COUNTY COURT CLAIMS
It can be terrifying receiving a Claim Form from the Court because someone is chasing and now suing you for money. There is no need to be frightened of the Court process it is simple, you just need to understand how it works. We have attempted to give you the steps and what you can expect and a rough time scale for some of them.
What to do if you receive a claim form
First of all check the information and whether or not it is accurate. It would be wise to check your credit file to see when any default from an original creditor was first recorded or the date of last payment. The reason for this is to check to see whether the claim is statute barred. By that we mean is it more than 6 years since the date of default/last payment. If it is then they are too late to bring the claim and this needs to be dealt with in a Defence: This is important.
How to deal with the claim form
From the date of issue there are 14 days in which to
Acknowledge Service. No useful purpose is served by delaying this other than you
might forget or not do it in time which may lead to a Judgment in Default being entered against you.
If a claim is issued by the County Court Business Centre (which most are) then you can complete the Acknowledgement of Service on line. You first need to register as an individual unless you already have a government gateway ID.
You should then follow instructions and which boxes to tick and then submit.
There are from time to time difficulties with the system and sometimes it will not allow people to log in/on. If you encounter problems post on our facebook group and we will help. You need to defend the claim. Read through the advice below carefully any problems or anything you don't understand shout as it's important you get it right
Watch the video HERE and follow this guide to do the "acknowledgment of service" only.
1. Check your credit file at experian.co.uk.
2. If you don't defend this claim … you will get a CCJ … which they will then try to enforce (as default judgement).
3. You must defend … however before court … your opponent can be stopped and they can withdraw their claim.
4.Go to moneyclaim.gov.uk (you will need your claim number and password from the important notes section) to register— Register as an “INDIVIDUAL” and then do the “ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SERVICE ” only.
5. Tick the “I intend to defend the whole of the claim”.
6. “Contest jurisdiction” — leave that blank. You are now registered
7.DO NOT ENTER A DEFENCE
8.You then need to send a letter(cpr 31.14) to the claimants solicitor (or whoever is bringing the claim) requesting documentary evidence and crucial documents.
9. Send a copy of the CPR 31.14 to the court but make sure it's marked "FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY" otherwise it will be taken as your defence which it isn't,it's a request for information so you can write your defence.
What to do next...
Once the Acknowledgement of Service has been done then it is necessary to send a letter to the Claimants Solicitors and a copy to the Court “for information purposes only”. That letter should be sent asap as there are 7 days in which they must respond (they don’t always) but you need the clear days because you must file your Defence within 28 days from the date on the claim form but you need to do it after the 7 days for the letter has expired.
Filing a defence
Depending on your claim and your circumstances we will help with a Defence, some are standard to us as a number of claims we deal with are identical. However, some are not and there are individual situations that need to be included. We do not, therefore, have template Defences as they could be misused and effectively wreck any Defence you have.
Once your Defence is filed you will then receive a letter from the court saying that they have sent a copy of your Defence to the Claimant and that they have 28 days to inform the court that they intend to proceed with the claim failing which it will be stayed.They usually do write that letter
Find out how to save over £150 a year by sending 1 letter...
What to do if you receive a CCJ
You will then receive a Directions Questionnaire from the Court which must be returned by a certain date. That date will be on the Notice sent from the Court. Follow the instructions provided and send it back as soon as possible and certainly before the date on the Notice. Failure to do so may result in your Defence being struck out.
Transfer case to your local county court
When this is done you will receive a Notice from the Court and further directions. Included in this will be:-
• The date of the final hearing
• The date by which statements must be filed and served
• The date by which the listing fee must be paid by the Claimant
It is important that you take note of all those dates. You should phone the Court the day after the date the listing fee should be paid to see whether or not they have paid it. Statements need to be prepared to be filed and served by the date given. The Claimant will also need to send you their statement and any documents upon which they intend to rely
This will probably be listed for 30 minutes and may be block listed which may mean plenty of waiting around until your case is heard. So please allow plenty of time. Click Here for more information about appearing in court
If you have a county court judgement, click here for information on how to have the judgement set aside.