Debt Advisory Lawyers, Liverpool
If a creditor has made a claim for money owed, it is important to be realistic about whether defending a court claim is justified. If the claim is for more than £10,000, costs will be awarded, in addition, if the claim is upheld in court. If the claim is under £10,000 and upheld, a successful claimant will not be able to claim legal costs too. However, if they can show there was no cause to defend in the first place, the claimant can ask for “wasted costs”, referring to costs incurred unnecessarily.
If your business is being pursued for money owed, we understand this will be a difficult and worrying time. Our Defendant Debt Recovery Solicitors will explain your options clearly and concisely. We offer immediate, practical advice and a flexible and affordable fee structure that can be tailored to your circumstances. You should act quickly in these situations – contact Three Graces Legal today.
How to defend a County Court Claim
If a creditor has warned you that they intend to obtain a County Court Judgment (CCJ), you must respond promptly, as time limits apply. Failure to do so can result in a default judgment, whereby the Court will set a monthly repayment or an order to pay the full amount immediately.
If you intend to dispute the claim, the Defence form should be completed and returned. This must be done within 14 days of the claim being served. Alternatively, if further time is needed, the Acknowledgement of Service form should be completed and returned within 14 days. This gives you a further 14 days to complete the Defence form.
If it is agreed that part of the debt is owed then both the Defence form and the Admission form must be completed and returned.
A creditor has to explain why the debt is owed in the Particulars of Claim. In completing the Defence form, the points that are disputed or denied should be explained clearly.
It is also possible to make a counterclaim if you believe the creditor owes money.
The Court will decide whether any money is due and how much.
How to defend a County Court Judgment
If you receive a CCJ, it means the Court has decided the debt is owed. A notice will outline the details of how much is owed, to whom, how to pay and by when.
At this stage, if you do not accept that the money is owed, the Court can be asked to cancel or “set aside” the CCJ. This may be possible if the original claim from the Court was not received or there was a reason why you did not respond within the time limit.
In this case, you must fill in an Application Notice form requesting a set-aside or variation of the judgment, or to suspend the enforcement process. A fee will be payable and it will be necessary to attend a private hearing at the Court to explain why the money is not owed.
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