If you’ve received a CCJ, this could have some serious consequences for you if it’s not removed from your credit record. It can hinder you in obtaining credit and may even stop employers from taking you on.
There are however 3 ways that you can get the CCJ removed or stop it being registered in the first place.
1. Pay the CCJ within a month
Although a CCJ can appear on your credit record within a day or two of the judgment, if you pay it off within a month, and the court knows that, then it will be taken off again. If you do pay it within that timescale, it will be just as though it was never entered.
It’s the responsibility of the person you’re paying to tell the court that you’ve paid and if they don’t do that then the court won’t know and so the CCJ won’t be taken off the register. When you pay, it’s worth asking them to confirm that have actually told the court!
You can also tell the court yourself, but you need to send proof of payment and will have to pay a fee of £15.
If you wait more than a month before paying it, this won’t remove the CCJ from your credit record. It will however mean that the CCJ is marked as ‘satisfied’, which will make it slightly easier for you to obtain credit. The CCJ will still be on the register, but credit checks will also show that you paid it, albeit not on time.
2. Wait 6 years
After 6 years, the CCJ will be removed automatically from your credit record without you having to do anything. Even if you don’t pay it, the CCJ will be removed and it will be too late for the creditor to enforce it.
If your CCJ is already quite old, this may be the best option. However, if it’s only recently been entered, can you really afford to wait so many years with a poor credit rating?
The six year period is counted from the date of the judgment.
3. Apply to have the CCJ set side
If the CCJ is a “default judgment”, then the court has a discretion to set it aside.
A default judgment is a judgment that the court makes when the defendant fails to acknowledge the claim or to put in a defence. If the judgment was given at a hearing you attended, then it will not be a default judgment. Similarly, if you replied to the claim and admitted owing the money, then it will not be a default judgment.
If it is a default judgment, then it can be set aside if you can show that you have a real prospect of succesfully defending the claim or if there some other good reason why you should be allowed to defend the claim now. For example, the claim form may have been sent to the wrong address so you didn’t know about the claim in the first place, or have the opportunity to pay the judgment within a month so that it was taken off the register again.
The court also has a power to set aside a judgment made at a hearing if you failed to attend, but there must be a good reason why you didn’t attend.
If it is set aside, the CCJ will be removed from the register straight away so it will be as though the judgment was never made in the first place.
N.B. When exercising its disrection to set aside a CCJ the court must consider whether or not you made the application promptly. For that reason, it’s important to do something about it as soon as you know that a CCJ has been registered against you so that you have have the best chance of the CCJ being set aside.