A County Court Judgment, or CCJ, as it’s known, is a judgment against you for a debt you haven’t paid for some reason. In Scotland, it will be called a “decree”; different name, same problems.
It doesn’t matter how trivial it seems, it can have a huge impact on your life.
A CCJ can be for a ridiculously small amount of money. A few quid even. Forget to pay for parking? Maybe a ticket machine was out of order? When you read the carpark signage – which of course you did; we all read all the signs when we park our car, don’t we? – and didn’t pay, you broke the contract’s terms. So now the car park management has the legal power to make you pay – and that’s when the CCJ chaos begins
You might not even know there’s is a CCJ against your name.
Think that’s ridiculous? Yes, so do we, but it happens all the time.
You’re notified about your CCJ by post, so if you change address or it goes to the wrong address, it might not find you.
And that’s your nightmare. Because as far as the court knows, you owe money and you’re not paying. And the details of the CCJ are all about you, and not about the person to whom you allegedly owe the money.
So it’s your problem, not theirs.
A CCJ stays on your record for six years.
YES – SIX YEARS.
It affects your credit score and credit report – find out more about this here – so applying for a mortgage or any kind of finance becomes tough going. A landlord might check your credit report to see if you’re a safe bet as a tenant. A CCJ might even stop you getting your new job, crazy though this may seem.
Pay the amount due in full within a month and it’s like the CCJ never existed: your name is removed from the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines which you can find here.) The court needs to know you’ve paid your debt, or you still have a problem. (It’s the responsibility of the person to whom you owed the money to alert them – so ask them to confirm with you that this has actually happened, or you won’t be taken off the Register.)