Wondering what happens if you don’t make payments towards a CCJ? This article explains what happens if a CCJ is not paid and if you ignore a CCJ.
I can’t afford to pay the CCJ, what can I do?
This may depend on the previous situation with the Judgment and your ability to pay now. A County Court Judgment (CCJ) with a monthly payment that has become unaffordable, perhaps after a change of circumstance, can be varied by filling in a form and asking the court to vary the amount that needs to be paid. The N245, listing your income and daily living costs, would show how much you can afford to pay.
If the court agrees they can vary the order to an affordable amount. If the court has already determined the amount, then you may need to ask for a re-determination. However, there may be other options for dealing with this debt, even after a CCJ, and additional information would be needed to see if there is a better method. For this, it would be best to go through the details with a free debt adviser and identify the type and size of debt that is in difficulty.
A debt adviser will offer advice about government-approved debt help that can help stop creditor pressure, freeze interest and charges and write off up to 90% unsecured debt.
What happens if I don’t pay a CCJ?
A CCJ does not mean that bailiffs will automatically call at the property. If you do not respond to the CCJ in some way then there may be a time when a further request for action is asked for. One of the main consequences of not paying a CCJ will be sending enforcement officers. The enforcement officers could attend your property. They could be seeking an attachment of earnings, or to secure against a property, depending on your circumstances.
If the debt is dealt with by an acceptable monthly offer of payment they may see no need in taking further action. If they do decide to use enforcement officers to recover the debt then their powers are limited to gaining peaceful entry. They can attend a property to seek the full payment of the debt or to list the goods belonging to the person named on the court order.
After doing this they can return at a later date and take those goods to sell if the debt has not been dealt with. If you do not allow them access to the property then they are unable to list any of your belongings that are inside the property but if you have a vehicle they may seize the vehicle. If you are unable to respond to the CCJ with a satisfactory payment arrangement then you should contact a free debt advice charity and see what options may be available to you.
What happens if I ignore a CCJ?
Once you have a CCJ awarded against you there are more serious implications than with other debts. If you ignore a CCJ, bailiffs are just one method a creditor can use.
The main consequence of bailiff action is the addition of large costs to the debt. Every time the bailiff calls, there are fees and costs added to the debt. It is possible to keep a bailiff out of your home but they will not go away. If they do gain entry to your home they will seize goods to the value of the debt. Plus to cover their costs, for sale at auction.
The creditors have other options they can follow. If they decide to take an attachment of earnings order against you they will contact your employer and demand payment directly from your wages.
If you are a homeowner they can secure the debt on your house. In some instances, they can continue to add interest to the debt. CCJs do not expire as other debts do. The creditor can apply to a court to pursue one of these actions in the future. Ignoring a CCJ is never a good idea. You need to get some advice about the best way forward. There are some procedures such as IVAs and administration orders which can help you. For more information, please with our article on the differences between a CCJ and an IVA.
Please note, you can have a CCJ set aside for several reasons. You can also apply to have the payments varied to an affordable amount.
If you’re struggling with debt, it’s important to be aware that approved debt relief could help you better manage your monthly finances and write off up to 90% of unsecured debt. You should find support from an approved debt adviser to discover more.
Can creditors contact me after I have made full payment to the CCJ?
If you are paying the Judgement in accordance with the terms and see no purpose in these continuing letters. You should write a letter of complaint about the letters and charges being applied. In the first instance, you could write a letter of complaint about the charges and if you are unhappy with the response you are able to escalate your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
CCJ is not in my name, why am I being chased?
You should not be liable for a CCJ in someone else’s name. If you receive letters about the CCJ, you can seal the envelopes and send them back. Also, include a note that says this person no longer lives here. If someone knocks on your door asking to speak to someone who does not live at your house then simply tell them that the person does not live here. A bailiff will not turn up and break down your door. They will knock and ask for the person named on the documents. You could always show an enforcement officer a copy of relevant information. Perhaps proof that you are not the person they are looking for.
You should also read this article on the differences between a CCJ and bankruptcy.