The County Court Business Centre is a legitimate and regulated branch of the UK Court that administers and oversees civil claims and debts. The County Court Business Centre deals with claims issued electronically by creditors and those acting for them. It deals with claims for less than £100,000.
If you are receiving correspondence from the County Court Business Centre it will be because an organisation or individual who believes you owe them money (or has another civil claim against you) has issued court proceedings in the County Court. The County Court is a civil court in England and Wales.
The County Court Business Centre is a legitimate and regulated branch of the UK Court that administers and oversees civil claims and debts.
The County Court Business Centre deals with claims issued electronically by creditors and those acting for them. It deals with claims for less than £100,000.
Before you receive any contact from the County Court Business Centre your creditor should have written to you. If your debt is regulated by the Consumer Credit Act, you must already have been issued a default notice. However, the first you will know about court proceedings will likely be receiving the papers from the County Court Business Centre. If you receive documents from the County Court Business Centre, do not ignore them – it is best to open them swiftly. You have a very limited time to reply, and if you do not reply then the creditor can apply to the court for the County Court Judgment meaning you could miss the chance to prepare a defence.
The rules of the court set out exactly how the deadline for returning the response pack is calculated but this will be no longer than 14 days from when you receive the papers.
No, you cannot stop the County Court Business Centre from contacting you. They will have been given your address on the claim form completed by the creditor. If you do not believe the claim relates to you or the debt is not due you will need to complete the defence form included in the pack you receive.
If you believe your debt to a creditor is statute-barred you may need to seek legal advice before you complete and return the response forms to the County Court Business Centre. In England and Wales, it is possible that a debt may be statute-barred if you have made no payments for 6 years ad have provided no written acknowledgement of the debt.
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The County Court Business Centre processes civil claims issued by creditors. It does not hold court hearings. If once you have returned your forms, the court considers that a hearing is necessary then the claim will be transferred to a County Court covering the area you live in. If you do not return your forms, or you return them admitting that the debt is owed, the Business Centre will make a County Court Judgment (“CCJ”) in relation to the debt.
Included in the forms from the Court you should find a financial statement to complete and return. The information in this form helps the Court determine how much you should pay back in instalments to satisfy a CCJ. The CCJ will specify how much the instalments you should pay will be, and how often they are paid. Provided you keep to this payment plan then there is only limited action the creditor can then take to enforce the judgment, but they can still apply to enter a charge against your home if you are a homeowner. If you then fail to meet the payments the creditor can apply to the court for your home to be sold to repay the CCJ.
Once a CCJ has been entered it stays on the public record for 6 years even once it has been paid off. The exception is if you pay in full within 1 month, in which case it may be possible to remove it.
If you are satisfied the debt is due then it may be possible to pay in full before judgment is issued against you.
It is important that you are aware of all the options available to you but you should return the response pack within the time limit. Give full details of your financial circumstances on the forms, these will be taken into account when the Court looks at the instalment plan part of the order.
You can find information about managing debt on debtbuffer.com and you can use our helpful AI chatbot to guide you through a series of questions which will help you understand your options.
Once a CCJ has been issued against you it is possible for your creditor to apply for a charge to be placed against your home if you are a homeowner. This charge won’t be enforced by the court as long as you keep up with the instalment plan set out in the CCJ, but if you default then the creditor can apply to the court for the charge to be enforced by an order for your home to be sold to repay the debt covered by the CCJ.
If you want to make a complaint about the County Court Business Centre you should contact the Court Manager at:
County Court Business Centre
St. Katharine’s House
21-27 St. Katharine’s Street