they can contact the Judge that is overseeing the case in order to explain any difficult circumstances that may need to be taken into consideration before any decisions can be made. Within this time frame, the debtor can either accept the claim, reject it or ask for more time in order to prepare their defence. Should you not be happy with the response or if the debtor refuses to pay after a CCJ has been issued, then you may need to attend a court hearing.

As soon as a  CCJ has been issued and the debtor has received notice, then they will need to pay the outstanding cost within 30 days. A debtor’s company credit report will be affected within a few days of being supplied with a CCJ. This means that their credit score and limit will be affected. However, should the debtor settle the outstanding monies within 30 days, they will be wiped from their company credit report. However,  CCJ will remain on a company’s credit report for 6 years if the full payment isn’t made within the allotted time frame.

How to enforce a CCJ

enforcement officer knocking on front door

Although there can be serious and damaging consequences for debtors who don’t pay what they owe on time, sometimes issuing a CCJ just isn’t enough. For those who don’t pay, there are still options for pursuing a debtor. Keep in mind that there can be extra costs for these procedures.

If you have a financial claim worth under £600 then a “Warrant of Execution” will be issued to the debtor. This means that they have up to 7 days to pay outstanding fees. Should they fail to do this, then bailiffs will be sent by the County Court in order to collect payment.

Unpaid CCJ debts of over £600, including court fees, will be processed by a High Court Judge who will then issue a “Writ of Control”. This means that the High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO)  will send the debtor a Notice of Enforcement, giving them 7 days to make the payment. If the payment isn’t made within those 7 days, then the HCEO will visit the debtor at their home or business and demand immediate payment. If by this point the debtor still refuses to pay, or can’t make a financial payment then the HCEO will have the authority to remove goods from the premises.

These removed goods will then be sold by auction in order to pay the outstanding balance.

Using an enforcement officer service from DCBL will provide efficiency and at times extremely cost-effective than other forms of CCJ enforcement. We understand that if you or your business is owed money for goods or services, it can have a damaging effect on your livelihood. That’s why we provide swift and practical debt recovery solutions.

There are other ways in order to claim back the finances that you’re owed. Please note that these options can be expensive and time-consuming. These avenues include;

  • Charging Order – If an individual or company owes you money then you could apply for a charging order. If this order is approved then you could secure the debt owed to you against a property that the debtor owns. However, you will only be able to claim back your money after the property has been remortgaged or sold.
  • Winding-up Petition – If your debt equates to an amount of more than £750 then you could make a claim against a company in order to have them closed down. You can do this by applying to the courts and if your debt is over 21 days late, however, this can be a time consuming and stressful process as everything needs to be accounted for and proven in Court in order to make this type of claim successful.
  • Attachments of Earnings Order– This is basically an agreement between the debtor and their employer (if they are employed by a company). If the court agrees to this order, the employer will deduct a certain amount of money from the debtor’s monthly earnings as a “repayment plan” of sorts, until the debt is settled. However, this strategy can be challenging because a lot of employees (debtors) will not want their place of work to know about their ongoing financial issues.
  • Bankruptcy Petition – This is applicable for debts that are worth more than £5000. It works similar to a Winding-up Petition but is for individuals rather than companies.  This can also be a time-consuming process because you will need to attend court (and pay fees) to prove that you are owed over £5000 in order to have a successful outcome- though this is never guaranteed.

DCBL Offices

If you need a CCJ enforced, then the fastest way could be to hire Enforcement Agents from DCBL by obtaining a Writ of Control or Warrant of Execution. We have a “no hidden fees” approach, meaning that we are completely transparent about the fees you’ll pay. Statutory enforcement fees are added to the Judgment debt, meaning that they are paid by the debtor.

At DCBL, we understand that time is of the essence when it comes to getting back the money that is owed to you. That’s why we settle cases and disputes as soon as possible by using up to date trace, financial and address verification data, meaning that we can locate debtors within no time.

 

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