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County courts: how they work

The county court deals with civil matters, such as debt repayments and enforcing court judgments. It’s judgments are called county court judgments (CCJs).

County court cases

Most cases leading to a CCJ are between people or companies that believe the other side owes them money.

Claims are generally straightforward, and you won’t usually need a solicitor.

The county court can help you fill out the forms – but it won’t give you legal advice.

You can get that from organizations like the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Charities like StepChange Debt Charity can also give debt advice.

It costs to go to the county court, and these fees will be added to what you owe if a CCJ is made against you.

The County Court process

The process is fairly simple:

  • Receive notification As a defendant, you’ll get sent a form explaining what it’s claimed you owe.
  • Fill out form You fill out the appropriate court form, depending on whether you want to dispute or admit the claim.
  • Informal hearing (sometimes) In they event of a dispute, you’ll usually be asked to attend an informal hearing before a judge or district judge. This is heard in private.
  • Judgment After the hearing, you’re sent an order or judgment. This CCJ sets out the judge’s decision.

CCJs and credit

A CCJ will affect your chances of getting credit. So if you know you owe money, it’s best to repay it.

Despite claims by some credit repair firms, there is no way to remove CCJs once they’re on the register, unless you pay the judgment in full within one month.