2nd April 2015
Some four million people in the UK – or 8% of adults – have been slapped with a CCJ or Court Decree in the last five years according to the Debt Advisory Centre.
Research from the group found that overall more than a quarter at 27% of UK adults, have in fact at some point been pursued by a debt collector.
A CCJ is a formal decision handed down by a court in England or Wales when an individual owes money and has defaulted on their repayments. A CCJ remains on the individual’s credit file for six years, unless they are able to repay their debts in full within one month. In Scotland, the process is called a Court Decree and lenders make a claim through the sheriff court.
The Debt Advisory Centre’s analysis found that those aged between 25 and 34 are the most likely to have been contacted in regards to bad debts with over a third, at 39% saying that that they have been in the past.
Of those who have been contacted by a debt recovery company, some 27%, did not fully understand the legal action being taken against them and were unsure of their legal rights. Nearly 39% did not understand the different powers debt collectors, bailiffs and high court enforcement officers (HCEOs) have.
Ian Williams, spokesman for Debt Advisory Centre, said: “Our figures highlight the scale of financial difficulties across the UK, especially with young people – where one in seven have already got a CCJ or Court Decree to their name by aged 24. In most cases these could have been avoided if people had sought debt advice early.”