The number of County Court Judgements (CCJs) made in the first quarter of 2015 has increased by more than 20% on the same period in 2014. A total of 209,629 CCJs were made in English and Welsh courts between January and March 2015. However, the average value of a CCJ has been falling for the last six years and now stands at £2,171 compared to £3,600 in 2009 – an overall drop of 41%.
Given that figures for personal insolvency, including bankruptcy and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) have been declining recently, it’s interesting to see the number of CCJs going up, even if the average value has fallen. According to the Registry Trust (a non-profit organisation that collects data on CCJs and other high court judgements), the reason behind this is that a larger portion of consumer debt is now in the hands of third party debt collectors rather than the original lenders.
Other figures published by the Debt Advisory Centre earlier in the year shed further light on the situation with CCJs and debt buyers. In a survey of 2,000 UK adults conducted by OnePoll, the Centre found that:
- Around 4 million people have received a CCJ in the last five years
- More than 25% of people surveyed have been contacted by a debt collector at some point
- 27% of people contacted weren’t sure of their legal rights relating to debt collection
- Around 10% of people who’ve had a CCJ owed more than £10,000, whilst another 10% owed less than £250
- People aged 18 to 24 are the most likely group to receive a CCJ, with men being more likely than women to have had one in the last five years.
Concerned about CCJs?
If you’ve run up debts with unsecured lenders such as credit card and loan companies, it’s possible that either your original lender or a debt buyer will start court proceedings against you. It’s important to note that this can still happen up to six years after you last made a payment (after this time, the debt becomes ‘statute barred’ and court action may not be possible). So even if you’ve had no contact with a lender for a couple of years, the debt could still come out of the woodwork later on.
The main thing to remember if you receive correspondence about a CCJ or a court summons is not to ignore it. You may be able to take matters into your own hands and make a payment offer (just make sure it’s an amount that you can afford!) and hope the court accepts it. However, if you have other debts that could lead to further CCJs, or can’t afford to repay anything at all, you should get professional debt help straightaway.
Friendly debt advice from Bankruptcy Clinic
If you don’t know which way to turn with your debts, talk to us. We’ve already helped thousands of people get debt-free and regain control of their lives by finding the right solution to their money problems. We can do the same for you, so get in touch today so we can make a start.
Expert help you can trust
Our trained advisers are here to listen to and understand your situation before explaining the different ways we can help. It doesn’t matter whether you have CCJs pending or already made against you – we can still assist and may be able to stop any ongoing court proceedings.
Your options may include:
- Debt Management. If you owe £1,500 or more in unsecured debts, we’ll negotiate reduced monthly payments with your creditors and deal with all the paperwork.
- A more formal option, an IVA gives you legal protection from your creditors. You’ll need to owe at least £8,000 and be able to make monthly debt repayments.
- If you have little or no income or assets, bankruptcy could be your best choice. You could be discharged and your debts written off after just 12 months.
Contact Bankruptcy Clinic today
Call us free on 0808 168 8262, drop us an email or fill in our contact form. We aim to respond to online enquiries within 15 minutes.