A Guide to County Court Judgments

It is an unfortunate fact of life that many business owners may find themselves in the situation where they must consider making a claim through the courts. This article will tell you everything you need to know about county court claims and county court judgments.
Making a CCJ claim

If you decide to take this course of action, say in order to recover a debt, or chase payment for a bounced cheque, then you (now considered the Claimant) can go forth and issue a claim. Remember that at this point, you will have to pay a fee towards the amount of the claim, which is really the first step in the burden of responsibility that will be placed upon you. You may also be required to make court appearances, and keep deadlines along the way; if you do not keep up with these, your claim may be dismissed.
Legal fees

The defendant will then have 14 days to respond to the court claim. If your claim is successful yet the defendant does not pay up, you may have to fork out for an extra fee towards enforcing the judgment via bailiffs or other options. Extra court fees such as court orders will cost GBP 50, but further steps can cost GBP 100 each. If this is unsuccessful, you may also have to contribute quite a bit towards legal fees for the other side.

Legal fees are an important issue; claims all the way up to GBP 10,000 are generally heard in what's known as the Small Claims Court, meaning fees are capped. However, claims over GBP 10,000 are usually moved to the County Court where legal fees can be charged in full. It is not unheard of for fees to reach over GBP 2,000; something to consider before filing your claim.
Is it worth issuing a Summons?

In some cases you may get judgment, but it could be a pyrrhic victory if the other party does not have the money to pay. It may well be worth the cost of a credit check first, to establish whether the company already has other unsatisfied CCJs, and if they have filed accounts, how their financial resources appear. Our service enables you to check first - click here to check any UK company for CCJs and more.
Duration of CCJs

You can enforce the debt you are owed any time after the judgment has occurred, but bear in mind that registration of judgment debt comes to an end after six years; if this happens, a Warrant of Execution (sounds rather severe) is issued by the District Judge.
What is the Register of County Court Judgments?

This is a register which is operated by Registry Trust Limited, and keeps a record of judgments against your debtors name. This effectively makes it very difficult for said debtor to obtain credit, for example for a mortgage or car loan.
It is not an actual method of enforcement, but it is a deterrent and the system can even alert a claimant resulting in payment for the creditor. 

If you decide to use the Register of County Court Judgments, you have the advantage of being able to tell whether a judgment debtor has a bit of a dodgy history. Of course, if the judgment debtor decides to pay for a judgment, this will also show up on the register as satisfied which is really to the advantage of the debtor.
Different types of judgments which can be registered

Any judgment where the judgment debtor has not responded to the claim.

A judgment which follows a hearing, and is payable via instalments

A judgment where the money is still outstanding, and the judgment credit has issued either enforcement or, in some cases, oral examination.

Registration is then cancelled if judgment has been set aside, and marked satisfied due to the amount being paid in full. A further GBP 10 fee is required for a certificate of satisfaction.
Collecting your payment

If you are still having trouble enforcing your judgment, you can always ask the court to hire bailiffs in order to collect your money. You can do this by filling in a warrant of execution form, or using Money Claim Online. The bailiff will usually ask for the payment within the week, and depending on how the debtor responds, things can progress from there. 

You can also ask for money to be deducted from wages, via the court, by filling in an attachment of earnings order. The court can send an order to the persons employer (if they have one) to deduct the money from their wages. 

The court can freeze a persons bank or building society business account. If you want to do this, you need to fill in a third party debt order. The court reserves the final decision on whether the debt can be paid this way. 

You can fill in a charging order, thereby allowing the court to charge the individual's land or property. If this is later sold, the charge must be paid before they can receive their money.
Checking for CCJs

Before you do business a credit check from First Report can uncover previous CCJs as well as indicating the overall financial status of the business, and of course, we provide clear credit limit guidelines. To run a credit check on any UK company or business simply search online.

The County Court process is a central element in the debt recovery procedure, as well as providing records to help identify potential problem customers before you extend them credit.

See more credit tips and information.


In using this service you agree to the Terms and Conditions

© 2024 First Report Ltd