One of the serious implications of an unresolved debt problem is that the creditor may make a County Court Claim against the debtor. Initially, this is simply a claim that the debtor owes money, which the court will then review and decide on appropriate repayment.
Why would a creditor use a county court?
Creditors looking for a debt to be repaid may use County Courts to take action in reclaiming the money owed to them. If the debtor pays off the outstanding balance, the County Court process can be stopped before it progresses to a judgement or a hearing. County Court hearings of this time are simple and private, and the debtor may attend.
County Court Claims Form
Once the court has decided that the debtor owed money, and how this money should be repaid, it sends out a claim form. This claim form details how much is owed and what has been claimed, and also allows the debtor redress.
Responding to the County Court Claim Form
After being sent a Claim Form, the debtor will receive an Admission form. The form allows the debtor to provide details of income and outgoings, as well as making an offer to repay the debt. If the court decides against repayments, it may claim that the debtor must pay the full amount or in monthly payments. The debtor has a sixteen day period to respond to the court.
County Court Judgement
The next stage is a County Court Judgement, also known as a CCJ. This is a court order that is either for a fixed amount to be paid by the debtor, or to stick to a payment agenda that the court decides. More than one CCJ may be combined into an administration order, combining repayments into a single lump sum each month.
Do I pay the county court to clear my debt?
Debtors must pay the creditors, or their solicitor or representative if the CJJ orders it.
What if I cannot pay the debt?
Missing payments set by the court will probably provoke the creditor to ask for further steps to get the money back. The court will take further steps, and further costs will be accrued by the debtor. If there is no way for the debtor to pay, he or she may ask for the court to adjust repayments or suspend the order.
What are the implications of a County Court Judgement?
County Court Judgements are recorded on the register of County Court Judgements for six years. This register is accessible by credit companies such as lenders and banks. CCJs may influence lenders not to provide loans or mortgages.
Appealing against a County Court Judgement
There are ways of appealing against County Court Judgements, but to do so the debtor needs a valid reason and may have to pay a fee. Without a genuine reason, the danger is that the debtor could be fined or imprisoned for wasting court time. If you wish to have incorrect information removed from your credit file you can ask for mistakes to be corrected. A judgement will be taken of the register if it is paid in full within one month or set aside by the court.