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Removing a CCJ from your credit record

13:20, 25/4/2022

Home » News & Knowledge » Removing a CCJ from your credit record

We have received a number of enquiries recently, with regards to the removal of a County Court Judgement (CCJ) from clients’ credit files, so I thought it might be worth condensing some of the information on our website, into a bite-sized article.

 

If you have received a CCJ, you may be seriously concerned about the consequences of having this on your credit file. Any CCJs on your credit record will negatively affect your credit rating and could ultimately prevent you from obtaining credit, such as a mortgage or even the things we tend to give little thought regarding such as a mobile phone contract.

Baring these points in mind, it is not surprising that so many people enquire as to how to remove a CCJ from their credit file and how long a CCJ will last. The positive news is that it certainly is possible to remove a CCJ from your credit report and there are 3 main options for you to pursue.

 

Removing a CCJ

 

Option 1 – Pay off the CCJ within one month

The first potential option at your disposal is to pay off the CCJ in full within a month of the date of the judgement. This will result in the removal of the CCJ from your credit report.

In practice, this is not a significant amount of time to pay what is likely to be a significant amount of money. If you have incurred enough debt to lead to a CCJ, it is unlikely that you will have the money on hand to pay it off within this short time scale.

The Registry Trust keeps a public register of CCJs and they are updated by the courts every time they issue a CCJ or when a CCJ is paid off.

It is usual practice for the creditor that you are paying to let the court know once you have paid the total debt that is owed by you. However, not all companies will automatically do this and if they fail to do so, the court will remain unaware, the Registry Trust will not be updated and the CCJ will remain on your record.

One key tip would be to request that your creditor immediately informs the court once you have paid the debt. This will result in the CCJ being removed from the register and it would then be as if the CCJ was never issued.

If the creditor fails to inform the court after the debt has been paid off, you can proceed to inform the courts yourself. This can be done via two ways:

  1. You can send a letter to the court advising them of the payment and send them evidence to confirm this; or
  2. You can apply for a certification of cancellation. You are required to pay a £15 court fee and send a completed form, along side evidence of your debt payment to the court. The court are likely to ask for confirmation from the creditor that you have paid the debt and, if received, they will issue a Certificate of Satisfaction which confirms payment of the debt. The CCJ will then be removed from your credit file.

We are often asked whether you should still pay off the CCJ within a month if you plan on disputing it. It is often a more beneficial option to pay the CCJ as soon as possible to avoid the consequences of having a CCJ on your credit file.

In these cases, you can pay but then inform the creditor that you are only making payment to remove the CCJ from your credit file and that you fully intend to claim the money back after removal of the CCJ.

If you wait over a month from the date of judgement before paying the CCJ, it won’t be automatically removed from your record however it will be marked as ‘satisfied’. Companies carrying out credit checks on you will still be able to see that you have a CCJ on your record and you will suffer some financial repercussions on this but they will be of a less severe nature than if it was not paid.

 

Option 2 – Wait for six years

If you wait six years from the date on which the judgement was issued, the CCJ will automatically be removed from your credit file, without any action required by yourself and this is regardless of whether you have actually paid the debt you owe.

While this sounds ideal, there is a catch on this. A creditor is still permitted to enforce the CCJ and make applications for orders against your bank account and instruct bailiffs to recover the debt. The enforcement action will not have any impact on your credit score in this instance.

However, the practical aspect of this is that you are still liable for this debt and six years is an extremely long time to have bad credit.

 

Option 3 – Apply for the CCJ to be set aside

If the CCJ has been converted into a default judgment, a court of England, Wales or Northern Island can make a decision to set this aside.

A default judgement is made by a court if a defendant chooses not to submit a defence to the claim. It can only be set aside if there is a good reason which can be demonstrated by the defendant:

  1. The form was posted to a wrong/previous address
  2. You were away from home at the time the papers from the court were sent
  3. You have a realistic prospect of defending the claim.

You are usually required to make a formal application as soon as possible and go through a hearing if are requesting that the court sets aside your CCJ however if your creditor agrees to set it aside then this is unlikely to be required. The faster you make your application the better as the court will consider this when deciding whether or not to set aside a CCJ.

If the courts set aside your CCJ, they should automatically update the Registry Trust so that it can be permanently removed from your records. While it should be automatic, for whatever reason, this does not always occur and so it is advisable to set a reminder to chase them and send them evidence of the court’s decision.

I hope the above provides clarity on some of the options available to individuals to have a CCJ removed. However if you would like specific advice on your particular set of circumstances, then please give the team at Oakwood Solicitors a call.

 

Further reading

Removing a CCJ – Oakwood Solicitors Ltd

CCJs – Gov.uk

 

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Meet the author

Daniel Masterton-Doig is a Paralegal in the Financial Litigation Department and acts on behalf of a number of clients in relation to financial misselling, breach of contract and breach of trust matte…

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