CCJ stands for County Court Judgement. But exactly what is a CCJ?
It is essentially a judgement issued by a county court, when a debtor fails to pay money they owe to a creditor. If you have failed to pay what you owe to a creditor, the creditor applies to the county court for them to issue the CCJ. The court then has the responsibility of determining whether or not there is a debt owed and, if so, how it is to be repaid.
When someone takes action against you with the county court, the court will issue you with a Claim Form. This is to let you know what the court believes you owe the creditor. You’ll also be sent an Admission Form. This is basically your opportunity to explain your side of things – ie whether you have paid, whether or not you accept that there is a debt and any mitigating circumstances you feel there may be. There’s no point burying your head in the sand over this because even if you don’t send the form back, the CCJ may still be issued in what is known as a ‘default judgement’.
Essentially, you have 5 options when issued with the Admission Form. You can either:
- Pay up – simply pay the amount in full.
- Request payment in installments.
- Dispute the amount you owe.
- Dispute whether you owe anything at all!
- Claim against the creditor – ie claim that they owe you money.
If there is a dispute, you may have to attent a court hearing. Otherwise, you will not need to attend at all and repayment will be considered in your absence.
Following consideration of evidence from the Admission Form and from the creditor, the court issues a CCJ, which will state the amount you must pay and how you must pay it.