A CCJ is a court order that can be issued against a company that has failed to pay a debt. It can affect your credit rating and limit your ability to access finance.
If your business has a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against it, it can be a worrying and stressful time.
To minimise the impact of a CCJ on your business, you should take these 3 steps:
Settle the Debt
If you have the funds available, the best course of action is to settle the debt in full as soon as possible. Once the debt has been paid, you can apply to have the CCJ removed from your business's record. This will improve your credit rating and make it easier to access finance in the future.
If the debt is paid within 30 days, there will be no permanent record on your business credit profile. However if you wait over the 30 day period, it will stay on your profile for 6 years, even if settled later on. Settling the debt as soon as you can will stop the long term negative effects.
You could ask the court to make a payment plan for the CCJ. This could allow you to pay off the debt in instalments at a more affordable rate.
If a payment plan is not offered, getting a business loan could be an option to pay back the debt quickly. However, if you think your business might be running into financial difficulties, taking on more debt is potentially not the best solution. You could use a cashflow forecast template to see if a loan is a suitable option for your business.
Acting quickly is key, so make sure you are keeping an eye on your credit profile to be notified of any new CCJs as soon as possible.
Negotiate with the Creditor
If you can’t afford the debt outright, you should try to negotiate with the creditor who filed the CCJ to come to an agreement on a payment plan.
If you can show that you are willing to pay, the creditor may be willing to withdraw the CCJ.
It's important to keep the communication lines open and keep the creditor up to date with any changes in your business’ financial situation.
Apply to Have the CCJ Set Aside
If you believe that the CCJ was issued unfairly, you can apply to have it set aside. This means that the CCJ will be cancelled and the case will be heard again in court. You may have grounds to have the CCJ set aside if, for example, you were not given enough time to respond to the claim or if you were not properly served with the court documents. It is important to seek legal advice if you are considering this option as it can be a complex process. See more information on this process here.
If your business has a CCJ registered against it, it’s important to act quickly to minimise the impact. Stay up to date with your credit profile and get alerted if a CCJ is registered with Capitalise for Business.