The number of County Court Judgments (CCJs) has increased, damaging more people’s chances of getting a mortgage or other credit.
More than one million CCJs were made in 2016, 15.77 consumer judgments per 1000 people in 2016 compared to 12.79 the year before*. Banks and other lenders can do a check against the CCJ register when they’re deciding whether to offer credit, and getting a mortgage or a loan with a CCJ is difficult.
According to Jones & Co dispute resolution solicitor James Murray, more people should seek advice on challenging a CCJ and having it removed from the register, particularly anyone who was unaware of it until they applied for credit.
James said: “Someone could get a parking fine and if their address details are not up to date at the DVLA, or if they move house, letters can go to an old address, so they do not have chance to avoid a CCJ. There is also a possibility that some private parking firms are sending letters to wrong or old addresses.
“A younger person may move house several times, for university or moving to a job in a new town, cancel a phone or gym contract and be unaware that the provider is chasing them for payment of the rest of the contract. In some of these cases, it seems unfair that people should have their chances of buying a house or taking out credit affected for many years, because of a relatively small debt.
“The government is looking at ways to better protect people from these kinds of unresolved debts. This may include striking a CCJ from the register immediately once unknown debts are resolved and a judge agrees the person was unaware. There may also be more chance for people to have a CCJ removed if they did not receive mail because it was sent to an old address.
“Future reforms may see more standardised practice across parking companies, the banning of unfair charges and reducing the instances of claims where someone may be unaware of a parking charge being applied.
“Anyone who believes they have had a CCJ unfairly applied to them should speak to a legal firm such as Jones & Co Solicitors to help them challenge it.”
*The Registry Trust