The Register of County Court Judgments Explained
All county court judgments are listed on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines. If no further action is taken, the judgment will remain on the Register for six years from the date on which the judgment was granted.
The Register of County Court JudgmentsThe Register of County Court Judgments has been officially known as the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines since 2006.
The Register relating to England and Wales is divided into three sections:County court judgments; High Court judgments since April 2006; and, fines.An entry in the county court judgment section will show:
- The date and original amount of the judgment;
- Which county court granted the judgment; and,
- The debtor’s name and address.
The information contained in the Register is public and anyone can apply to search it. However, a fee is payable for each name and for each section searched. A search of one section for one name costs £8. An additional fee will have to be paid if a person has more than one name – for example a maiden name and a married name.
Judgments in Mortgage Possession CasesWhen a mortgage company seeks possession of a mortgaged property they often also ask the judge to grant a judgment for the total debt outstanding under the mortgage. If the judgment is granted, it will not be entered on the Register of Judgments unless the mortgage company tries to enforce it.
How Long Does a Judgment Stay on the Register?Most county court judgments are entered on the Register about 28 days after they have been granted. Once a county court judgment has been entered it will remain on the Register for six years from the date of the judgment.
Effect of RegistrationA registered county court judgment will show up on credit checks. This could make it difficult to obtain a mortgage, loans or credit. The judgment will not only effect the credit rating of the person against whom it was registered but also, potentially, anyone else living at the same address.
Removing a Judgment from the RegisterIf nothing is done about it a county court judgment will remain on the Register for six years. Anyone who makes a search of the Register will be able to see it. It cannot be removed unless:
- The total judgment debt - including any costs and interest that may have accrued - is paid in full within 28 days of the judgment. If this is done it is quite likely that the judgment will not yet have been entered on the Register.
- The judgment is set aside.
If the applicant does not provide written confirmation that the debt has been paid, the court will contact the creditor to ask them to confirm that it has been paid. The creditor will be given one month to respond. If they do not respond after that time, the court will start the process of removing the judgment.
Satisfying JudgmentIf the total amount owing under a county court judgment is paid more than 28 days after the judgment was granted, the judgment will not be removed from the Register. However, an application can be made to the court asking for the judgment to be marked “satisfied”.
The application is made in the same way as an application to remove a judgment from the Register. If the application is successful the judgment will remain on the Register but will be marked “satisfied”; the Register will also state the date on which the judgment was paid.
Applying to Set Judgment AsideIf a judgment has been entered due to the defendant’s failure to respond to the claim, an application can be made to set the judgment aside. The application should be made to the county court that entered the judgment.
To have judgment set aside the applicant will have to convince the judge that:
- They have a good chance of success at trial; and,
- They acted promptly in making their application when they found out about the judgment.