It is important that any correspondence received from the County Court is dealt with promptly. This should include taking proper legal advice when appropriate.
Usually, a creditor asks the County Court to make a county court judgment (CCJ) against a person who is refusing to pay their bill. The CCJ rules apply to court orders in England and Wales. There are different court system process in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Before starting CCJ proceedings, creditors are required to take certain steps including sending a warning letter about the debt, often referred to as a letter of claim.
A court claim for money can be responded to in one of the following ways:
- paying the full amount;
- paying only what you think you owe;
- defending the claim (if you don’t think you owe any money or you’ve already paid). This can also include making a counterclaim.
The letter or email from the court will include the final date by which you must respond. If you are defending the claim or paying only what you think you owe you can request an additional 14 days to respond. If you agree to pay the full amount you can make the claimant an offer to pay in instalments. If the claimant doesn’t accept your offer, the court will decide how you pay.
It can be detrimental to have an unpaid CCJ registered on your credit records. We would advise that every effort is taken to ensure that does not happen and to resolve the issue before a CCJ is issued. If you are issued with a CCJ and don’t make payment, creditors can take further enforcement action to get the money they are owed.