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County Court judgment (CCJ)

What if I don’t know to how to pay a CCJ?

If you’ve received a County Court judgment and you don’t think you can pay it, there are different approaches you can take, depending on your situation. Even if you can’t pay it in full, you may still be able to pay it over time.

The most important thing, is to respond to the County Court judgment (CCJ) within the timeframe you’re given.

If you don’t feel you can pay the CCJ in full, don’t worry, there are other ways to deal with CCJs. There are two options available to you:

  1. You can set up a CCJ payment plan to pay it at a more affordable rate: and you can apply to change the payment terms if you’re still struggling to keep up with payments
  2. You can apply to have the CCJ cancelled or ‘set aside’: if you think it should not have happened

get in touch iconIf you need help with County Court judgments, or other debts, don’t wait to get in touch with us for free and impartial debt advice – available online or over the phone.

What happens if I don’t pay my CCJ?

If you don’t deal with your CCJ, your creditor can begin taking further enforcement action. For this reason it’s very important that you respond to a CCJ within the timeframe you’re given.

This further action by your creditors may include:

  • Sending enforcement agents (also known as bailiffs) to your home
  • Applying for a charging order on your property if you own one, which secures the debt against your property, and can lead to repossession
  • Applying to have money taken directly from your wages (also known as an attachment of earnings order)

Find out more about what can happen if you don’t pay a CCJ.

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What happens if I don’t pay my CCJ?

If you can’t afford to pay in full, you need to use ask the court to agree to you making payments based on what you can afford. You do this by completing the N244 form.

Complete the form by sharing information about your income, including benefits, and spending.

Read our guide to completing the N244 County Court judgment form.

How much should I offer in a CCJ payment plan?

The amount you decide to offer depends on your individual situation, and what you can afford to pay each month. Make sure your offer of payment is realistic, and don’t offer more than you can afford, as you may fall behind or miss payments.

How to work out how much you can afford to pay

A good place to start is to look at how much money you have left over each month, this is called your ‘disposable income’.

Your disposable income is what is left over once you’ve paid for your essential living costs. These include your:

  • rent/mortgage
  • council tax
  • food
  • utility bills
  • transport costs

It’s important to cover any payments to ‘priority arrears’ as well. These are the payments you need to make because there are more serious consequences if you don’t pay.

You should ensure the CCJ is getting a fair share of your disposable income along with your other non-priority debts.

Need help with working out what to pay? Use our online budgeting guides.

What if I don’t have any money left over to pay my CCJ?

If you don’t have any money left over once you’ve paid your priority bills and debts, then you could make a token make an offer of whatever you feel you can afford, no matter how small.

If the court decides that you can't afford a monthly instalment, then the court will record it as a 'judgement forthwith'. This means your creditor can take further action, but they may decide it’s not cost effective to do so.

Your creditor could take further court action such as an attachment of earnings order or bailiff action.

We wouldn’t recommend leaving the offer of payment section blank or writing “£0” as the court will almost certainly give a judgment forthwith.

If you have no money left over to pay the CCJ, you would probably benefit from some help with your finances. Answer a few quick questions to find out how we can help you.

Can I change how much I pay towards a CCJ?

In most cases, you can ask the court to reconsider but you must act quickly.

You can ask the court to change the payments if you can’t afford them (‘redetermination’) or if your circumstances have changed (‘variation’).


Redetermining a CCJ is when you apply to change the payment terms if you can’t afford them.

This process allows you to ask the court to review the payments you were told to make to the CCJ and change them if they’re too high.

This is free to apply for, but is only available if the following conditions are met:

  • The CCJ was a ‘judgment after determination’ – this will be stated on the judgment letter. This means you returned your paperwork on time, the creditor refused your offer and the court made a decision or ‘determination’ about the rate of payment
  • Your application for redetermination is received by the court no later than 16 days from the date of judgment on the CCJ judgment letter.

You apply for redetermination by writing to the court and enclosing a copy of your budget showing the amount you can afford to pay. We have an example letter you can use to do this.

document iconRedetermination example letter: This is a Word document, it can be opened in Google Docs and other programmes, if you don’t have access to Word.

If your original CCJ payment was decided by a court officer: When you apply for redetermination a District Judge will review your case and decide what the rate of payment should be, usually without a hearing.

If the original CCJ payment was decided by a District Judge: You’ll be asked to attend your local County Court hearing centre for a hearing to decide the new rate of payment.

If original CCJ payments were decided by a District Judge at a hearing: You won’t be able to apply for free redetermination. This doesn’t happen often because most CCJs are decided by court officers with no hearing.


This process asks the court to change the instalments if they’re too high.

You can apply for variation at any time if your circumstances change, but there’s a court fee of £14.

document iconIf you’re on a low income fill in this online form to apply for the variation fee to be waived.

To apply for variation, you need to fill in court form N245. This is similar to the N9A admission form you were sent when your creditor started court action, and you need to fill in details of your income, living costs and debts, and make an offer of payment.

  1. You send the completed N245 form to the court with payment, or with proof that you’re exempt from payment.
  2. The court will send the N245 form to the creditor to check if they agree with the new instalments. If the creditor doesn’t agree the court will decide a fair payment. Usually this will be done without a hearing.
  3. The court will then write to you with details of the new instalment. There’s no guarantee the CCJ instalments will be set at the new amount you’ve offered.

Read our guide to completing the N245 form.

To avoid the risk of your creditor starting further enforcement action, if you’re applying to vary the CCJ you’ll need to keep paying the instalments ordered in the original CCJ judgment letter until the court writes to you with details of the new payments. This could take a few weeks.

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Can I get a CCJ removed?

You may be able to get a CCJ cancelled if it should never have happened in the first place. This is known as 'setting aside a CCJ'.

If a CCJ is set aside it puts you back in the position you were in immediately before the judgment happened. This means you’ll get a chance to put forward a defence against the CCJ if you missed your opportunity to do this when the forms were first sent out.

Setting aside a CCJ is usually only possible if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. You weren’t aware of the CCJ, for example the claim form was sent to an old address
  2. You have a genuine argument against the CCJ, for example you’d already paid the debt off
  3. You act quickly as soon as you find out about the CCJ

What if I don’t know how to pay a CCJ?

If you're finding it difficult to pay your CCJ or you're not sure how much to offer towards payment, we can help. Get free online debt advice tailored to your situation, or call us and speak to one of our expert debt advisors.