The Register of Judgments: what is it and how does it work?
22 November 2018
The Registry Trust Limited, a not-for-profit company, operates and manages the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines. This Register is the only place where County Court Judgments (CCJs) and other fines are recorded.
The Register is managed on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and covers the jurisdiction of England and Wales (different registers apply elsewhere in the UK, also managed by the same not-for-profit Company).
It is accessible online at TrustOnline.org.uk – a fee is charged for searching the site.
The Register holds details of the Debtor’s name, address and the date of Judgment, as well as details of the Court where it was issued. The full details of the Creditor are not available.
It is used by Credit Reference Agencies when providing Credit scores or reports. The implications of having a Judgment registered against you can be very significant; credit may be refused or offered only on strict (more expensive) terms. Your credit rating is adversely affected.
The Register can also be searched by individuals and companies, and is, for example, often checked by Landlords to check the credit worthiness of a potential tenant.
If a County Court Judgment is issued against you, there are a few different steps you can take to ensure that you are not hit by the adverse credit ratings. 1. Pay the Debt. If the debt is paid in full within one month of the Judgment being issued, the debt will not appear on The Register.
2. Apply to Set Aside the Judgment. This is not a straightforward step, and you would have to show that there was some reason for the CCJ to be set aside, that you acted promptly, that there is some reason why you didn’t engage with the CCJ process before the Judgment was issued, and that you have a realistic prospect of defending the claim. If it is set aside, the CCJ would not appear on The Register.
3. Have the Judgment removed from The Register. This could happen is there was some error, if the debt was actually paid in full before the CCJ, if it was paid within the first month (see above), or if 6 years have passed since the Judgment was issued.
Iain Blundell, Solicitor in our Debt Recovery Team comments:
“The usual position – once a debt has got to the point where a Judgment has been issued and has been entered on to The Register – is that there is very little that can be done about it other than to pay it! If it is not paid, the Creditor can proceed with enforcement action against you, which could include bailiffs or High Court Enforcement Agents attending at your home. Paying the debt within the first month is often the most sensible step to avoid any further problems.”
If you have any questions about pursuing a debt, or recovering an unpaid invoice, please contact our expert team on 01254 297130.