When you keep ignoring payment requests from creditors you owe, you are doing so at great risk. It can get you in many kinds of trouble, one of them being court action. Your creditors can start a proceeding against you at a County Court. Based on the details of your case, a decision will be taken as to how the money will be recovered from you. This is called a county court judgment or CCJ.
It is often the case that a debtor doesn’t find the decision to be agreeable, and isn’t satisfied either. If you find yourself in such a situation, there is a legal solution for you. If you have a good reason, you can have the judgment removed, or ‘set aside’ as it’s generally called. The information you find here will be helpful in setting aside a CCJ.
What exactly does it mean to set aside the judgment?
In simple terms, setting a CCJ aside means cancelling it. That means it would no longer be in effect, though it’s not as simple as it may sound. Now, you need to know how long do you have to set aside a judgement.
However, not everyone can have their CCJ set aside. There are certain conditions you’ll have to fulfil. Most importantly, you won’t succeed in it unless you have a good reason. Due to its significantly high cost, it would be better for you not to apply for setting aside a CCJ, without a strong cause. If need be, get professional advice on whether it would be a good option for you. It must be noted here that setting aside a judgment won’t write off the debt.
Can you apply for setting aside a CCJ (County Court Judgment)?
As you know, the option of setting aside a CCj is not available in all cases. There are specific conditions where you can avail this option. Here are the cases where you can apply to set aside the judgment:
The court has made an error in the judgment
One of the strongest reasons to apply would be if there has been any kind of error made. In such a case, you can and must apply to set aside the judgment, and it has a great chance at being accepted.
The action that was taken by the court wasn’t according to the rules
Sometimes, you might find that the action taken by the court was against one or multiple rules. In that case, the option of having the judgment put aside would be available to you.
You didn’t get the chance to put a defence to the money claim
As you might know, you can put a defence to the money claim that your creditor sends you through the county court. It can often be the case that the judgment is made before the debtor gets a chance to put a defence to the claim.
In such cases, you can apply to set aside the county court judgment. If it gets accepted, you’ll get another chance to put up a good defence. If all goes well, you won’t have to face a CCJ again. That in turn would prevent any damage to your credit score.
You were not present when the CCJ was made
Under certain circumstances, the CCJ might be passed when you were not present. In such a case, you have the right to disagree with the judgment. As such, it is quite a good reason to request the court to remove it. If you have faced such a situation, this option is open to you. An example of this case would be when a debtor is unable to attend the hearing for some reason. Though you must have a good reason for it, otherwise your application for setting the judgment aside would be rejected. Also, you should apply within two weeks after the CCJ is made.
Will your application to set aside the judgment be accepted?
Even though you can apply for it in the cases mentioned above, the court won’t necessarily accept to set the CCJ aside. They will only do so for sure in some specific cases. If they have passed the judgment after you put in your defence within the time limit, they’ll have to put it aside. The same goes for when you have sent the reply or acknowledgement of service form.
Also, if you have already paid the total amount you owe before the CCJ, the court must accept your application to have it set aside. In addition to the cases that have been mentioned, the court might also sometimes set aside a judgment if you haven’t put up a defence within the time given.
For that, they have to be convinced that you’ll be able to defend the claims of your creditors successfully. Sometimes, the court might also find some other reason to accept the application. This includes the situation where you miss the court hearing before the CCJ.
How do you apply for a set-aside?
Just like in the case of defending a money claim, you can apply with a general application form for setting aside a CCJ. You’ll have to contact the court regarding this matter and provide all the information they ask from you in addition to those already asked in the form. You can also get some advice and help regarding this matter from them.
A debt advisory service will also be able to provide you with all the details you need. In case, you missed the hearing where the CCJ was made, keep in mind that you have to submit the form within two weeks.
What information would be asked from you in the application form?
In the general application form, you’ll be required to fill up all the important information related to the case. First, you must remember to put the information about your creditors and the claim number. Your creditors would be the ‘claimant’, so you have to tick on the box labelled as ‘defendant’.
You would also have to specify the request you want to make to the court, in this case setting aside a CCJ. It will also ask you if you’d prefer the court to look at your application at a hearing. You can also specify if you want to send a copy of this application to anyone.
You should also attach any proof that is useful for your defence to this form. Tick on the box saying that you find the information attached to be reliable. In the end, you’ll have to put your signature on the form. Submit it as soon as you can after you fill it. It is advisable not to make any unnecessary delays as the court would ask you the reason behind that.
Is it possible to stop the action taken by Enforcement Agents?
An important concern you might have is whether the action taken by enforcement agencies keeps going on during the procedure. In that case, you must keep in mind that it won’t stop before the CCJ is put aside unless you request that. You can mention in the application form that you want the enforcement action to stop until the hearing.