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Have you received a Claim Form from the County Court?

View profile for Asa Cocker
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Pursuing certain legal disputes during the COVID-19 pandemic might be something you would think about putting off.  However, if you find yourself in receipt of a Claim Form from the County Court – this isn’t one of them. You need to act immediately. 

First of all you need check if the Claim is against you and if it isn’t return the papers to the Court who issued the Claim Form.  There should be a response pack included, with some guidance notes and some forms to complete, depending on whether you admit or deny you owe the money claimed. 

What should I do if I’ve received a Claim Form from the County Court?

If you have had a claim issued against you/your company and you wish to defend the claim, you need to act promptly to avoid Judgment in Default being entered against you.

Asa Cocker, Chartered Legal Executive, specialising in Debt Recovery for Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers states, ”You have 14 days from the date of service of the Claim Form to file an Acknowledgement of Service with the Court to prevent Judgment in Default. This will give you a further 14 days to file a Defence with the Court, which in total gives you 28 days from the date of service of the Claim Form to file a Defence.”

Defendants must make sure they deal with the Claim Form promptly.  In order to avoid a Judgment it may be necessary to gain legal assistance particularly to Acknowledge/Defend the claim within 14 – 28 days.

What happens if I don’t respond to the County Court?

Failure to file an Acknowledgement of Service or Defence within this limited timeframe means the Claimant is entitled to request that the Court enters Judgment in Default against you, which may result in a County Court Judgment (CCJ) registered against you.  A CCJ will remain on your credit record for six years if it is not paid off within 30 days of receiving the CCJ. This will negatively impact your credit rating.

“Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers are very experienced in acting for individuals/companies where court proceedings have been issued against them.  We can act for individuals/companies from the initial filing of the Acknowledgement of Service and/or Defence all the way to trial should the matter proceed that far.  We will guide you all the way,” says Asa.

If you are in a position where you have received Court papers and simply don’t know what to do please contact our Commercial Litigation Team immediately on 0161 785 3500 or email us on enquiries@pearsonlegal.co.uk

Further guidance available

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.