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How to Obtain a County Court Judgment (CCJ) for Money Owed

If you’re owed money, costs, or rent, and the person who owes you hasn’t paid, obtaining a County Court Judgment (CCJ) can be an effective way to secure payment. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to navigate the court process in England and Wales to get a CCJ against the debtor.

Step 1 |  Follow the Pre-Action Debt Protocol

Before you start the court process, you must follow the Pre-Action Debt Protocol. This protocol is designed to encourage communication and potentially resolve the issue without going to court. Here are the key steps |

1. Send a Letter Before Claim |  Write to the debtor explaining the amount owed, the reason for the debt, and how it can be paid. Include a deadline for payment, typically 14 days.

2. Provide Evidence |  Include copies of any relevant documents, such as invoices or contracts.

3. Allow Time for Response |  The debtor should be given a reasonable time to respond to your letter. If they acknowledge the debt and propose a repayment plan, consider whether this is acceptable to you.

If the debtor doesn’t respond or you can’t reach an agreement, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2 |  Issue a County Court Claim Online

You can use the Money Claim Online (MCOL) service to issue a county court claim. This service is a convenient way to start the legal process without having to visit a court in person. Here’s how |

1. Register on MCOL |  Create an account on the Money Claim Online website.

2. Submit Your Claim |  Provide details of the debt, including the amount owed, the reason for the claim, and any interest you’re claiming. Pay the applicable court fee.

3. Serve the Claim |  Once you submit your claim, the court will send a copy to the debtor, who will have 14 days to respond.

Step 3 |  Obtain a Judgment in Default

If the debtor does not respond to the claim within 14 days (or 28 days if they acknowledge the claim but do not defend it), you can request a “judgment in default.” This means the court will decide in your favour without a hearing, resulting in a CCJ against the debtor.

1. Request the Judgment |  Log into your MCOL account and request a judgment in default.

2. Receive the CCJ |  The court will issue the judgment, confirming the amount the debtor owes you.

Step 4 |  If the Claim is Defended

If the debtor responds to the claim and decides to defend it, the process becomes more complex. Here’s what to expect |

1. Defendant’s Response |  The debtor submits their defence, explaining why they believe they do not owe the money.

2. Allocation Questionnaire |  Both parties may need to complete this form to help the court decide how to handle the case.

3. Case Management |  The court will review the case and may set a date for a hearing.

Step 5 |  Prepare for a Hearing

If the claim is defended, a court hearing will be scheduled. Here’s how to prepare |

1. Gather Evidence |  Collect all documents and evidence supporting your claim, such as contracts, invoices, and communication records.

2. Consider Legal Support |  Given the complexity of defended claims, you may benefit from legal support to present your case effectively.

3. Attend the Hearing |  Present your case to the judge, who will then decide which party wins.

Step 6 |  Enforcing the Judgment

Whether you obtain a judgment in default or after a hearing, once you have a CCJ, you can take steps to enforce it if the debtor still doesn’t pay. Enforcement options include |

  • High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) |  Transfer your judgment to the High Court for faster and more effective enforcement.
  • Warrant of Control |  Request a County Court bailiff to collect the debt.
  • Attachment of Earnings |  Deduct the debt from the debtor’s wages.
  • Charging Order |  Secure the debt against the debtor’s property.

Shergroup Legal and Enforcement Services

At Shergroup, we offer a comprehensive service to help you through every step of this process. Shergroup Legal can take care of all the legal steps from the start of a claim, including fulfilling the obligations under the Pre-Action Debt Protocol. Once you obtain a judgment, if the debt is over £600, the case can move to Shergroup Enforcement to ensure payment is enforced effectively.

Summing Up

Navigating the court process to obtain a CCJ can be straightforward if the claim is not defended, but it becomes more complex if the debtor disputes it. Following the Pre-Action Debt Protocol, using the Money Claim Online service, and understanding your enforcement options are key steps in securing the money owed to you.

At Shergroup Enforcement, we can provide the support and expertise you need to enforce your CCJ effectively. For more information or assistance, contact us today.

For a no-obligation view on how best to get your county court order for possession, please upload your documents on our website at We will review your case and provide our expert opinion and timeline on how to get your order enforced effectively.

Don’t let delays and unresponsive courts hold you back. Contact Shergroup Enforcement today and let us help you escape the frustrations of dealing with County Court bailiffs. Our team is ready to provide the support and expertise you need to resolve your issues promptly and effectively.

Get in Touch

Contact Shergroup’s Business Solutions Advisors on 0203 588 4240 or email us at [email protected] to discuss the strategy for your claim. Let’s work together to turn your enforcement challenges into success stories.

Stay connected with us on social media and follow our latest updates and success stories. Use the hashtags below to join the conversation and learn more about our services |

  • #highcourtenforcement
  • #shergroup
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  • #bailiffs
  • #possession
  • #landlords
  • #eviction

At Shergroup, we are committed to providing exceptional enforcement services that meet your needs. Contact us today and experience the difference of a team that talks to you about your case and cares about the outcome.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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