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How do I remove or challenge a CCJ?

If you receive a County Court Judgement (CCJ), in most cases it would be best practice to repay it as soon as possible, thus avoiding further creditor action. However, there are certain situations in which you might feel you shouldn’t have to pay a CCJ for a legitimate reason. In those circumstances, there are several ways to have the CCJ removed or to challenge the court’s decision.

More information about County Court Judgements

Can a CCJ be removed?

If you owe the amount specified in the judgement, you should try to repay the full amount as soon as possible. The court which issued the CCJ will send you a letter containing a statement for the amount owed, as well as admission and defence forms. If you receive these forms, you should complete them as appropriate and return them to the creditor.

Read more on how to deal with a CCJ

How long do I have to pay a CCJ?

The letter from the court will contain a date, by which you’ll need to pay the specified amount. Usually, this date will be 30 days after the date the judgement was issued. Before paying, you’ll have 14 days from the date printed on the statement of the amount owed to return the admission or defence form to the creditor.

If the Northampton County Court Business Centre issued the judgement, you will have 19 days to return the form.

What happens after I pay a CCJ within a month?

If you pay the debt in full within the 30 days, the CCJ will appear as ‘satisfied’ on your credit file. You should apply to the court to update the status of your CCJ. Your ability to get credit may still be affected as even a satisfied CCJ can make lenders reluctant to lend you capital, making it harder to get the best rates.

For extra proof that you have paid your debt and satisfied the CCJ, you can send the court an N443 form, and they will send you a certificate of satisfaction as further evidence that you have repaid the debt.

What happens if I don’t pay a CCJ?

If a creditor is rightfully demanding you repay money you owe, you should pay it back within the allocated time. However, there are certain situations where you’ll have a legitimate reason for not repaying a CCJ.

Read more on what can happen if you don’t pay a CCJ

Remove or challenge a CCJ

How to challenge a CCJ

If you have a legitimate reason not to pay the amount stated in the letter, you can work on challenging the judgement to have it removed from your credit file.

Even if you don’t owe the creditor any amount, you shouldn’t ignore a CCJ. The court will interpret this inactivity as an inability or refusal to pay, which will lead to further creditor action.

If your personal or business finances mean you’ll find it difficult to repay the amount requested by the creditor; you can fill in an N245 form. This form allows you to apply for a suspension of the warrant or request alterations to the payment plan to better suit your circumstances. There may be a court fee to apply for this though, which will depend on the issuing court.

I don’t feel I should pay the CCJ

If you legitimately don’t owe the money to the claimant, you shouldn’t fill out any of the paperwork the court sent you. Instead, you could ask the court to cancel the judgement or have it ‘set aside’. You can use the N245 form for this.

You can also apply to set aside the judgement if you never received the court’s original claim.

If a CCJ is set aside, it is temporarily suspended, allowing the courts more time to consider your application. You’ll attend a private hearing to present your case to the court. Failing to attend this hearing will result in your application being rejected.

Again, you may have to pay a court fee to set aside a CCJ.

In summary

A County Court Judgement (CCJ) is issued to encourage you to repay what you owe; otherwise, you could risk further action from creditors. To remove the judgement from your credit file, you can pay it in full within 30 days of its issuing. However, if you don’t feel you owe the amount specified in the CCJ, you can challenge the court’s decision and apply to have the judgement ‘set aside’. You can also request alterations to the payment plan to make it more affordable. Whether the requested removal or changes will be approved, are at the issuing court’s discretion.

How we can help

Whatever your circumstances, it’s imperative that you deal with a CCJ that arrives at your premises or address as quickly as possible. Dealing with a judgement may seem like an intimidating task for those unfamiliar with the process, and the fees involved in challenging the judgement can sometimes be too much for fledgeling companies, and individuals lacking the money to spend. If you’re struggling to pay off a CCJ or can’t afford to challenge one you don’t owe, speak to us without delay. Our consultants and insolvency practitioners have many years’ experience in the industry and can advise you on the best way forward for you or your business. All our advice is free and impartial, with no obligation.

Alternative solutions

If you’re unable to get the CCJ set aside, and you’re unable to repay the amount immediately, you can apply for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). These are formal arrangements between you and your creditors which allow you to repay your debts in monthly instalments at a rate tailored to what you can afford.

Read more about Company Voluntary Arrangements

Authored by Lisa Hogg

Lisa Hogg

Director & Licensed Insolvency Practitioner