Do You Have to Declare a CCJ After 6 Years?

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Overview:

This guide looks at the time limits surrounding declaring County Court Judgments (CCJs) in detail. We’ll look at how long CCJs stay on your credit file, what the law says about CCJs, and rare occasions when you might have to declare a CCJ – even beyond the normal 6-year period.

When a CCJ becomes 6 years old, it will be wiped from your credit file and the public record, so lenders will not be able to see any evidence of it. As such, you are not obliged to tell a lender about a CCJ that is no longer on your record. However, if you’re specifically asked whether you have ever had a CCJ, it is important to be honest, regardless of timescales, as failing to answer questions honestly could be seen as a misrepresentation of facts or even fraud.

Do County Court Judgments get removed after 6 years?

In short, yes – a County Court Judgment will almost always be removed from your credit report and the official Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines 6 years after it was issued. This 6-year limit applies whether you’ve paid the debt off in full, paid it partially, or not made any payment at all.

In some rare cases, a CCJ may be extended by the court – and this is more likely if no payments have been made. If the lender you owe money to wants to have a CCJ extended, they will have to present a very strong case to the court for why the money has not been recovered in the 6-year period.

Since a CCJ can negatively affect a person’s chance of getting a mortgage, loan, credit card, mobile phone contract, or even a bank account, having it removed from a debtor’s credit record will usually make a big difference to the person’s credit rating and increasing their chances of being approved for these kinds of credit agreements.

So there’s no need to declare a CCJ after 6 years?

Since a CCJ will typically be completely removed from your credit report and the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines after 6 years, there’s usually no need to declare it to lenders.

When lenders go to credit reference agencies to assess your credit rating, they won’t see the CCJ after 6 years, and it will have no impact on your credit score when it’s gone – so there’s effectively no trace of it. Because of these limitations, lenders are usually only interested in how you’ve handled your finances in the last 6 years.

What if I’m asked about my financial history beyond 6 years?

The only time you might have to declare an expired CCJ is if you’re asked about your wider financial history.

For example, if an employer, a lender, or a public official asks if you have ever had a CCJ, it would be untrue to say you haven’t, even if the CCJ has been removed from your credit file and the public register. Although the old CCJ isn’t likely to affect any decision made about you, it could be considered a misrepresentation (or possibly even fraud) not to declare it on official paperwork.

It’s important to understand that it’s extremely unlikely that a lender will be interested in your financial history beyond the last 6 years. If they do ask, you’re also perfectly entitled to ask why the person or company wants to know about your financial history beyond this point and potentially seek professional advice if you feel you’re being unfairly treated for a court order that no longer applies.

Will the money owed be written off after the CCJ is removed from my credit file?

While a CCJ will be removed from a debtor’s credit history after 6 years, whether it’s paid or not, this doesn’t stop the debt from being enforced.

Many debts will become ‘statute-barred debt’ after 6 years. This means that if there’s no contact between you and the lender for 6 years, the lender isn’t able to seek legal action to try to force you to make a repayment. This time limit applies to credit agreements regulated by the Consumer Credit Act (1974) and most unsecured debts – things like personal loans, credit cards, and overdrafts – as well as outstanding council tax debts and benefits overpayments.

However, when a CCJ is issued, this changes how the debt is considered in the eyes of the law. CCJ debt cannot be disputed – so it will never become statute barred. The lender might need permission from the court to continue chasing you for the debt, but the fact that a CCJ has been issued means it will not be written off.

What happens if you stop making CCJ payments towards the end of the 6-year period?

If the 6-year period of having a CCJ is coming toward an end, it might be tempting to stop making payments to the creditor you owe – but this isn’t a good idea.

If you stop making payments towards your CCJ debt, the lender can apply to the court for further legal action to be taken against you. This can include trying to arrange an attachment of earnings order – where money to pay the debt is taken directly from your wages. Equally, the lender may ask that High Court Enforcement Officers are sent to your home – to ask you for money and possibly take things to be used to pay towards the debt.

Summary: Declaring a CCJ after 6 years

Most lenders will only ever ask about your financial records from the past 6 yearsSince a CCJ is removed from your credit file and the official Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines after 6 years, you do not have to declare a CCJ that has no longer appears.

If a lender or any other official asks if you have ever had a CCJ, you may need to declare previous CCJs, even if they have been removed from your record. However, you do have a right to ask why they need these details, as they shouldn’t impact your ability to apply.

Since CCJs can be removed from your credit file even if the CCJ is still unpaid, the debt is still likely to be outstanding, and the lender typically requires that you continue making payments until the debt is fully cleared.

 

Key Takeaways

CCJs are removed from your credit report after 6 years
You will no longer appear on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for your CCJ after 6 years
Because your CCJ is removed from all official records, you do not have to declare it to lenders
If a lender asks about financial history going back further than 6 years, you should be honest - but it shouldn't affect your ability to apply
Even if a CCJ is removed from the official records, the debt will usually still need to be paid if it is not already paid in full
Maxine McCreadie

Maxine McCreadie

Author/Debt Expert

Maxine McCreadie, prominent personal finance writer featured in Vogue and Yahoo News, delivers practical guidance, simplifying money management and championing financial literacy.

How we reviewed this article:

HISTORY

Our debt experts continually monitor the personal finance and debt industry, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

May 9 2024

Written by
Maxine McCreadie

Edited by
Ben McCormack

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