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A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a court order issued in the lower courts of England and Wales when an individual or company fails to repay money owed to a creditor. Once a CCJ is issued, it can have significant implications for the debtor’s credit rating and financial future. A common question among those facing a CCJ is whether it expires and what happens to the record over time.

Immediate Payment within One Month

To start with we can say that if a debtor pays the full amount owed within one calendar month of the judgment being entered on the court record, they can have the CCJ removed from the Register of County Court Judgments.

This process ensures that the judgment does not appear on the debtor’s credit report, thereby minimizing any long-term negative impact. To have the judgment removed, the debtor must provide proof of payment to the court, which then notifies the credit reference agencies to update their records.

Payment after One Month

A CCJ will stay on the Register for six years from the date of the judgment unless it is settled within one month of that date.  This is a relatively short window of time in which to arrange funds and get the judgment paid.   

However, if the debtor pays the debt after this one-month window but before the six-year period ends, the status of the judgment can be updated to “satisfied” on the register. This update indicates that the debt has been paid in full, but the record of the judgment will still be visible to lenders and credit agencies until the six-year period lapses.

Impact on Credit Rating

Having a CCJ on your credit report can significantly affect your ability to obtain credit, secure loans, or even get a mortgage. Lenders view CCJs as a sign of financial instability or a history of not meeting debt obligations. Therefore, it’s in the debtor’s best interest to resolve the debt as quickly as possible to mitigate these effects.

What Happens After Six Years?

After six years from the date of the judgment, a CCJ will be automatically removed from the Register of County Court Judgments, irrespective of whether it has been paid or not. This removal can provide a fresh start for the debtor, as the judgment will no longer impact their credit rating directly. However, creditors can still pursue the debt through other means, such as applying for another court order, if the debt remains unpaid.

Importance of Addressing a CCJ Promptly

Addressing a CCJ promptly is crucial to minimizing its impact. Paying off the debt within one month can lead to the complete removal of the judgment from the register, preserving your credit score. Even if payment within one month is not possible, settling the debt as soon as you can will result in the judgment being marked as satisfied, which is more favourable than an unpaid status.

Summing Up

In summary, a County Court Judgment does not expire in the sense that it disappears on its own before six years. If paid within one month, it can be removed from the register entirely. If paid after one month but before six years, it will remain on the register but will be marked as satisfied.

After six years, the judgment will be removed from the register regardless of payment status. We can’t emphasize enough that It’s essential to address a CCJ situation promptly to reduce its negative impact on your financial standing and credit rating.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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