A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a type of court order that can be issued against an individual or a company that has failed to repay a debt. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, CCJs are issued by county courts, which are local courts that handle civil cases. If a creditor has not been able to recover a debt through other means, such as negotiation or enforcement action, they can apply to the county court for a CCJ.
A CCJ will be issued if the debtor does not respond to the claim, or if the court decides that the debtor owes the money and is able to pay it back. Once a CCJ has been issued, the debtor is required to pay the debt within a specified period, usually 30 days. Failure to pay the debt within the specified period can result in further enforcement action, such as bailiffs or a charging order on the debtor's property.
In addition to the immediate consequences of having to pay the debt, a CCJ can also have longer-term effects on the debtor's credit rating and ability to obtain credit in the future. The CCJ will be recorded on the debtor's credit file for six years, which can make it more difficult for them to obtain credit, such as loans, credit cards, or mortgages. It is important for debtors to respond promptly to claims for payment and to seek advice from a debt advisor or solicitor if they are unable to pay a debt.
Financial institutions need to check for County Court Judgements (CCJs) as part of their corporate customer due diligence (CDD) process to assess the creditworthiness and financial stability of potential customers. CCJs can have a significant impact on a company's ability to obtain credit and may indicate a risk of default or financial instability. As such, financial institutions must check for CCJs as part of their risk assessment process and take appropriate measures to mitigate any identified risks. Failure to identify and mitigate risks associated with CCJs could result in significant financial losses or reputational damage for the financial institution. Therefore, conducting thorough checks for CCJs is an essential part of the CDD process for financial institutions.