Being informed that a creditor is taking legal action against you for a debt in the form of a CCJ can be daunting.
But if you believe it has been issued in error or the correct process wasn’t followed, you may be able to get it cancelled or ‘set aside’ by filling in an N244 form.
What is an N244 form?
An N244 form is an application notice you can submit to the court if you want to request a court hearing for a particular matter, such as getting a ccj set aside or an enforcement notice suspended.
N244 forms are not to be confused with N245 forms which, though similar, are used when you want to request changes to an existing payment schedule.
What is a CCJ?
A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a type of court order that a creditor may take out against you in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland if you have repeatedly failed to repay a debt.
It essentially means the court agrees with your creditor and has ordered you to repay the full amount you owe straightaway or in instalments.
Most creditors will try to recover the money they are owed through other means before resorting to legal action. You will also receive a letter in the post giving you time to repay what you owe before a CCJ is issued.
If you ignore a CCJ, it will still be enforced. But with no chance to explain your financial situation, you might be forced to make repayments at a rate you can’t afford.
When would I need an N244 form?
There are various circumstances where you’d have good reason to ask for a CCJ to be set aside.
However, you must have a good reason for requesting the judgment be set aside and be prepared to provide proof if necessary.
Once a CCJ has been successfully set aside, it will also be removed from your credit report.
You missed a court hearing
If you were issued a CCJ because you missed a court hearing, you can ask for the judgment to be set aside and for a new court hearing to be set.
The sooner you submit an N244 form, the better your chances are of successfully defending your claim.
The creditor didn’t follow the correct procedure
If, at any stage, the creditor didn’t follow the correct procedure when issuing you with a CCJ, you can apply to get the judgment set aside.
The court must agree that a crucial step was missed or not communicated to you for your application notice to be approved.
You failed to submit court papers before the deadline
You might have been served with a CCJ because you failed to submit court papers, such as the claim form, on time.
But because it is up to the creditor to ensure you are sent the right documents, this might not be your fault and could be grounds for getting the judgment set aside.
The debt is statute barred
If you can prove the debt was statute barred at the time the CCJ was issued, you can apply to get it set aside.
This will apply if, at the time, the debt was over six years old and hadn’t been acknowledged or paid in that time.
How do I submit an N244 form?
Submitting an N244 form is fairly straightforward but there are some steps you must follow to ensure your application has every chance of success.
Fill in the N244 form
First, you must fill in an N244 form. This can be obtained from the court that issued your CCJ or downloaded from the government website.
Some of the information you must provide includes:
- The name of the court where the hearing will take place
- Your claim number
- Your contact details
- Your warrant number (this can be found on the enforcement notice)
- Details of your trial date (if applicable)
- How you want the application dealt with (in person, at a telephone hearing, or without a hearing)
- The purpose of the application notice (to get a CCJ set aside)
- The level of judge you require (district judge, master judge, or judge)
If you don’t know the answer to a question, it is better to leave it blank or seek expert help than guess.
Include supporting information
The court will expect you to submit supporting documents alongside your N244 form to strengthen your case.
For example, copies of bank statements and financial statements can be included alongside your N244 form to strengthen your case and improve your chances of your application notice being approved. If you have a witness statement or statement of case, it should be attached to your N244 form.
Alternatively, supporting information can be written in the box provided. When you do this, you must also sign a signature box known as a statement of truth.
Make copies of your N244 form
Before you send your completed N244 form to the court, you must make copies.
This can help you keep a record of the information you have provided and ensure you have a spare in the event you want to send a copy to your solicitor or legal representative.
Submit your N244 form
Once you have filled in your N244 form, included any supporting information, and made copies, you are ready to send your completed form to the court with the £274 court fee enclosed.
You must also inform your creditor that you have submitted the N244 form.
Depending on the seriousness of your situation, some N244 forms can be processed within 24 hours.
Typically, the more information you provide, the sooner your application notice can be processed by the court office.
How much does an N244 form cost?
There is a fee of £275 to pay to send an N244 form. However, the court may waive this fee if you are unemployed or on a low income.
It is also worth remembering that court fees can change from time to time. Always do your research and check how much current fees are before submitting forms to the court.