If your creditor decides to go to court to get a CCJ you should receive a claim form and a response pack from the county court. The claim form will give details of how much you owe, including any interest which has built up. To check if the claim form is real look for a claim number and the court’s official stamp.
If you receive a claim form it is very important that you act quickly because you only have 14 days to send a response back.
If you agree you owe the money
If you can afford to, you might choose to clear the debt straight away. This would avoid a CCJ being made. To do this, return the form N9A selecting the option to pay the debt in full. Always remember to deal with your priority debts first before paying off non-priority debts.
If you cannot afford to clear the debt in full, you can choose to pay by instalments. You will need to list your income and outgoings on the response form and make an offer for what you can afford after all your essential costs are met.
If your creditor accepts your offer, you may not need a hearing. The court will enter a judgment in the register of judgments.
If your creditor does not accept your offer the court will look at your income and outgoings list and decide what is affordable for you. There isn’t usually a hearing for this.
If you don’t agree with some of the claim
You will need to complete both the N9a admission form and the N9b defence form. You will need to enter the amount you agree to on the admission form. If you cannot afford to pay the amount you agree in full, you can ask to pay by instalments (see above).
If you don’t agree with any of the claim
If you don’t agree that you owe the money claimed you can choose to defend the claim. You will need to complete the N9b defence form. You must have good legal reasons for doing so, for example, the debt has already been paid or you never took out the agreement.
If you need help on responding to the claim then get advice. Act quickly as you only have 14 days to respond. Phone Shelter Cymru’s specialist debt advisers.
If you ignore the claim
If you do not reply within 14 days, your creditor can ask the court to enter “judgment in default”. This will affect your credit rating.