County Court Bulk Centre frequently asked questions
I have received the claim / blue forms - what do I do next?
- Do you admit the claim? - if you can pay now, you should send your payment to the claimant, not the court.
- Do you admit the claim, but cannot pay the full amount now? - if so complete the admission form N9a and send this to the claimant's representative (please note that this form should not be sent to the court) making an offer of payment.
- Do you dispute the claim? - if so file a defence (N9b form in claim pack) with the court giving valid grounds for disputing the claim.
- Do you admit part of the claim but dispute the rest? - if so complete the defence and admission forms (N9b & N9a forms) stating how much you admit and giving valid grounds why you dispute the rest, and file with the court.
- What if I want more time to file my defence? - please complete the Acknowledgment of Service form in the claim pack which will give you 28 days from the date of service of the claim.
Please be aware that failure to reply to the claim pack could lead to judgment being entered against you.
I do not live in Northamptonshire, why is my claim issued there?
The Northampton Bulk Centre was established to deal with the administrative side of the debt recovery process, allowing local county courts to concentrate on other areas. If a hearing on the claim / judgment is needed, the case will be heard at a local county court. The Northampton Bulk Centre does not have these facilities.
What is the Claim process?
The Claimant issues a Claim through the County Court Business Centre (CCBC) - further details regarding the CCBC can be found on the Business Centre web site. When the Claim form is sent, the Defendant has 14 days to respond to the Claim from the date of service (5 days after the date of issue) before judgment by default may be entered. This information can be found at the top of your Claim form.
If you send an Acknowledgment of Service, you then have 28 days after the date of service to send your Defence or Part Admission. If you agree to the full amount then complete the N9A form and send this directly to the Claimant. Submitting an admission response may result in Judgment being entered against you.
All of the above information can be found in your Claim pack.
If I receive a claim pack, am I blacklisted?
Claims are not registered, only judgments.
How long do I have to file a response to my claim?
Counting from the date of issue -
- Acknowledgement of Service:
- 14 Days + 5 Days (service) = 19 Days. (An Acknowledgement of Service gives 14 days extra from the date of service to file a defence).
- Defence, without filing an Acknowledgement of Service:
- 14 days + 5 Days (service) = 19 Days.
- Defence, after filing Acknowledgement of Service:
- 14 + 14 + 5 = 33 Days in total.
- Full/Part Admission, without filing an Acknowledgement of Service: 14 + 5 Days = 19 Days.
- Full/Part Admission, after filing an Acknowledgement of Service:
- 14 + 14 + 5 = 33 Days in total.
If I am not the defendant, what information will be given by court staff?
You will be advised that under the data Protection Act and Human Rights Act that we cannot divulge confidential information to a 3rd party.
How can I find out who has made a claim against me?
The Claimant's details are stated on the claim form that has been sent to you. If you are unsure then you can contact the Claimant's representative to discuss the matter with them directly. Alternatively, you can ring our helpline on 0300 123 1056 quoting the case / claim number.
I would like to pay the judgment amount - how do I do this?
To pay the judgment in full, you will need to contact the claimant and arrange to pay the full amount to them directly.
How can I find out through the Court what is on my credit file?
You will need to contact a credit reference agency (e.g. Equifax 08700 100583 or Experian 0115 9768747) to do a search and provide you with any case / claim numbers if appropriate. The Bulk Centre cannot view any case details without a case / claim number.
Where do I make payment on a Judgment?
To the 'Address for Payment' stated on the County Court Judgment Order. The CCBC do not accept payments for the debt.
What is a Certificate of Judgment?
A Certificate of Judgment is an order given by the CCBC to the claimant to enforce the judgment, to recover their money, e.g. through the High Court with an Enforcement Officer.
I have received a Notice of Transfer - what does this mean?
Your case has been transferred to the local court for hearing. If you as the defendant are an individual, this will be your local court. If you are a business, then this will be the Claimant or Claimant solicitor's local court. If you need more information regarding the hearing then please contact the court the case has been transferred to. If judgment has already been entered against you, then the case may have been transferred to enforce the judgment.
If I want to dispute the judgment, what can I do?
You can complete the N244 form, to apply for an order to set judgment aside. A District Judge will then decide if there are sufficient grounds to set aside the judgment. You must pay an an appropriate fee - Please refer to the Civil Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order. Cheques or postal orders should be made payable to HM Courts & Tribunals Service. If you are on benefit or cannot afford to pay the fee you may complete the EX160 form, Fee Remission.
Please be aware that an order for costs may be made against you if your application does not succeed.
If I want to reduce the instalment amount, what can I do?
You can complete an N245 form, to apply to reduce the instalment amount and send this to the court. Your application will then be considered.You must pay an appropriate fee - Please refer to the Civil Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order. The cheque or postal orders should be made payable to HM Courts & Tribunals Service. If you are on benefit or cannot afford to pay the fee you may complete the EX160 form, Fee Remission form.
What happens when I have paid the claim in full?
The Claimant’s will advise the court electronically. If judgment is cancelled, i.e. paid within one calendar month, then judgment will not show on the credit file.
How do I apply for a Certificate of Satisfaction?
Once the court has confirmation from the claimant's solicitor that the debt is paid in full, we will mark our records to confirm it is cancelled or satisfied. You may then apply to the Court for a certificate of satisfaction or cancellation. You may have to pay a court fee for the certificate. For more information about fees, please refer to booklet EX50 – Civil & Family Court Fees (High Court and County Court). This booklet lists the most common civil and family fees.
What is the difference between a satisfied judgment and a cancelled judgment?
If a judgment has been paid in full within one month of it being issued (e.g. Judgment entered on 01/02/06, paid in full 25/02/06) your judgment will be marked as cancelled and will be removed from the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines.
If the judgment is paid in full after 1 month of it being entered (e.g. Judgment entered 01/02/06, paid in full on 04/06/06), it will be marked as satisfied on your file. This will remain on the register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for 6 calendar years from the date of the judgment order.
Am I entitled to fee remission?
Leaflet EX160A contains guidance on applying for a fee remission.
Can I request a refund?Requests for refunds can be assessed by the County Court Business Centre. Please state details of the payment that you made, including the date of the payment and the amount. Please also include the reason why you are requesting a refund, giving as much information as possible. All refunds are considered and made at the discretion of a County Court Business Centre Delivery Manager and are not automatically granted.
Please note that the County Court Business Centre will not issue refunds for the reasons listed below, unless exceptional circumstances can be cited.
- Where the fee was taken more than two months previously.
- Where no error has been made by the court.
- For a valid Application refund, where court administration has occurred and an order has been made.
- For a Money Claim On-Line issue fee for a claim that was not issued correctly or issued in error, where the onus is on the Claimant to ensure the claim is correct before proceeding with the claim.
For full and further guidance please refer to the EX50 Court Fees booklet.
What information should I include on any correspondence to the Court?
On all correspondence the following should be included:
- Your name
- Your address, should we need to reply
- The Case or Claim number
- The Claimant and Defendant's names
What is your address, fax and DX number?
The Northampton Bulk Centre
4th floor, St Katherine's House
21-27 St Katherine's Street
Tel: 0300 123 1056
Fax: 0870 324 0166
DX: 702885 Northampton 7
What are Centralised Attachment of Earnings Payments (CAPS)?
All attachment of earnings orders (except those made by magistrates courts) are processed through the Centralised Attachment of earnings Payment System (CAPS).
CAPS is easily able to monitor for payment, process payments and, where enforcement is required, will refer orders back to the local court. CAPS therefore provides savings to HM Courts & Tribunals Service, provides a streamlined effective form of enforcement to claimants, and also provides one payment point for employers. Payments under a judgment order are paid out weekly.
Please note that CAPS does not currently accept payments for Magistrates Court Orders. Please see the court named on the order for these payments.