HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

DMBM666350 - CCP: action after judgment obtained: registration of county court judgments

The Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines

The Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines (the Register) was set up on 6 April 2006 to provide for the registration of

  • county court judgments
  • county court administration orders
  • High Court judgments
  • Magistrates’ court fines defaults
  • Child Support Agency liability orders.

Magistrates’ court orders (civil and council tax) are not included.

Since 1 April 2009, the Register has also included details of enforced Tribunal awards relating to individuals, companies or businesses subject to a Tribunal decision as a result of which a sum of money is payable.

Originally established in 1852 as the Register of County Court Judgments, over the years the Register has grown in scope to contain much more information than originally envisaged. It provides data which may be used both to assess

  • the financial creditworthiness and behavioural trustworthiness of a company, firm or individual
  • the probability of successful enforcement action.

The date of birth for a judgment debtor will be added with the judgment debtor’s name and address to the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines if the judgment is registered. This is to help with better identification of debtors on the register and as an aid to enforcement.

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Registry Trust Ltd

The Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines is maintained by Registry Trust Ltd, a not for profit company, on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

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How and when cases are registered

Registration is made by the court sending a return to Registry Trust Ltd. It is a common misconception that all county court judgments are registered immediately.

A judgment entered in default (that is where the defendant neither admitted nor defended the claim) is registered immediately on receipt of the court’s return. The CCBC sends the return automatically whereas cases taken locally are handled clerically (and are likely to take longer to register).

But judgment entered following a contested hearing, for example a pre trial review, is not registered until either

  • an order is made for payment by instalments following an application by the judgment creditor
  • an application is made for payment by instalments by the judgment debtor
  • the judgment creditor takes any step to enforce the judgment or
  • the judgment creditor applies for an order to obtain information.

Where, exceptionally, judgment is set aside the court will notify Registry Trust Ltd within three days of the date of the order.

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Consequences of registration

Registration of a county court judgment may make it difficult for the judgment debtor to obtain credit in the future. Where credit is obtained, it may be with certain restrictions or conditions attached, or at a higher rate of interest than usual.

The entry will remain on the Register for six years, though if the judgment debt is paid within that time the judgment debtor can apply for a certificate of cancellation or satisfaction depending on the date of payment (DMBM666360).

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Payment in full after registration

In order to comply with the CCBC ‘Rules of Membership’, you should advise the CCBC when a claim is paid or otherwise settled (DMBM665660).