All records of County Court Judgments (CCJ) are held in the Registry of Judgments, Orders and Fines are automatically destroyed after six years for both paid and unpaid debts.
If you don’t want to wait that long there are certain circumstances where you might be able to have the entry changed or removed.
You don’t owe the debt
If you feel you don’t owe the debt, you can ask the court to re-open the case against you. You must show you have a genuine legal reason that you do not owe the money.
The first thing you would need to do is contact the court and ask them to set aside the CCJ either by using form N244, or by letter. In most cases, you will be charged a fee for this. Acting quickly will give you more chance of being successful provided you have a justifiable reason.
If the court agrees with your request to set aside the CCJ, you will have the chance to put forward your case. If the court finds you don’t owe the money, it will remove the CCJ from the Registry of Judgments, Orders and Fines. It will usually take around three to four weeks to complete this.
You pay off the debt within one month of receiving the CCJ
If you pay back the debt in full within one month of the date of the CCJ, you can apply to the Registry of Judgments, Orders and Fines to have the entry removed.
You would need to obtain a certificate from the court to say you’ve paid off the debt. This will cost £15 but if you’re on a low income, the fee can be reduced or waived.
If an entry is removed from the Register, all credit reference agencies will be notified and they will update the information held on you and remove the CCJ from your record.
You pay the debt more than one month after receiving the CCJ
If you pay the debt you owe in full more than a month after receiving the CCJ, you can apply to have the Register changed. You need to obtain a certificate from the court to say that you have paid the debt in full.
This will cost you £15 but the fee can be reduced or waived if you’re on a low income. The entry will not be removed, but a note will be made against it to show that the debt has been paid. This is known as satisfied.
If a record in the Register is changed, all the credit reference agencies are informed and will alter the information held on you.
Details of the CCJ will be kept for six years from the date of the judgement, but their records will show the debt has been paid. This may make it easier for you to obtain credit with some lenders.
Paying a credit repair company to clear your debt record
Credit repair companies claim to be able to clear debt records, usually by applying to cancel a CCJ.
This approach is often expensive and does have an element of risk, so act on the side of caution when considering a credit repair company.