We outline the best steps you can take to defend your claim and contest the debt demand
If you receive a debt demand for payment from someone, our advice is…deal with it straight away! And by ‘deal with it’ we mean contact the party making the demand and either arrange to make payment if you owe it or set out the reasons why you will not pay it if you don’t.
If you ignore the debt demand, the business or person demanding payment is likely to incur costs pursing the money they claim is owed. And, you are likely to be the one paying those costs as you did not respond.
If you discover that someone has issued court proceedings against you and obtained a county court judgment (CCJ) once again you need to deal with the matter promptly.
You should make an application to the court to set aside judgment due to you not receiving the court papers. This is likely to be successful if you make the application as soon as you discover the judgement and that you can persuade the court that if they set aside the judgment and allow you to defend the claim, your defence has a good chance of success.
However, if you are successful and the judgment is set aside, this does not mean that the matter is finished.
It simply means that you are now back in the game and have to file your defence to the claim. The court will then give you a list of things to do leading up to a court hearing and at the final court hearing a judge will make a decision, ruling whether you are correct or not.
If on your application to set aside a judgment, the court take the view you have no chance of succeeding at a trial, they will not set aside the judgment and you will need to make arrangements to pay the debt and then notify the court you have paid it.
If you are issued with a CCJ and find it cannot be removed for the reasons outlined above, then the best you can do is pay the debt demand and ask the court for a certificate of satisfaction. This does not remove the CCJ but shows that you have paid it.
Sometimes it is possible to have a judgment set aside by agreement with the party who entered judgment against you (those of issued the debt demand). It is always worth asking them if they will agree to it as this saves you time and money and demonstrates to the court that you are seeking to save their valuable court time too.
Often mediation can be used to settle matters and is an alternative to going to court. Think of it ‘safe place’ where the parties involved can come together to address the issues and obstacles behind the dispute they’ve found themselves in. We talked more about the use of mediation in commercial disputes in our recent blog, Mediation, a Beginners Guide.
Debt Defence Consultation
About TM Law – Specialist Alternative Dispute Resolution Solicitors
Based in Hockley, Essex, TM Law is a small and dedicated solicitors. With many years’ experience, helping business owners and local individuals with matters of dispute resolution, compromise agreements, employment disputes, debt collection, commercial disputes and much more.
As a specialist alternative dispute resolution and litigation solicitors, TM Law will advise on whether disputes should be resolved through Court proceedings or alternative dispute resolution, including mediation. Enabling clients to solve problems quickly, cost effectively and as amicably as possible.
For a personal service and professional commercial mediation services as an effective alternative to litigation contact us today. We offer a fair, fixed fee service and we’re always happy to help.