Most people will first find out they have a CCJ when the courts judgment comes through the post. It will detail;
- How much you owe
- How to pay (in full or in instalments)
- The deadline for paying
- Who to pay
- What the CCJ is for
If you are still unclear however, it will leave you asking ‘How do I find out what my CCJ is for?’
Alternatively, you may never have received this letter. Instead you might have found out you have a CCJ against your name when an employer, bank, utilities company or landlord ran a credit check against you. This will likely have resulted in an embarrassing conversation when they told you your application for a job, loan, mortgage or rental property has been declined due to the unknown CCJ.
According to our Managing Director Luke Memory, “Over 80% of the CCJ enquires we receive are from people who had no idea they had one against their name. They usually have a very uncomfortable experience finding out when applying for finance. The true tragedy here is not necessarily the initial embarrassment of the situation, but the larger impacts on their lives”
He goes on to say, “People almost always seek finance to enable an extremely important life changing event. Sadly this usually involves children. From applying for a mortgage to get into a desired school catchment area, to seeking a loan to fund a once in a lifetime family holiday”.
But why not just pay the CCJ and move on?
Why is it so important you ask the question ‘How do I find out what my CCJ is for?’
Well firstly paying a CCJ does not mean it’s gone. It will stay on your credit report for 6 years, impacting your ability to successfully apply for finance such as a mortgage or loan. Furthermore, some employers in the finance and IT sector will refuse a job application if they see you have a CCJ against your name. In fact you might have already experienced this as mentioned above.
Secondly, the terms of paying the debt might be overly aggressive as the claimant tries to recover their debt as quickly as possible. In some cases you can gain a more favourable payment term. The full debt will still need to be paid but it might you can agree a new payment plan over a longer period providing smaller monthly instalments.
Finally, in rare cases you might not even own the money meaning that rather than paying the debt, you need to challenge it and have it cancelled (the technical term is ‘set aside’). You might even have heard the recent case against Boris Johnson that was later found to be ‘without merit’ by the court.
Now we know why it’s important to find out where a CCJ came from, let’s get back to answering your original question, ‘How do I find out what my CCJ is for?’
Finding out where a CCJ came from
Depending on how you found out about your CCJ will determine how much information you have. There are two options here.
Firstly you can contact the issuing county court to question the judgment further. You will need the reference number quoted on your judgement letter to do this.
If you didn’t receive this judgement letter however, it can be difficult to identify the issuing county court and get around the issue of your reference letter. This is typically where the second option is better.
An agency like Lender & Court can work on your behalf to contact both the county court and the claimant. There are a few advantages to this approach;
- Less hassle for you
- We understand the process so can act much faster (how quickly you respond to a CCJ influences a judge’s decision to remove a CCJ and agree new terms)
- At the same time as finding out the reason for the CCJ, we’ll gather more information from the claimant that will aid your case, further speeding up the process
- We have relationships with many of the most common claimants so have a better understanding of how to best deal with them to get the optimum result for you
- Accurate and sound advice on your best course of action based on years of experience in dealing with CCJ’s and getting them set aside
Whilst this second approach does carry a fee, resolving the issue the right way can save you far more hassle in the future. For example, a mortgage lender might enforce higher interest rates due to your CCJ. Typically these costs far outweigh our fixed fee costs.
Now you know where your CCJ came from, what next?
Now you know where the CCJ came from you’ve answered your original question of ‘how do I find out what my CCJ is for’, but what you do next is just as critical. Especially as you’ll be working against the clock to get the issue resolved or things will get much worse!
We’ve written a whole article on how to get a CCJ removed, but the core principle is you will need to attend a court hearing to present your case. As with finding out where the CCJ came from, you have two options here; do it yourself or engage with an agency like Lender & Court.
Doing it yourself is certainly cheaper but the court (and more importantly claimant) will not go easy on you just because you’ve never done this before.
You will be expected to follow court etiquette, to follow procedure, and present your case in a way that best defends your position. Furthermore, the claimant will be given an opportunity to respond and you will be expected to fight your corner if you’re going to get the best outcome.
A final consideration of representing yourself is if the judgement doesn’t go in your favour. In this instance the claimant can raise another invoice requesting you pay for their time in court and any associated costs. For these reasons we always warn people against taking the perceived cheaper option of doing it yourself as the reality is it can end up costing you a lot more in time, money and effort.
Don’t let all of the above scare you though. You’ve already started in the right way simply by asking ‘how do I find out what my CCJ is for’ rather than accepting the judgement at face value.