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Court claim forms and processes

i England and Wales only.

How to respond to a CCJ County Court claim form

You need to respond quickly when a creditor starts court action. We can help you.

You have just over two weeks to respond when you receive a county court claim form.

The court could order you to make payments you cannot afford if you do not respond.

This could lead to further ‘enforcement’ action.

Completing a County Court claim form

The forms you fill in depend on whether you agree you owe the money.

I agree that the amount on the claim form is right

The amount shown is right in most cases. But it may not be possible to pay it in one go.

Ask to pay in affordable instalments by filling in and returning the admission form.

This has:

  • The title ‘Admission (specified amount)’ at the top
  • The form number N9A in the bottom right corner

This form asks for details of your:

  • Income
  • Living costs
  • Other debts
  • An offer of payment

The people you owe use this to decide if your payment offer is reasonable. The court makes the final decision if they do not agree with your offer.

Send the N9A to the creditor at the address shown on the N1 claim form. Do not send it to the court.

The amount on the claim form is wrong, or I do not owe the money

The people you owe may ask for the wrong amount. Or you may not owe the money at all.

This might be because:

  • The debt is not yours
  • You have not had contact with them for many years
  • The debt is statute barred
    • This means a long time has passed
    • They cannot start court action now

You can ‘defend’ the claim if you do not agree with the amount claimed.

To do this:

  • Return the ‘Defence and counterclaim’ form
  • The one marked N9B in the bottom right corner

I agree that I owe something, but the amount does not look right

You can submit a 'partial defence' if you think you owe something but the amount claimed is wrong.

  • Complete both the N9A and N9B forms
  • Both forms need to be sent to the court

Defending a claim can be complicated. You may need to:

  • Provide more information
  • Attend a hearing with a District Judge at your local county court hearing centre

There may be extra costs if your defence is rejected.

Only return the N9B if you have a good reason to dispute the amount.

Get debt advice before defending a claim. We can help.

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A step-by-step video guide to completing a County Court admission form

The video below is a step-by-step guide to completing your N9A form.

Contact us for help if you think:

  • The amount is wrong, or
  • The debt is not yours

As you fill in your N9A admission form:

  • Listen to the video carefully
  • Feel free to pause and rewind
  • Make sure the information you put on the form is clear and accurate

How long do I have to return my CCJ forms?

You have 14 days to get the filled in N9A back to the person you owe.

The court allows a few days extra for the claim pack to get to you.

The exact deadline depends on which court issued the claim:

  • Northampton County Court Business Centre
    • The deadline is 19 days from the issue date printed on the N1 claim form
  • Any other county court hearing centre
    • The deadline is 14 days from day you receive the form
    • The court allows two working days for forms to arrive by post
    • This gives you 16 days from the postmark on the envelope

Return the ‘Acknowledgement of service’ form if you are defending the claim and you need extra time.

  • This is in your claim pack
  • You get an extra 14 days if you send it before the original deadline

Filling in forms online

You can reply online if you do not have time to reply by post.

  • Check the N1 claim form
  • Look for log-in details to reply online
  • Visit Money Claim Online to reply

The deadline to reply is the same as if you were returning the forms by post. This can be useful if:

  • You are close to the deadline
  • Your forms will not arrive in time by post

Returning CCJ claims forms

When you are returning your CCJ claims forms, remember the following:

  • Make sure you send your forms to the right place
    • The N9A admission form goes to the creditor
    • Send it to the ‘address for sending documents’ which appears on the N1 claim form
    • This could be the people you owe or their lawyers
  • Do not send the N9A to the court
  • Forms go to the court if you are:
    • Defending the claim and
    • Sending the N9B back
  • Attach any extra sheets by stapling them to the N9A form.
    • Write your name and the claim number clearly at the top of each sheet
    • Add clear page numbers if needed
  • Before you send the N9A form:
    • Photocopy it
    • Keep the photocopy for your records
  • Send your completed form by first class recorded delivery and keep proof of postage
    • Ask the Post Office for a receipt of ‘certificate of posting’ if you cannot afford this

What happens if I miss the deadline to return my CCJ forms

Send in the N9A even if you are a few days late.

  • The people you owe must take your form into account if they get it before they contact the court
  • But some will still act as soon they can

They can ask the court for a CCJ with payments at a rate they choose.

This is often full payment immediately.

What happens next?

The people you owe decide whether to accept your offer once they receive your forms.

If they agree:

They ask the court to set your CCJ payments at the amount you offered.

If they do not agree:

  • They send your admission form to the court to make a decision
  • A court officer or District Judge decides a reasonable rate of payment, based on:
    • The information you include in your N9A admission
    • What rate of payment the creditor has told the court they want