Do you need to apply to set aside a CCJ? If you’ve contacted the court about an unexpected CCJ on your credit file, they may have told you to apply to have it set aside using Form N244. In this article, you’ll learn now to complete that form for maximum impact.
If you haven’t downloaded it yet, the form is available from the government website in PDF form here:
How to complete the N244 application notice
There are various sections of the form you will need to complete.
Name of the court – this is the court that currently has the case file. Usually, that will be the County Court Business Centre, although they may have transferred your case to a local hearing centre.
Claim no. – You can find the claim number on all court documents and your credit report.
Fee account no. – You can ignore the section ‘Fee account no’. That’s for lawyers who have a direct debit arrangement with the court.
Help with Fees – If you’re applying for help with paying the court fee, enter the help with fees reference number in this section.
Warrant number – This refers to a legal document issued by the court, known as a warrant of control. It authorises bailiffs to take control of a defendant’s possessions. The claimant may have applied for a warrant of control if you haven’t paid the CCJ. If so, you may have received an enforcement notice with the warrant number. You can enter that here. Otherwise, leave this box blank.
Claimant’s name – This is the name of the claimant – the person or company who obtained the judgment against you. For the avoidance of doubt, it isn’t their legal representative’s name. However, if the claimant has used a law firm, their solicitor may have a reference number. If so, enter it here in brackets after the claimant’s name.
Defendant’s name – enter your full name here
Date – this is the date you make your application. You should complete that in number form, i.e. DD/MM/YYYY
Having completed the case details in the top right, you can now move on to the details of your application.
The main body of the application consists of several questions. You can answer many of these briefly with an X in a box or a single word. Much of it is straightforward, but some will need a little explanation.
Question 1 – Enter your full name.
Question 2 – Put an X in the box for defendant
Question 3 –The N244 Application Notice is used for many different types of application. You need to explain that you’re applying for a judgment to be set aside and why.
The following suggested paragraph cover each of the grounds for setting aside a CCJ. Tailor the wording to your circumstances and delete those parts that don’t apply.
That the default judgment dated dd/mm/yyyy be set side
That any enforcement action be stayed pending the outcome of this application.
The claim form was not properly served on me and so the judgment must be set aside.
Alternatively, I have a real prospect of successfully defending the claim and/or the evidence I have provided constitutes a good reason why judgment should be set aside.
Question 4 – Put an X in the No box. The judge won’t expect you to draft court orders as a layperson.
Question 5. – You can ask the court to deal with the application at a hearing in person, a telephone hearing or without a hearing.
Asking the court to deal with your application without a court hearing may be quicker, but you won’t have the opportunity to explain your case to the judge.
It’s better to ask the court to review that decision at a hearing or telephone hearing. Since the Covid pandemic, the courts have conducted most hearings by telephone.
Question 6 – A simple application to set aside judgment is likely to take between 40 minutes and an hour. I recommend putting 1 hour.
The form asks if all parties agree with the time estimate. If the claimant has been uncooperative when you’ve tried to obtain their consent, they’re unlikely to be interested in helping you with your application. There is no requirement to agree on a time estimate with the claimant. Put an X in the No box.
Question 7 – This doesn’t apply to an application to set aside a CCJ. Put N/A, meaning ‘not applicable’.
Question 8 – An application for a review requires a District Judge. Unless you know otherwise, put ‘District’.
Question 9 – When you make the application, the court will serve it on the claimant by posting it to them. The answer to this question is ‘Claimant’. If there is more than one claimant and/or another defendant, you should state that here.
Question 9a is not usually relevant to an application to set aside a CCJ. Put N/A.
Question 10 deals with the evidence you will be relying on in support of your application. It gives three options, although only two are relevant for an application to set aside judgment.
You can either
- complete the witness statement at this stage and send it with the application or
- provide evidence in the box
This is a decision for you to make. You may prefer to submit your witness statement with the application form.
However, because of the need to act promptly, it is often better to provide brief evidence in box 10 and then provide a witness statement later. Drafting a persuasive witness statement supported by relevant evidence takes time. Therefore, delaying your application to prepare the statement may be difficult to justify.
On balance, the best approach is to issue the application as soon as possible and then follow up with a witness statement later.
The evidence in box 10 should contain enough information to convey to the court and the claimant that there is a genuine reason to set aside the judgment. However, details and supporting documents can wait until you file your witness statement.
Signing the statement of truth
Please don’t just copy the above wording without tailoring it to your situation.
You must verify the facts stated in section 10 with a statement of truth. This has the same significance as swearing on oath in court, so you must ensure that the information you provide is 100% truthful.
Making such statements in evidence without a genuine belief in their truth could make you liable for prosecution for contempt of court and possibly being sent to prison.
If you have the software to sign electronically, you can do this. An electronic signature is just as valid as an ink signature.
If you don’t have the means to sign the completed form electronically, print it off and sign manually.
Put an X in the first box to say that you believe the facts stated are true. The second box only applies if you have a legal representative, such as a solicitor.
You will need to put an X next to Applicant under the Signature box. An applicant is the person who is making the application, i.e. you.
Fill in the date and enter your full name.
You can ignore the section asking for the name of your legal representative’s firm.
If you’re signing on behalf of a company, enter your position in the next box, e.g. Managing Director.
Finally, enter your contact details.
Send your application to the court and you can then begin preparing for the hearing.
Need help removing a CCJ?
If you don’t feel confident dealing with the court system, or you simply don’t have time, we offer a CCJ removal service.
After assessing your case, we’ll advise on the steps you need to take to maximise your chances of success. We’ll deal with all the court procedures and correspond with the claimant on your behalf, which means you don’t have to worry about it.
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