The CCJ Register Explained
A County Court Judgement (CCJ) is a court order that is sometimes issued against a borrower who is unable to repay their debts. It is one method that creditors can use to try and recoup money from someone who has failed to pay back a loan. If a CCJ is issued against you, it will be recorded, with some exceptions, on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines (previously known as the Register of County Court Judgments).
Below we explain what this register is, who uses it and what you might need to know if you find yourself on it.
What is the CCJ Register?
The Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines (sometimes referred to simply as ‘the CCJ Register’) is a public register, part of which contains details on people that have had County Court Judgments issued against them. It is maintained by The Registry Trust, on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, and is available to search online.
The register contains the name and address of the individual concerned, as well as the case and court number of the particular order. It will also include the sum of money involved and once the case has been resolved, it will be updated to also include this fact. The register does not hold any information on the claimant, this is only available to the defendant, via the court that issued the judgment.
If payment is made within one month of the judgment, all details will be removed from the register. CCJs can also be cancelled or ‘set aside’, if it can be shown that it was issued in error or if it can be proven that the defendant was not aware of the CCJ, for example, because of a missing letter. It is also possible to make repayments in instalments, rather than as a lump sum.
Who can access the register?
The register can be accessed by anyone via the Registry Trust Limited website, where you can search for the details of other people or check your own record of CCJs. The type of people that might want to search the register include landlords, who want to check that a prospective tenant does not have a history of not paying back their debts.
It could also be used in a business setting, if a company is hiring a new employee they might use the register for research or they might want to check out the financial record of a new supplier or customer. Conversely, if someone is offered a job at a new company, they might want to check if the firm is reputable by looking into any history of CCJs.
You might also want to search the register to check your own details, either to verify that all information is correct or if you are planning on applying for credit. It can be useful to review any history that might worry potential lenders.
How long are CCJs recorded for?
As mentioned above, if the money owed is paid within the first month or the judgment is ‘set aside’, it will be removed from the register. In other cases, it will remain on record for six years from the date of judgment, meaning even once you have paid back the money, anyone searching the register will see that you have had a CCJ issued against you.
Once the CCJ has been paid in full, it is possible to obtain what is known as a “certificate of satisfaction”, although this won’t remove details of the CCJ from the register, it will show that it has been paid off. There is no way to remove a CCJ, other than ones listed above (or waiting for six years), so beware of any claims from organisations that imply they can ‘clean up’ or ‘repair’ your CCJ record.
If you are concerned about your credit history and how it might affect your chances of getting credit, you can read more about factors that affect your credit score.
This article was updated on 2 October 2020; all information was correct at the time of writing.
For up-to-date information, regularly check the gov.uk website.
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