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debt advice - how_to_set_aside_a_judgment_in_the_county_court

debt advice - how_to_set_aside_a_judgment_in_the_county_court

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Published by Debt Advice
Free Debt Advice and Debt Management Planning guides. Avoid bankrupty today. www.InsolvencyHelplineNews.co.uk
Free Debt Advice and Debt Management Planning guides. Avoid bankrupty today. www.InsolvencyHelplineNews.co.uk

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Published by: Debt Advice on Nov 25, 2008
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How to Set Aside a Judgment
1
HOW TO SET ASIDE A JUDGMENT IN THE
COUNTY COURT

WHEN WILL THE
COURT AGREE TO SET
ASIDE A JUDGMENT?

The County Court rules set out when you can apply to set aside a judgment. For example:

\u2022 You may not have received the
original claim form.
\u2022You may have moved house
and not had post from your
previous address.
\u2022An order was made against you
in your absence in certain
circumstances.
\u2022 There may be an error in the
judgment.
\u2022You want to put in a defence
and
did
not
have
the
opportunity to do this.
\u2022The proceedings did not follow
the court rules.
DEFAULT JUDGMENT

You may have a Default Judgment made against you where there was no hearing and you have not sent back the \u201cAcknowledgement of Service\u201d form to say you intend to put in a defence. You may also have a Default Judgment made against you if you have NOT sent in the reply form asking for time to pay within the time limits.

F
ACT
S
HEET
N
O
12
You should not have a Default Judgment if you:
\u2022paid off the whole amount owed.
The courtmust set aside the Default Judgment if you
either:
Sent back the Acknowledgement of Service form
within the time limit,
OR
\u2022put in a defence within the time limit,
OR
\u2022sent in the reply form asking for time to pay within
the time limit.

The courtma y agree to set aside the Default judgment if you did not send in a reply form within the time limits if it thinks:

\u2022you have real chance of a successful defence to the
claim,
OR
\u2022the court thinks you have a \u201cgood reason\u201d to set
aside the judgment e.g. where you did not get the
papers through the post.
HOW DO I APPLY?
You need to ask the court for a general application
form called an N244. See the example application form
attached. You should fill in the N244 to include:-
\u2022The claim number of the case and details of the
creditor or \u201cclaimant\u201d.
\u2022The reason for your request to set the judgment
aside in PART A on the front of the form.
\u2022In PART B you should tick the box saying you rely
on
the
\u201cEvidence
in
PART
C\u201d.-
THE UKINSOLVENCY HELPLINE
How to set aside a judgment
2
\u2022In PART C on the back of the form you need to

include any evidence you have to support your case such as proof you have changed address or were out of the country. Any information you have about your possible defence should also be included.

\u2022Sign the \u201cStatement of Truth\u201d on the bottom of the
form.
\u2022
Send the form back to the court and remember to
keep a copy.

You must fill in PART C of the N244 to outline your evidence in support of your application and to include brief details of any defence. You should explain any delay in making the application.

See example
application form N244 attached.

Also ask the court to stop any enforcement of the judgment until after the hearing to set the judgment aside.

There will be a hearing in your local County Court in
private with a District Judge.

The court will take into account how quickly you made the application and may want to know the reason for any delay e.g. you only just found out about the judgment.

DO I HAVE TO PAY A FEE?

From April 2003 you will have to pay a fee of \u00a360.00 to the court when you make the application. If you are on a low income or certain benefits you may not have to pay the fee. See the section on fees at the end of

this factsheet.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The court may send you a date to go to a court hearing to discuss the reasons for your application with a District Judge. The application will be transferred to your local County Court for the hearing. In some circumstances the court can decide to allow your application without the need for a hearing. If this happens, you will hear back from the court that the judgment has been set aside.

If you agree that you owe the money on the judgment you may just want to pay the debt off ininstalments you can afford. It may be easier to apply to the court for an Instalment Order using another form called an

N245, rather than going through the process ofhaving
the judgment set aside first. You will usually haveto
pay a \u00a330.00 fee to make this application. See the
section on fees at the end of this factsheet.
If you want to ask the court to pay in instalments, we
have a factsheet available called\u201cReducing
Instalments or Suspending a Warrant in the County
Court.\u201d\ue000Phone us for advice.
WHAT HAPPENS TO A JUDGMENT
THAT IS \u201cSET ASIDE\u201d?

If the judgment is set aside by the court, this means that the proceedings go back to the claim stage and you have a new opportunity to fill in the reply to the claim form, make an offer of payment or put in any defence or counterclaim. Having a judgment set aside does not wipe out the proceedings altogether but the details will be removed from the County Court Register until a new judgment is made.

If a new judgment is made it will be recorded for six years on your credit file from the date of the new judgment.

CAN CREDIT REPAIR COMPANIES
HELP ME?

You may have heard of companies that offer to clear your credit record with credit reference agencies to allow you to apply for more credit. \u201cCredit Repair Companies\u201d charge varying fees and usually send you an information pack telling you how to clear County Court Judgments.

You need to be very careful before paying a fee to a commercial company offering to remove judgments for you. If you apply to the County Court to set aside

a judgment and do not have real reasons to do so then you could be in trouble with the court. Also, it is more difficult to persuade the court to agree to do so since new tighter rules came into force in April 1999. Check this website for information on credit repair companies

www.ukcreditrepair.co.uk.

We understand that the Office of Fair Trading and The Dept for Constitutional Affairs are investigating credit repair companies. If you are not happy with a credit repair company complain to your Trading Standards Department in your local council or via their website

www.consumercomplaints.org.uk.
If you want to check what a credit reference agency
says about you we have a factsheet available.\ue000
Phone us for advice.
COUNTY COURT FEES
DO I HAVE TO PAY A FEE FOR AN APPLICATION IN THE COUNTY COURT?
There will usually be a fee to pay with your application. You can ask the court not to pay the fee in some
circumstances. The form you will need to fill in is called an EX160 "Application for a fee exemption or
remission."This form needs to go to the court with your main application. If the court agrees your
application you will not have to pay the fee. If you pay a fee when you should have been exempt or would
have qualified for a remission, then you have six months to apply to the court for a refund.
EXEMPTIONS

If you are on income support or income-based jobseeker\u2019s allowance (JSA) you can ask the court for exemption from the fee. You need to give the court proof that you are getting the benefit. You will be exempt if you or your partner are on the guarantee credit element of pension credit.

If you are on working tax credit you will be exempt from the court fee in these circumstances:
ifyou are also on child tax credit,
or
you receive the disability or severe disability element in your working tax credit,
and in either case
your gross annual income taken into account for working tax credit is \u00a315,460 or less (from 6 April 2006).
You will need to show the court your tax credit award notice to qualify.
If you do not qualify under these rules for an exemption then you can ask for the fee to be remitted or
waived by the court. See below.
REMISSIONS
Ask the court for the fee to be remitted (or waived) if it will cause you what the court calls \u201cundue financial
hardship\u201d. You can use the sameEX160 application form. You may be on a low income or a benefit that

does not automatically exempt you from paying the fee. Give as much information about your circumstances as you can. Explain your financial situation on the application form and any exceptional circumstances that apply in your case. The court can remit all or part of the fee depending on what they decide you can afford.

How to set aside a judgment
3
Freephone: 0800074 6918
Website:www.insolvencyhelpline.org
Whilst we endeavour to keep our factsheets as up to date as possible, The UK Insolvency
Helpline cannot be held responsible for changes in legislation or for developments in
case law since this edition of the factsheet was issued.
REMEMBER: You can always contact us for advice about any difficulty you have in
dealing with your debts.
\u00a9 Copyright Money Advice Trust (updated May 2006)

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