Completing a County Court claim form
The forms you need to fill in will depend on whether you agree that you owe the money or not:
- I agree that the amount on the claim form is right
In most cases, the amount the creditor is claiming you owe will be right, but you won’t be able to pay it off in one go, so you’ll need to ask for payments in affordable instalments.
To ask for payments in instalments, you need to fill in and return the admission form. This has the title ‘Admission (specified amount)’ at the top and the form number N9A in the bottom right corner.
This form asks for details of your income, living costs, other debts and an offer of payment. Your creditor will use this information to decide if your offer of payment is reasonable. If the creditor doesn’t agree with your offer the court will make the final decision.
The N9A must be sent back to the creditor at the address shown on the N1 claim form. Don’t send it to the court.
- The amount on the claim form is wrong, or I don’t owe the money
Sometimes the amount a creditor claims isn’t right, or you don’t actually owe the money. For example, this happens when the debt isn’t yours, or you haven’t had any contact with the creditor for several years and they’re out of time to start court action because the debt has become statute barred.
If you don’t agree with the amount claimed you can ‘defend’ the claim by returning the ‘Defence and counterclaim’ form, marked N9B in the bottom right corner.
If you think you owe something, but the amount claimed is wrong, you can submit a 'partial defence' by completing both the N9A and N9B forms. In this case, both forms would need to be sent to the court.
Defending a claim can be complicated. You may need to provide more information, and you’ll usually have to attend a hearing with a District Judge at your local county court hearing centre. In some cases, extra costs may be added if your defence is rejected.
You should only return the N9B if you have a genuine reason to dispute the amount claimed. We strongly recommend you get debt advice before defending a claim, so call us for help if you’re considering this.