Do I Have a CCJ? How To Find Out

Posted by Jamie Mackenzie Smith in Dealing with Debt on 23 March 2018

How to check for a CCJ

A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is generally only issued by a lender once they have exhausted all other methods though following a CCJ additional tactics can be deployed such as the use of bailiffs.

In order to obtain a CCJ, a lender must first issue a default notice , and assuming they receive no response (or one it disagrees with), will then ask the court to issue a summons.

Once a summons has been issued, you then have 30 days to settle the amount in full to avoid the hearing and lodging of the judgment against you. If you do, a Certificate of Satisfaction will be issued, and no further action should be taken.

Fail to pay within 30 days, and the court will issue the judgment, and decree how the debt should be repaid. A CCJ will be added to your Credit File, and will remain there for six years, regardless of whether the debt is subsequently settled.

See how court records appear on your credit report

Because of the steps outlined above that a lender and court must take in advance of issuing a judgment, it’s very rare for one to be listed against you without your knowledge, but if you want to know if there’s a CCJ is on your credit file, or when one is due to be automatically removed, your first port of call should be checking your Credit Report to see what is being reported to prospective lenders.

If you intend to apply for any form of credit now or in the future, it’s important to understand the status of any CCJs, past or present, and the affect they can have on your ability to gain finance.

How do I know if I have a CCJ?

There are two main ways you can check whether you have a CCJ:

Check your credit file

Any CCJs being reported in your name will appear on your credit file. You’ll be able to see:

  • The date the CCJ was issued
  • The unique court reference number, which you can give to the issuing court for more information
  • How much is owed
  • Whether the judgment is active or has been satisfied
  • Whether the judgment was disputed
  • How long until the CCJ will be removed from your credit file
  • Which Credit Reference Agencies are reporting the CCJ

If you haven’t already, you can try checkmyfile free for 30 days, then for just £14.99 a month which you can cancel at any time. You’ll get full access to the UK’s most detailed credit report, showing you data from 4 credit reference agencies, not just 1.

Check the Registry Trust

You can also check the Registry Trust for information about CCJs related to yourself or anyone else. This can be done online for a cost of £6, but comparatively, you will find less information than is available on your Credit Report: the information is limited to your name and address, court reference number, date of the judgment and whether the debt has been satisfied.

How do you pay a CCJ once it’s been issued?

Once a CCJ has been issued, it will also show whether the outstanding debt has been settled or not. Whilst the very presence of a CCJ will severely impact on your ability to get credit, settling the debt and having it marked as ‘satisfied’ will be visible to prospective lenders, which some lenders may show more lenience towards. More importantly, it will stop further attempts to recover the debt by the lender concerned.

You can settle the outstanding amount by going straight to the lender. Bear in mind though, that a court judgment will remain visible on your Credit Report for the full six years, regardless of whether it is settled.

In extreme cases, where a CCJ remains unpaid, the lender can request a charging order on the value of your home, payable upon sale of the property.

Can a CCJ be removed?

Once a CCJ has been placed on your Credit File, it is very rare that it will be removed before the six year period is over, even once it has been settled. That's because lenders and Credit Reference Agencies have a duty to accurately report your credit history, so information can usually only be removed if it is incorrect.

Under rare and exceptional circumstances, a CCJ may be “set aside” if it was found to be issued as a result of a mistake, such as the court summons being sent to the wrong address, but not as a result of the debtor not updating the creditor with their new address.

Even if set aside, a CCJ will not immediately be removed from your Credit Report, it just starts the judgment process again, meaning there will be another trial. If the outcome of the trial is that the judgment is valid, you will have to wait six years from the date of the second trial for the CCJ to drop off, so it is in your best interest to have conclusive evidence before applying for a judgment to be set aside.

How to find out what a CCJ is for

Your Credit Report won’t specifically tell you what your judgment is for, but, you can use the court reference number provided to get in touch with the issuing county court and query the judgment further.

If you’re unsure about the status of any CCJs that may be in your name, you can try checkmyfile free for 30 days and then just £14.99 a month afterwards. You’ll get full access to all court records reported on your by the UK’s four main Credit Reference Agencies.

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