We aim to make our website as accessible as possible. However if you use a screen reader and require debt advice you may find it easier to phone us instead. Our phone number is 0 8 0 0 1 3 8 1 1 1 1. Freephone (including all mobiles).
StepChange Debt Charity logo

Free advice on problem debt
based on what's best for you

0800 138 1111 Freephone (including all mobiles)

Worried about debt?

Take 20 minutes to get online debt advice

Use Debt Remedy

i The advice on this page applies to residents in England and Wales only.

Court action in England and Wales to collect debt

If you can’t come to an agreement with your creditors to repay a debt, they can take court action. This is usually a last resort.

If a creditor decides to start court action, they will issue a claim in the County Court. For most types of unsecured consumer debt, such as credit cards, overdrafts or payday loans, they can only do this after your account has defaulted.

You’ll receive some court forms in the post explaining what you owe and asking for information about your circumstances. You must fill these in and return them straight away – you only have a short time to do this.

The court will issue a County Court judgment (CCJ) telling you how much to pay and when.

If you don’t respond to the claim form, the court won’t take your situation into account and you may be told to pay instalments you can’t afford.

What happens if you can't pay a CCJ?

If you can’t make the payments stated in the CCJ your creditor can then take further action to collect the debt. However this is something we can offer you advice on and there are options available to help if you can't pay your CCJ. Find out more about what a creditor can do to enforce a debt against you.

It’s important to get help straight away if you think a creditor is about to start court action. See our guide to responding to a court claim, or call our Helpline (Free from all landlines and mobiles).

Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

*This is the average rating of our service on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2016