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How to check if you have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) article
How to check if you have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) article
Creditfix > Knowledge Hub > , , , > How to check if you have a County Court Judgement (CCJ)

If you are in debt, there are various techniques the court can use to force you to pay back what you owe. One of these techniques is a County Court Judgment (CCJ).

This article looks in detail at County Court Judgments; what they are, how long they last, how to find out if you have one against you, and how you might get rid of one if you do.

What is a County Court Judgment?

A County Court Judgment is a court order that can be deployed by the courts in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The main purpose of a CCJ is as a means of forcing an individual to repay money they owe. If you are in debt and have failed to settle those debts – or the parties you owe money to think you’re unlikely to pay – a CCJ might be taken against you as a way of forcing your hand.

The CCJ will usually be brought against you by one of your creditors (the people you owe money to), who will send an application to the courts laying out the reasons why they believe the CCJ is necessary.

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How do you find out what a CCJ is for?

A CCJ is usually delivered through the post. The letter should outline the fact that you have a CCJ against you, how you can respond to the CCJ, and what action the court can take against you if you fail to respond to the CCJ.

If you begin to suspect you have a CCJ against, but don’t know for sure, you can find out via the public Register of Judgements, Orders and Fines.

If you do have a CCJ against you, the register will tell you:

  • The date of the judgement against you
  • The amount of money you owe
  • The name of the court who issued the judgement against you

Because the register won’t list the name of the creditor who has taken the CCJ against you, you may have to follow up with the court listed and request details of the creditor involved in order to determine what exactly the CCJ is for.

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How long do County Court Judgments last?

How long a CCJ lasts depends on how quickly you deal with it. When you first receive the CCJ in the post, you will be given the option to:

  • Pay back the full amount immediately
  • Pay later, or in installments
  • Dispute the claim (You will need to have a strong case that the claim is wrong)
  • Claim against the creditor (If you think that the creditor actually owes you money)

If you choose to pay back the full amount within one calendar month, the CCJ won’t be recorded on the Register of Judgements, Orders and Fines. If you don’t pay within a month, it will be recorded on the register – and whatever’s recorded on the register will then be reflected in your credit report.

A CCJ will stay on your credit report for six years, no matter whether you pay it off in that period or not. Because a CCJ demonstrates an inability to pay back what you owe, it will negatively affect your credit score, which in turn will make it harder for you to get credit in future.

Who can see your CCJs?

Register of Judgments, Orders, and Fines

The Register of Judgments, Orders, and Fines is a public register, so in theory anyone who requests access will be able to see the details of your CCJ for a small fee. The information they will be able to view includes:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • The case number
  • The court who issued the CCJ against you
  • The amount of money you owe

The official statutory Register of Judgments, Orders, and Fines is accessible online via the Registry Trust website, however it’s highly unlikely that someone you know personally would ever take the time to search your name or query your past credit agreements.

Credit report

In reality, the only people likely to see your CCJ are lenders (when you apply for credit), letting agencies (if you are looking to rent a home), a credit reference agency, or certain employers – particularly if they are involved in financial services.

It’s important to remember that a CCJ will have a negative impact on your credit rating, which will hamper your ability to borrow money.

Actions like getting a loan, applying for a credit card, opening a bank account, or accessing other credit agreements will all become more difficult.

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How to find CCJs via the credit reference agencies

The easiest and quickest way to find any CCJs that may have been taken against you is by requesting a copy of your credit report from any of the three main credit agencies: Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.

Depending on which organisation you use, you may have to pay a small fee in order to access your credit report or find out what your credit rating is.

Checking your credit report will give you an overview of all of your debts, balances, money owed to creditors, and any CCJs that may have been taken against you.

How to check for a County Court Judgment (CCJ) online

As an alternative to requesting your credit report from one of the credit reference agencies, you can also check the Registry Trust online for information on CCJs related to yourself, someone else, or a business. This information includes:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Court reference numbers
  • The date of the judgement
  • Whether the CCJ is marked as ‘satisfied’

There is a cost attached to searching through the Registry Trust – you’ll be charged £4 for every search you conduct, however there are no free ways to find information on CCJs.

Can I get a CCJ without knowing?

Unfortunately, there are instances where rogue creditors and bad actors will seek to issue claims against you in the knowledge that you will likely be completely unaware of them.

If a CCJ is issued with your knowledge, you could find yourself in danger of receiving a default judgment.

Default judgment

It’s not uncommon for creditors to issue a claim to your previous address, either knowingly or unknowingly.

In circumstances like these, the court can issue a CCJ against you by default – known as a default judgment. You can’t respond to a claim you didn’t know you received, so the court might conclude you’re willfully ignoring your CCJ.

A default judgment means the CCJ will appear on your credit report and will stay there for six years. For many people, the first time they realise they have a CCJ against them is when they try to borrow money and are suddenly rejected.

While there are many cases of legal firms successfully defending clients who have had CCJs taken out against them without their knowledge, the best way to defend against this is to regularly check your credit report for any claims that may be outstanding.

Can I remove a CCJ from my credit report?

If you’re looking to remove a CCJ from your credit report, the chances are you’re taking that action because you’re wary of the negative effect a CCJ can have on your credit rating, and thus your ability to borrow in the future.

While it’s very rare that a CCJ will be removed from your credit file before the six year period has elapsed, there are certain actions you can take to mitigate the damage a County Court Judgement will do to your credit report or your credit rating.

A CCJ can be removed from your credit file by taking any of the following actions.

Paying the CCJ in full within a month

If you repay your County Court Judgment within 30 days, you can ensure the CCJ will not appear in your credit report or harm the credit score assigned to you by credit reference agencies.

Paying the CCJ in full after 30 days

Paying your CCJ after 30 days means it will still appear on your credit report, however your CCJ will be marked as ‘satisfied’. This is a status that will be viewed more favourably by creditors.

Setting aside the judgement

You can take court action against the CCJ, but you would have to be certain the County Court Judgment taken against you was incorrect or unfair.

Waiting six years

Not so much an ‘action’ as such, but your CCJ is guaranteed to be removed from your file once six years has elapsed.

To find out more about removing CCJs from your credit report, take a look at our blog on the subject.

Where can I get more advice on How to check if you have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) and other debt solutions?

To discuss your options and get the support you need to deal with your debt today, contact us now on 0800 0431 431 or click the button to get started

Maxine McCreadie

Maxine is an experienced writer, specialising in personal insolvency. With a wealth of experience in the finance industry, she has written extensively on the subject of Individual Voluntary Arrangements, Protected Trust Deed’s, and various other debt solutions.

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Our debt experts, and insolvency practitioners continually monitor the personal finance and debt industry, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

October 16 2020

Written by
Maxine McCreadie

Edited by
Maxine McCreadie