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Tackling your debts

3 things you should know about CCJs

Posted 24 May 2016 by Kyri Levendi

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Finding out somebody is applying for a CCJ against you is scary, but there are three things to remember if it happens.

County Court Judgement (CCJ) – just hearing the words may fill you with dread. If you have unpaid bills and debts, and the people you owe are threatening to take legal action to get a CCJ against you, here are three things to remember:

 

1. It’s a last resort

 

A CCJ shouldn’t come as a surprise. You will be sent a default notice or letter before action first, but the firms will probably also have been trying to get in touch with you since your first missed payment. It’s not too late to speak to the firms you owe money to and let them know you’re in financial difficulties. Together, you may be able to work out a new repayment plan.

2. You won’t actually go to court

You don’t enter an actual courtroom when you’re issued with a CCJ. Instead, you’ll receive a Claim Form and you must reply within 14 days to either agree or file a defence. These forms let you tell the court about your situation. If you ignore them, it won’t stop the court from issuing you with a CCJ – it just means they’ll do so without hearing your side. This is called a judgement in default.

3. Your credit history will be damaged

A CCJ remains on your credit history for six years, unless you repay the entire balance within one month. Once a CCJ is issued, anyone who checks your credit history will be able to see it. This might affect you when you apply to borrow, rent a property, or even apply for a new job.

As soon as you discover that a firm is trying to get a CCJ against you, it makes sense to speak to them and see if you can come to a new agreement.  If you don’t feel able to do so, or you can’t reach an agreement with them, you should get expert money advice as soon possible.

If you’re worried you might have problem debts, take the Money Smart Report to find out.

 

find my solution

Remember, there’s help available from debt solution experts like Debt Advisory Centre as well as free debt advice from the Money Advice Service.

 

by Kyri Levendi

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.