What Does CCJ Discharged Mean?

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Overview:

In this guide, we’ll take a more detailed look at what “CCJ discharged” means – including how you can have a CCJ discharged, how long county court judgments stay on your credit file when they’re discharged, and some background information on CCJs.

CCJ discharged” means the debt relating to a County Court Judgment has been fully paid within 30 days of the CCJ being issued.

When a CCJ is discharged, it will no longer appear on the public record and will usually be removed from your credit report – allowing you to continue your financial life without the impact a CCJ would have.

What is a County Court Judgment (CCJ)?

A County Court Judgment (CCJ for short) is a type of court order issued by courts in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

In Scotland, the courts have a similar kind of order, known as a Decree.

If you’ve fallen behind on payments to a company you owe money to, you might eventually find yourself with a CCJ.

The company will go through a debt recovery process before passing the debt to a debt management company. If this debt management company has been unable to recover the money you owe or set up a payment plan with you, the original creditor may then apply to the court for a CCJ – so a judge can order you to repay what is owed.

The court will organise a hearing date, and you’ll be invited to attend. The judge will hear evidence from both sites – but if the judge decides that you owe the debt, they will issue the County Court Judgment, along with details of how they expect you to repay what you owe.

When you have a CCJ issued, it will be recorded on a public register called the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines.

This register is checked by all credit reference agencies – so they will add the CCJ to your credit record shortly after it appears.

Does a CCJ affect my credit rating?

Unfortunately, a CCJ will affect your credit rating. Lenders will often consider it proof that you haven’t been able to – or have been unwilling to – pay back money you’ve borrowed or been unable to keep up with payments expected from you.

Each of the different credit reference agencies has a different way of giving you a credit score – but a CCJ will usually see that score reduced significantly.

This can affect your chances of being offered credit in the future – including mortgages, credit agreements, loans and credit cards, and may even affect your chances of being able to open certain bank accounts.

How is a CCJ discharged?

If the judge issues you with a CCJ, they will also discuss with you how to pay it off. They may demand that it’s paid off in full , but this isn’t very common.

Typically, they will ask you what’s a reasonable amount for you to pay off monthly – and they might want to see evidence that you’re offering a manageable amount.

Regardless of the agreement you make with the court, the CCJ process gives you a one-time opportunity to pay the debt in full within 30 days – and if you do, this will result in the CCJ being recorded as “discharged.”

The CCJ will still be issued even if you pay it in full. However, a CCJ being discharged effectively means it’s no longer required – so you can start a process to have it removed from your credit report and make sure it’s taken off the public register.

What does having a CCJ discharged involve?

There’s a little bit of effort required to make sure your CCJ is discharged – but the process is fairly straightforward:

  1. Make Full Payment: Pay the total amount specified in the CCJ to the person or company you owe money to (the creditor).
  2. Get Proof of Payment: After paying, ask the creditor for a receipt or proof of payment. This is important because you’ll need it to prove the debt has been cleared.
  3. Notify the Court: Send the proof of payment to the court that issued the CCJ. You can do this by filling out a form called an N443 Application for Certificate of Satisfaction or Cancellation. This form tells the court you’ve paid your debt. If you don’t have a receipt, a bank account statement showing the payment going out may be enough.
  4. Update Your Credit Record: The above form will prompt the court to produce a Certificate of Satisfaction. They will then update the public record to show your CCJ as ‘discharged’.

At this stage, you will need to check with each credit reference agency to see if they have already logged the County Court Judgement on your credit report. Having a CCJ discharged by the court doesn’t mean it will be automatically removed from your credit file – so you may have to send a copy of your Certificate of Satisfaction to them so they can remove it manually.

Is “CCJ discharged” the same as “CCJ satisfied”?

This is where things get a little bit confusing. Paying your CCJ debt off within 30 days and having your CCJ discharged means it’s wiped off your records completely – whereas paying it off after these 30 days means it’s marked as “satisfied” but will stay on your record for 6 years.

It’s confusing because the official document you receive is a “Certificate of Satisfaction” – and the form you use to apply for it is called an “N443 Application for Certificate of Satisfaction or Cancellation”. Even some sources of information online mix up having a CCJ satisfied and discharged (cancelled).

So, to be absolutely certain that you’re getting a CCJ discharged, you should make your payment within the 30-day statutory window from the date the CCJ is issued.

The N443 form gives you the choice between “satisfaction” and “cancellation” – so make sure you tick the “cancellation” box.

What happens when a CCJ is recorded as discharged?

When you’ve been through the process we’ve outlined above, your CCJ will be wiped from the Public Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines and removed from your credit report.

It’s a good idea to check each step of this process. While most of it will happen automatically, errors and oversights can occur, so you should check back to make sure your discharged CCJ is no longer showing. If it does still show, get in touch with the court or the credit reference agency, explain your situation, and ask them what needs to be done to remove it.

What if I can’t have my CCJ discharged?

Try not to worry if you can’t have your CCJ discharged. Millions of people and companies have active CCJs – so even if it feels like you’re the only one facing financial worries, you’re definitely not.

If it’s not possible or practical to pay your CCJ off within the 30-day window that will see it discharged, you should instead follow the court’s orders and pay it off at the rate agreed.

While a CCJ will have an effect on your credit rating, it’s important to be careful when looking for ways to get your credit score back to a level that will allow you to get useful credit again.

While there are plenty of legitimate ways to work towards a better financial future, there are also credit repair companies that will offer to boost your credit rating for a fee. In many cases, they’re charging you for things you can do yourself to boost your credit rating – so be cautious.

What happens if I’m struggling to repay my CCJ?

If you find yourself struggling to keep up with the payments, it’s important not to stop making payments. Instead, seek free debt advice and see what your options are.

Debt advisors may talk to you about debt solutions – Government-approved ways of dealing with debts that you are struggling with.

There are lots of different kinds of debt solution, so it’s a good idea to talk to someone who understands them all and can recommend one that will fit around your unique circumstances.

Whatever happens, it’s important to communicate with creditors if you’re struggling. If you stop paying without letting them know, they might take further action against you – which can lead to even greater financial issues.

Summary: Having a CCJ discharged

Having a CCJ “discharged” means full payment has been made within 30 days of the CCJ being issued by the court.

When you provide proof to the court that the debt has been settled, they will remove the CCJ from the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines, and credit reference agencies should remove it from your credit file.

If you want to make sure your CCJ is discharged, it’s essential that you make full payment within the 30 day statutory window you have and follow the correct process, otherwise the CCJ will remain on your credit report for at least 6 years from the date it was issued.

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 7 2024

Written by
Maxine McCreadie

Edited by
Ben McCormack

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