Boris Johnson receives County Court Judgment (CCJ) for £535
Boris Johnson isn’t alone in having a County Court Judgment (known as a CCJ) against his name – according to figures from Registry Trust, the agency that records information about County Court Judgments, over 250,000 CCJs were recorded against UK individuals in the first quarter of 2021.
But what is a County Court Judgment and what does it mean? Almost all CCJs are money judgments, which means that one party (the debtor) owes money to another (the creditor), either as a result of a loan or other credit agreement which was not paid back on time, or because money was paid for goods or services which were not delivered or carried out. In these circumstances the creditor can go to court to issue a Claim against the debtor, requiring the money to be repaid.
If the Claim is ignored, or is unsuccessfully defended, then a County Court Judgment will be entered against the debtor. All Judgments are entered onto a central register which is managed by Registry Trust on behalf of the Government, and will stay on the register for six years. All the main credit reference agencies have access to the register and will use the presence of a CCJ as one of the factors when calculating credit scores. This is why people are warned that a Judgment may affect their credit rating, which in turn could make it harder to borrow money in the future, take out a mortgage, open a bank account or carry out a number of other services. The register is open, meaning that any other individual or business can also look up details of a CCJ for a small fee.
So what does this mean for Boris? Well, assuming that the Judgment has not been entered in error then the main thing is that more than 30 days have passed since the Judgment was registered. This is significant because if a Judgment is paid off in full within 30 days the debtor can apply to have the CCJ completely removed from the register as if it had never been entered. However after 30 days, even if the Judgment is subsequently paid in full, the details will remain on the register for six years and will continue to affect credit ratings for that time.
Michael Higgins, Managing Director of Lovetts Solicitors, who specialise in issuing claims and entering Judgments on behalf of their clients who are owed monies, commented “It is unusual for a high profile individual to allow a matter such as this to progress for so long. Even if he was personally unaware of court proceedings, once the Judgment was registered he should have taken prompt action to settle the matter and either have the Judgment settled or, if it was registered in error, applied to the Court to have the Judgment set aside whilst the matter was investigated.”
Notes to Editors
Lovetts Solicitors are the leading specialists in commercial debt recovery. Founded in 1994 exclusively to carry out debt recovery and contract litigation services their clients range from sole traders to FTSE 100 corporations. They are a member of the County Court Users Association and one of the largest issuers of County Court Claims for business debts in the UK. If further comment is required, contact 01483 457500 or email [email protected]