The official statutory Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines is a public register containing details of individuals with a county court judgment (CCJ) or a high court judgment (HCJ) issued against them. The Registry Trust manages the register on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, and they also maintain similar registers for Northern Ireland and Scotland.
While it might seem daunting, there is a way to remove your details from the register without impacting your credit score.
This article will examine the register, the consequences of being on it, and explore what can be done to mitigate the effects.
CCJs and HCJs
Creditors apply for judgments when people or businesses fail to pay their debts as part of the debt collection process.
If the court finds an outstanding debt due, they’ll issue a judgment claim form explaining how much you owe, the deadline you have to pay, how to pay, and who to pay.
Typically judgments will give you the option of paying in full or setting up a repayment plan – this involves negotiating with your creditors.
If you receive a CCJ or HCJ through the post, you must respond within 14 days. Failure to do so can result in the courts imposing a repayment plan outside of your means.
This can spiral you into further debt and result in more court action being taken against you.
What Details Are on The Register?
The register holds a record of the following information:
- Your full name
- Your last known address
- Your date of birth
- The date of your judgment
- The claim number of your judgment
- The sum of debt you owe
- The status of the judgment
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How Long Are Details Kept On The Register?
Any CCJs or HCJs will stay on the register and your credit report for six years from the date it was issued.
Judgments will remain even if you pay your debt in full. They can make it tough to get credit or borrow money, and it will raise interest rates on any credit you can get.
However, the judgment will be removed from your credit report if you pay your debt within one month.
Apply for a certificate of satisfaction/cancellation with the court if you do so for a small fee.
Once the court approves that you’ve paid your debt off, the judgment will then be removed from the register.
Is There Any Way To Remove My Details From The Register?
If you pay off your debt within one month of receiving a CCJ/HCJ, you can apply to remove it from the register.
All you need to do is apply for a certificate of satisfaction and provide proof of payment (using governmental form N443).
The court will contact the Registry Trust, who will remove your details from the register. It will be as though it never existed.
If you pay your debt off after one month, your details will remain on the register for six years, but you can still apply for a certificate of satisfaction.
This will change the judgment status to “satisfied,” which can make a difference if you choose to apply for credit within the time your details are on the register.
If you receive a “default judgment” CCJ/HCJ (issued when someone doesn’t respond to a claim), you can apply to have it cancelled or “set aside” using form N244.
You must be able to prove that you were either not aware of the judgment, that it was issued in error, or that you had a valid reason to miss the judgment hearing.
Setting aside the judgment will remove it from the register. However, it doesn’t clear your debts and only cancels the judgment.
You will still be required to pay your creditors, but now you have another opportunity to fill out the judgment claim form.
If you fail to acknowledge this new judgment form, you will have another default judgment entered against you.
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How Will Being on the Register Impact Me?
Having your details on the register will affect your credit rating. Money judgments are visible on your credit report, and any credit reference agencies will take them into account when they assess your eligibility for credit. To lenders, it can show that you are a risk and can make applying for a mortgage or a credit card a tough prospect.
It’s not uncommon for people to only find out about default county court judgments when applying for new lines of credit, sometimes years after they were issued.
The register of Judgments, Orders and Fines is a public online database, granting anyone immediate access to view your judgment after a CCJ/HCJ is issued.
Employers and landlords may use it to assess your monetary dependability.
A Recap on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines
The register holds details on people with CCJs and HCJs. Being listed on it will affect your credit rating, but if you act quickly and settle your debts within one month, the impact will be reduced.
If you can’t pay your debts immediately, your details will be available for six years from the issue date.
It’s worth paying your debt off if you can afford to, as having a judgment marked as satisfied will improve your eligibility for other credit.