How to deal with a county court judgment (CCJ)

posted by in Living with debt

Letter with bad news

Don’t panic if you receive CCJ forms

Now that we’ve all settled back into our work routines and Christmas and New Year is a distant memory, our thoughts turn to boring but necessary duties such as maintaining our finances.

Now that the break is well and truly over, our phone lines are getting busier as people realise how much was spent over Christmas and how long there is still left before payday.

And we’re not the only ones that are busy. Northampton County Court, England’s bulk processing centre for County Court judgments (CCJs), shut for ten days over Christmas, which added to the postal delays meant that a lot of people will only just receiving these types of forms now.

If you’ve received a CCJ, you need to read about the process below, and then contact us or use our online debt counselling service Debt Remedy.

The CCJ process

With this in mind here’s a quick guide on what you should do if you receive county court paperwork, to help you.

  1. The first thing to make sure is that the paperwork you’ve received is actually from the court and not just a threat of action. Letters from debt collectors can be carefully worded and made to look like they are taking court action, when in reality they’re just trying to scare you into making extra payments to them.
  1. Before you receive any court paperwork the original creditor must have issued a default notice. This is a formal letter which tells you how much you need to pay to bring the account back up to date. You should be given at least 14 days to pay it before the account is defaulted (bringing the agreement to an end). If you pay the full amount within this time period, no further action will be taken.
  1. After the default is issued the debt is usually passed on to a debt collection agency. This isn’t always the case and a creditor can apply for a CCJ as long as they have issued a default notice.
  1. If you receive court forms coloured pale blue with a court crest on the top, your creditor has applied for a CCJ. You will receive these forms:
  • N1 (amount owed, creditor and which court is dealing with it)
  • N9A (admission form)
  • N9B (defence form)
  1. If you admit liability for the debt, you will need to complete the N1 and N9A and return them within 16 days. It’s a good idea to send it recorded delivery to make sure it arrives. It’s important that you complete all of the sections fully and make an offer of payment based on your income and expenditure. We can help you to do this.
  1. You only need the N9B if you dispute that you owe the debt. If this is the case you would also need to get detailed advice from us.
  1. The CCJ is registered once you receive a letter titled ‘Judgement for Claimant’ and this will be recorded on your credit file for 6 years. It will specify a monthly amount that you have to pay. If they aren’t happy with the offer of payment or if you don’t respond in time they can ask for the full amount immediately (called “judgement forthwith”).
  1. If they have specified a monthly amount and you maintain this no further action should be taken.
  1. If you don’t maintain the payments or they ask for a judgement forthwith which you can’t pay, the creditor can ask the courts to take further enforcement action such as bailiffs, an attachment of earnings order or a charging order.
  1. If your circumstances change further down the line, it is possible to vary the judgement by completing an N245 form with a more affordable offer of payment.
  1. It may be possible to avoid a CCJ if it would seriously affect your employment. You would need to apply for a Tomlin Order (we can advise you further on this).

Above all, it’s vital to remember that you should always act quickly to respond to any county court paperwork as you’re given a limited amount of time to deal with them.

No matter what time of year it is, don’t panic and get in touch with us straight away so we can support you throughout the whole process.

You can read more about CCJs, how to fill out CCJ forms and what to do if you can’t pay a CCJ on our website.




Pavan Gata-Aura is a qualified debt advisor with 6 years of experience. She enjoys spending time with her two children, fundraising for charities, has spent time volunteering in Africa and takes part in organised races.

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Tags Living with debt
  • Lynne Burnell

    Hi Pavan
    Have received a CCJ after standing as a guarantor for someone who defaulted on the payments. When I signed I had a good job. I have since retired on ill health and cannot make the payments. All this was explained to the court in the blue papers they sent and which I returned in plenty of time. The court said they didn’t receive them until a month later! I have since filed a N245 offering what I can but it isn’t much. What happens if this is refused? I don’t want a charge put on the house.

    • moneyaware

      Hi Lynne,

      Thanks for posting. I’m sorry to hear about this situation.

      We’ve got a section on our website about what to do if you can’t afford to pay a CCJ:

      If you’ve returned the N245 and have included a breakdown on your budget, the judge working on the case will review the information you’ve provided and will make a decision based on what they believe is fair.

      It’s normal to feel worried about further action creditors could take. Having a charging order on your home doesn’t necessarily mean you will lose your house though, you can read more about them here:

      I hope this helps but if you’ve got any more questions please let us know.

      Kind regards,


  • Gemma Johns

    hello there – ive had an agreement with restons for well over a year for 2 accounts, one i pay £30 the other £15 per month since i set this agreement with them i have paid religiously and never missed a payment however last week they have issued court docs for the £30 to go for a ccj when i called them they said its because they want to put a charge against my jointly owned house. all the money i have paid off in the last year is now irrelevant cause of the added court costs (more than what ive paid)

    can i dispute this to avoid getting the ccj (and ultimately the charge) i feel this is really unfair as never missed a payment from setting up the agreement and now my bill is higher than originally or do i just have to suck it up and accept it?

    also to add im currently in the process of working with step change – ive done the first part just waiting to speak to debt adviser but what im paying to them at the min is the most i can afford

    • moneyaware

      Hi Gemma,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m sorry to hear about this situation – it must be very frustrating.

      If you’re paying less towards a debt than you originally agreed
      to, your creditor can apply for a CCJ. If a CCJ is obtained, then they can apply for a charging order against your home.

      It’s important to note that a charging order doesn’t necessarily
      mean that you’ll lose your home.

      You can read more about charging orders on our website:

      If you owe the money the creditor is asking for, it’s unlikely
      you’ll be able to dispute the CCJ.

      You can read more about dealing with a CCJ here:

      Kind regards,


  • Mark Edwards

    Once you get a default notice and you don’t pay any money, how long will it take to get a CCJ from the day of default notice. In what circumstances will the creditors/ debt collection agency not pursue a CCJ? I have a default on my credit account noodle, after six months of missing payments. After another 7 months, I still haven’t been issued a CCJ yet. Why is this?

    • moneyaware

      Hi Mark,

      Your situation isn’t all that unusual, it’s fairly common for creditors to default an account but not go for a CCJ. It’s hard to explain the reasons why they wouldn’t do this, as each creditor will have their own approach for how they handle accounts.

      If you’ve not made a payment on this debt or communicated with the debt collector then it’s possible they may be considering court action. I’d recommend coming to us for free debt advice about how to deal with this account and any other debts you may have.

      Here’s more information about how we can help:

      Kind regards


  • Andy


    I have recently tupe contracts in work my new employer has informed me I have a CJJ against me. I was totally unaware of this CJJ.
    I’ve researched my credit file. It was issued to an old address that I wasn’t even living at in July 2014. What should I do next.



  • Andy


    I have recently tupe contracts in work. My new employer has informed me that I have a CCJ against me. I was totally unaware of this CCJ. I’ve researched my credit file and It was issued at my old address. Can anyone help me out tell me what to do next.

    Thanks Andy

  • Amy

    Hi I’ve recently been given a CCJ whilst I was away on holiday. I was unsure of how to deal with it so I contacted the company to which I owed money to, I have paid some off the money to the company and have set up a standing order to pay off the bill within six months. What happens to the CCJ?

    • moneyaware

      Hi Amy,

      When a CCJ is taken out against you, it’s up to you to complete the paperwork and make a fair offer of payment based on what you can afford. The court then agrees to this payment, and as long as you stick to it, the chance of further action is reduced.

      In your case it sounds like you’ve made arrangements with the creditor directly that they’ve agreed to, which is often fine, but bear in mind that there’s no official agreement agreed by the creditor and court, and this arrangement could be changed at any time, which could leave you in a more difficult situation.

      If you decide to continue to pay the debt in instalments to the creditor as agreed, the CCJ will still show on your credit file for 6 years after the date it was taken, and once paid it will show as satisfied. However this isn’t permanent and after 6 years the CCJ will be removed. You might however find it difficult to obtain credit while the CCJ is on your credit file as it’ll have a negative impact.

      I hope this helps,


  • Chris Crimes

    Hi I have a CCJ I have just found out about from January this year but have been working away for a year and not had chance to keep see my mail . The CCJ was applied for by the debt collector not the company I originally had the debt with . It says the Account with the debt collector was open on March 2011 on my credit recorded but the debt was defaulted before this with Capital one so surely it would mean the debt is over 6 years and to late for a CCJ

    • moneyaware

      Hi there,

      You can read more about the criteria for debts to become statute barred on our website:

      If you believe the debt is statute barred – there’s a template letter on the web page above that you can use to write to your creditor to let them know. It’ll be up to them to prove that the debt isn’t statute barred.

      Kind regards,


  • Mark

    Hi apparently I’ve had an order judged against me from over a year ago. I had nothing about a court date or any correspondence from the claimant or the courts the first I heard about it is when bailiffs sent me a letter to my correct address can I get the judgement overturned with a N244

    • moneyaware

      Hi Mark,

      You can use an N244 to apply to the court to set aside this CCJ. Whether this would be successful would depend on your particular circumstance. There’s more information on our main website which might help you work out whether it’s worth applying in your situation:

      The alternative to setting aside a CCJ is to vary it to an affordable payment amount. This is done using a different court form (N245), there’s more information about it under the heading “variation” on this page:

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards


      • Mark

        Hi James I absolutely 100% do not owe the money for the court order and have adequate evidence to prove this I would want it squashed as not prepared to pay anything towards it.

  • Caroline

    Hi, would you get the court forms if the debt collector/solicitor has applied for a CCJ? I’m not sure what are threats and what are real. It is Lowell Solicitors who have sent me a notice of claim issue and say I will shortly receive a county court claim from Northampton County Court. Any advice would be much appreciated. Original debt was with Vodaphone who kept my account going after two year cancellation which I made.

    • moneyaware

      Hi Caroline,

      Yes, the first stage of getting a CCJ is to be sent forms from the court. You then fill them out and return them to the address stated on the forms (often the solicitor representing the creditor).

      The court forms give you the option to accept the amount they say you owe and offer a regular payment (or to repay in full if you prefer).

      Alternatively, if you don’t think you owe the money you can fill out a defence form and return that. Here’s some information from our main website about defending CCJs:

      “Defending a claim can be complicated. You may need to provide more information and you’ll usually have to attend a hearing with a District Judge at your local County Court hearing centre. In some cases, extra costs may be added if your defence is rejected.”

      You can read the full page about the CCJ process here:

      Kind regards


  • Joanne Dowling

    Could someone help. In November 2014 I made an agreement with Cabot to repay a Halifax credit card that they had taken over. However 1 weeks later I had a letter from Restons sols to say they were considering court, 2 weeks after I received info from the county court confirming Restons had submitted a claim. I acknowledged this and sent a defence back to confirm I had made an agreement with Cabots in November so ask that the court set the application aside as an agreement had been reached. I heard nothing back and no ccj registered. However today 2 and a half yrs later Restons have written to me again. I have stuck to the agreement with Cabots. Restons have said they want to pursue a charging order on my property to secure the debt can they do this if I’ve been paying. Also I noticed the balance is different as they added 500 In costs from when they issued the claim before even though a judgement was never obtained. Can’t phone them till Tuesday but need some advice

    • moneyaware

      Hi Joanne,

      Thanks for your message. They could apply for a charge order against your property, but only if they have a County Court judgment in place first.

      I know you mentioned that a judgment wasn’t obtained back in 2014 but it may be worth checking to be sure. You can search the register of judgments on this website:, which will be a way you can know for sure.

      There’s more information on charging orders on our website, here:

      Kind regards


      • Joanne Dowling

        Hi James I have just checked and paid the £4 and no there is no ccj. I am going to call Restons now do you have any last minute advice so i can persuade them not to pursue this. Thanks

  • Mark Galvin

    Can someone give me some advice please? I was checking my credit score and I was horrified to see I had a CCJ, after ringing the court to see who it was with, I got in touch with the car finance company and they told me it was for finance my x girlfriend and I had. I told them I remember applying for the credit but I was refused because of my income so my x partner applied for credit and was successful, however they said you both applied. I told them she got the car and gave me her old car, and since then we split up a couple months after and she had always paid for the car I had nothing to with it.

    Car company told me she was paying for it until someone had wrote the car off and her car insurance paid so much and she was still owing money and she stopped paying. So I told them I moved from that address and could not dispute if I did not know about it, they would not tell what is outstanding but told me my x as sorted a payment plan out with them. I did get the credit agreement off them after a year. Which did have my name on it has a 2nd person.

    Is there any way I can get this moved CCJ removed, I have never had any involvement in the car

    many thanks for any info-

    • moneyaware

      Hi Mark

      Thanks for your message. We’d recommend that you get in touch with Citizen’s Advice Bureau for some legal support, to make sure that you have a strong case with evidence against the CCJ before you begin the process of trying to get it cancelled and removed from your credit file.

      Then, you’ll need to ask the court to consider ‘setting aside’ the CCJ, you can read more about it here:

      If the judgment is set aside, you and the creditor are put back in the position you were both in immediately before the judgment. This means if you have an argument or ‘defence’ against the judgment which you didn’t get a chance to raise when the claim was first issued, you have a second chance to do this.

      I hope this helps, we would strongly recommend getting legal advice from CAB before you start this process to make sure you’re in a good position with your defence and understand the process as well as the risks and costs involved.

      I hope this helps.


  • charlotte cobb

    Help urgently needed.
    I checked my credit file this morning as I have been trying to improve my credit due to myself and partner wanting to purchase our own home.
    When checking my file I noticed I had been given a CCJ.
    Now I am unaware to who I owe the debt to and for a little amount of £115.00. The CCJ is for a debt at a previous address of mine which I haven’t lived at for nearly two years. I haven’t received any correspondents to who I owe the debt to and I cant think of anyone I owe money to as I changed all my address to my current credits etc.
    My credit file has always been up to date with current addresses and I still hadn’t received anything. I’m really upset and as I haven’t even been given the chance to defend myself and to be given a CCJ for £115 is terrible.
    Please help.

    • moneyaware

      Hello Charlotte

      Sorry to hear that you have received a CCJ but were unaware of the judgement. It can come as a shock to discover you have a CCJ you knew nothing about. Some people only find out when they check their credit file, or they get turned down when applying for new credit.

      If you find out about a CCJ like this, one option is applying to ‘set it aside’. However, this is usually only worthwhile if you disagree with the amount the creditor is claiming. If the CCJ is correct, but you can’t afford to pay the CCJ, it’s usually cheaper and easier to ask the court to set affordable monthly payments. This is called ‘varying’ a judgment.

      However the first step for you is to check which creditor issued it. This information will appear on any court forms you receive or in your case, as you don’t forms – you’ll need to you ring the court to check who the creditor is; the name of the court will be shown on your credit file.

      Once you know who the CCJ is from, you can check if the amount is correct and decide on the right approach to deal with it: varying or setting aside.

      You can read more about how to do this here:

      I hope that this gets resolved for you.


  • Tina Simpson

    Advice needed please.

    On 01-07-2014 I admitted a debt through the county court business centre in a case against myself and Mortimer Clarke Solicitors for Cabot Financial (UK)Ltd for an old credit card debit. I offered to make repayments at £1 a month prior to the case being registered and on the court paperwork at the time along with my income and expenditure sheet, but the company wouldn’t accept the payment as my outgoings were higher than my incomings. I was off sick having returned to study but had to withdraw due to a long term anxiety and depression condition. I wasn’t able to claim JSA at the time, and so had little income from maintenance and child benefit. The debt was from some time earlier when I had been employed but was released due to long term illness.

    They wrote a few weeks ago again stating that I could not afford the £1 repayment offered and demanded contact be made within 14 days. 14 days later they sent the same letter again – both I did not answer as I am current suffering from anxiety and depression and just cannot cope.

    Today I received a ‘judgement for claimant (acceptance)’ from the court accepting the £1 payment per month. dated 08-05 17.

    My question is can they apply for judgement nearly 3 years later, when they wouldn’t accept the £1 payment offered prior, during and after the original case was raised please? I have not made any payments as they said they would not accept them.

    The court document also states that if I pay the balance in full within one month, you can ask the court to cancel the entry on the register. Does that mean the entry is completely cancelled, or does one still have to declare having received a ccj if applying for any future credit, and if so, for how long please?

    Also, can anyone advice the cost of requesting a ‘Certification of Cancellation’ and explain what this certificate actually means for future credit applications please. I lost everything, but would one day like to try and get a mortgage again. I’m hoping returning to studies and gaining a BSc will help to make me employable again.

    Any advice would be gratefully received
    Thank you all 🙂

    • moneyaware

      Hello Tina

      Sorry to hear that you’re having issues with a CCJ and that you’re experiencing anxiety and depression. We’re here to help.

      In your case, I’d advise that you give us a call so we can discuss your situation in more detail. That way, we can look at your individual situation fully, check that you’re receiving the benefits you’re entitled to and give you proper support.

      From the information you’ve provided, the creditor pursued you in the County Court for a debt, and refused your offer off payment at the time as you couldn’t afford it. They have since contacted you directly to accept your payment offer, and now sent court forms to confirm this. You should only agree to this if you can afford to do so, and we’ll help you look at your current budget to ensure that you can.

      If you’re unable to pay anything at the moment you may be able to have it ‘set aside’:

      If you are able to pay the debt off in full now you can request that the CCJ be removed for £15 after you pay it, or you’re only able to pay the debt off in installments the CCJ will appear on your file for 6 years:

      We can provide you with free and impartial debt advice, the number you can call us on is: 0800 138 1111 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm)

      I hope that this helps,


    • moneyaware

      Hi there,

      Based on what you’ve said, it sounds like the creditor may not have gone ahead with the CCJ the first time around, back in 2014.

      It’s the decision of the creditor as to whether they’ll submit your completed paperwork and offer to the court for the judgment to go ahead, but I’d urge you to check this to make sure.

      You can check your credit file, the Registry Trust website, or contact the court or creditor directly to find out what the situation is. Our website has details of which credit reference agencies offer a free way to check your report:

      If the creditor didn’t submit paperwork last time, but have since decided to go ahead with a CCJ, they are usually allowed to do this. Once you’ve fallen behind or missed payments you’ll be in default, meaning further action can be taken through the court.

      If it turns out that the judgment has just been registered, you have one month from the date of judgment to repay the debt in full. If you do this, the CCJ won’t be registered on your credit file, and you won’t need to tell anyone about it.

      If you can’t afford to repay the debt, the CCJ will be registered on your credit file and this will show on credit searches and to other lenders in future applications. However, it’s important to remember that nothing on your credit file is permanent, and the maximum time items will show is for 6 years.

      The N443 ‘Application for a certificate of satisfaction/cancellation’ is only useful if you didn’t repay the debt within the one month period after the judgment was granted. The form is used to prove that you’ve paid a judgment in full, but you won’t need this if it was paid and never registered within the first month. The guidance notes on paying a CCJ explain this in more detail here:

      If you need any further help, or if you’re worried about the debt or how it might affect you, please feel free to get in touch with us by visiting our website at

      I hope this helps,