Do I Have a CCJ? How To Find Out

Posted by Jamie Mackenzie Smith in Dealing with Debt on 26 March 2019

If you have a County Court Judgment (CCJ) in your name, it can have a serious impact on your Credit Score and ability to borrow for the entire time it is active, as well as potentially affect the outcome of the checks carried out by prospective employers, landlords and insurers.

To see if you have any active CCJs or to find out the status of all your existing judgments, you can check your Credit Report at any time.

How to check for a CCJ

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

Check your Credit Report

Any CCJs reported in your name will appear on your Credit Report. When you check 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
  • The full amount owed
  • Whether the judgment is active or has been marked as 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 pay the full amount owed within the first calendar month of the judgment being issued, it will not appear on your Credit Report.

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 £6-10 per person searched (depending on which registers you wish to search), but comparatively it offers less information than is available on your Credit Report.

Information available from Registry Trust is limited to names and addresses, court reference numbers, the date of judgment and whether the debt has been satisfied.

Who can see my CCJ?

Because court information is part of the Public Information that appears on your Credit Report, it will be visible on all types of credit search carried out, which means it will be visible to lenders as well as potential employers, landlords and utility companies that carry out credit checks.

Where do CCJs come from?

A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is generally only issued by a lender once they have exhausted all other methods to reclaim a debt owed. Following a CCJ being issued 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.

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.

How soon should a CCJ be paid?

Once a court summons has been issued, you then have one month to settle the amount in full to avoid the hearing and lodging of the judgment against you. If you pay in full within a month of the judgment being issued, the CCJ will not appear on your Credit Report. You can also apply for a Certificate of Cancellation to be issued at a cost of £15.

Fail to pay within a month and the court will issue the judgment, with instructions on how the debt should be repaid based on your circumstances.

If you pay a the amount in full more than one month after the judgment is issued, the CCJ will remain on your Credit Report, but you can apply for a Certificate of Satisfaction and no further action should be taken to reclaim the debt.

A CCJ and will remain on your Credit Report for six years from the date of issue unless it is paid within the first month regardless of whether the debt is subsequently 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 I borrow money if I have a CCJ?

If a CCJ appears on your Credit Report it will be visible to lenders for the six years that it remains. Many lenders have a policy of not lending to customers with active judgments, but there are also many sub-prime lenders that cater to this demographic. While you might not be taken on as a customer from some of the high street banks, others may be more amenable.

Some lenders will also view CCJs more favourably if they are a few years old and you have maintained a good Credit History in the time since then.

Can a CCJ be removed?

Once a CCJ has been placed on your Credit File, it is very rare that it will get removed before the six-year period is over, even once it has been marked as settled. Lenders and Credit Reference Agencies have a legal 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.

Updated 26/03/2019 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

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