Once your creditor considers court action, you must deal with this matter urgently. You are given over two weeks to submit your response when you receive a County Court claim form. If you failed to comply within the given time frame, the court would order you to pay off your debt at a rate that might not be affordable for you through a CCJ. This can also result in enforcement action. So, if you want to avoid greater damage, never ignore the court forms that you got in the post.
Guide in Completing County Court Claim Form
The forms to complete will depend if you agree with the debt or not.
You agree to owe the amount on the claim form
Most of the time the amount stipulated in the court claim is right. However, it would be hard to pay the entire amount right away. This is the reason why you can ask to pay off your debt in installments that you can afford.
When asking to pay fr installments, you have to complete the admission form and send it back. This form is labeled with a title Admission and a form number which is N9A in the bottom right corner of the page.
This form requires you to state details about your income, other debts, expenses, and the payment you can offer to your creditor. This information will be utilized by your creditor to check your offer and see if its something reasonable to your budget and debt. In case your creditor refused your offer, the court will have the final say on the right amount to your debt.
The N9A must be submitted back to your creditor and has to be sent in the address attached to the N1 claim form. DO NOT send the N9A form back to the court.
The amount on the claim is incorrect or you do not agree to owe such debt
There are cases when creditors’ claims aren’t correct, or you do not owe such amount of debt. This may happen you determine that the debt isn’t yours or in cases when you don’t have contact with your creditor for several years, making the debt statute barred as the limitation period has passed.
If you hesitate to agree with the amount on the claim form, you can return the ‘Defence and counterclaim” form, which is labeled as N9B in the bottom right corner.
When this happens, you need to secure proof and further details a well as attend court hearings at your local County Court hearing center. The District Judge will preside the hearing regarding your counterclaim. Once your defense is rejected, it may add extra costs to what you have to pay.
If your reasons are valid, you can return the N9B to dispute the amount that your creditor is claiming against you. This process is complex to understand; we suggest you get debt advice before you to anything by yourself.
When do I have to return my CCJ forms?
You are given 14 days to complete the N9A and send it back to your creditor. However, the court provides a couple of days extension for the claim pack to be sent to you. The exact deadline depends on the court that issued the claim.
Northampton County Court Business Center
If the CCJ forms are issued by the Northampton County Court Business Centre, you are given 19 days from the issue date printed on the N1 claim form
Any other County Court hearing center
If the CCJ forms come from any other County Court hearing centre, you have 14 days from the day of receipt. The court considers two working days for you to receive the forms in the post.
If need some more time to defend a claim such as getting further advice from experts, you can return the acknowledgment of service form in the claim pack. For as long as you send this form back to the court, the deadline set originally will be granted an additional of 14 days.
Filling the Forms Online
You can reply via online and complete the forms by visiting Money Claim Online. You can check the N1 claim form and see if it has online credentials that you can use to log in and reply. The response deadline is the same if you have it return by post.
Things to Remember When returning CCJ Claims Forms
Make sure that your forms are sent back to the right address. The N9A admission form is intended to be sent back to your creditor. The address where you will send it back can be seen in the N1 claim form. This could be your creditors or their solicitors. Be mindful NOT to send the N9B. Check thoroughly so as not to confuse yourself. The N9A goes to your creditor and the N9B goes to the court.
If you utilize extra sheets, these can be attached to your N9A. Your name and claim number must be written crystal clear on top of the sheet. If more than one sheet is added, make sure it is numbered to easily identify the pages.
Produce a copy of the N9A form before sending it back. This will be for your reference and documentation
You can send your accomplished form by first class recorded delivery. Make sure to hold proof of postage. For further details, check the Royal Mail website. You can also request at the Post Office counter for a certificate of posting as proof that you posted the form.
What to Expect After Sending the Form Back?
Once you’ve returned your admission form (N9A). The creditor will take a look at your offer. If your creditor agrees, the creditor will ask the court to set a CCJ for the amounts offered.
In contrast, if your creditor refused to accept the offer, the creditor will forward the admission form to the court. The court through a court officer or District Judge will make a reasonable decision for both you and your creditor based on the information provided in your N9A Admission and the rate requested by your creditor.