The articles focuses on people who were not able to get a mortgage and makes it sound like the end of the world. They go as far as to say that a family ended up homeless because of someone else's parking ticket, giving the impression that CCJs can make you lose your home, which is not the case and the story relates to a badly timed exchange of contracts without having secured a mortgage rather than an eviction.More than 2,000 judgments are being signed off every day, without the cases being defended or heard by a judge in open court. The number of CCJs has risen by more than a third in just three years – almost 900,000 were issued last year, and 85 per cent were uncontested.
The article also says that CCJs affect people's ability to obtain credit in general and even some jobs, particularly in the financial sector. While this is true, it is also a fact that credit defaults have pretty much the same effect when it comes to obtaining credit (including mortgages) and financial institutions carry out pre-employment credit checks and often revoke job offers where the applicant has defaults on their credit files. When it comes to credit and employment in the financial sector, defaults can be just as bad as CCJs. Defaults can be recorded without going to court and, like CCJs, stay on file for six years.
The article fails to mention the key differences between defaults and CCJs, in fact, it doesn't mention defaults at all. One key difference is that CCJs are a matter of public record; anyone can search the registry by paying a small fee, while credit checks are restricted to companies that share data with the CRAs. They've also failed to go into detail about CCJ enforcement. When a debt is subject to a court judgment, the creditor can apply to the court to enforce it in various ways, such as:
- An attachment of earnings, if the debtor is employed. This means the employer will have a duty to make deductions from the debtor's wages and pay this money directly to the judgment creditor.
- For debts over £1,000, a charging order on the debtor's home or any other property owned by them. This has the effect of turning an unsecured debt such as a credit card bill into a secured debt. Although the courts don't grant them very often, charging orders can be enforced with an order for sale forcing the debtor to sell the property to repay the debt. This is more common with commercial property and BTL investments than family homes.
- A warrant of control to send bailiffs to seize goods belonging to the debtor to be sold to repay the debt.