What is a Default Notice / Court Summons?
Before a car is repossessed a default notice will be sent out by loan company and if this is not complied with, court proceedings take place.
If a buyer fails to keep up repayments as per the agreement of the purchase of a car a lender will initially send out reminders of payment. Following this a default notice will be sent to the owner.
A default notice is a formal notification of arrears. A default notice will stay on a person’s credit file for 6 years and will make it extremely difficult to obtain any further credit. For this reason it should treated as a priority and dealt with immediately.
If payments are in arrears the loan company MUST serve you with a default notice before any court action or legal proceedings take place. A default notice will provide details for immediate payment and if this payment is made there will be no further action taken. There is usually a time frame of 7 days when a default notice is issued before court proceedings and car repossession takes place.
If a default notice is not complied with, the lender will begin the proceedings of repossing your car. They will issue baliffs with a repossession order who will arrive at your address and repossess the car.
After sending a default notice, the lender can start the process to recover the money by issuing a claim form. If you receive a claim form, you will know that the lender has started proceedings in the county court. This claim form will make it clear who is taking you to court, the amount of arrears and proposed action.
To avoid court action, it is advisable to contact the lender to establish a mutually acceptable agreement. Court action will result in the registering of a County Court Judgment or CCJ against you and the issuing of an Order by the court that the debt is repaid either immediately or by installments. So long as the debt is for less than £25,000 you will be able to apply to the Court for a Time Order to give you more time to repay the debt.
If you have been requested to repay the full amount, you can apply to the court to vary the order to a monthly payment you can afford. Filling in a N245 form, which can be obtained either from the court, or downloaded online, can do this. Generally there is a fee of £30 to be included with the Variation form; however, this can sometimes be waived if you are on a low income.
The N245 Varied Order form is your opportunity to inform the court of an offer of repayment you believe you can afford to pay each month. The court will pass the form onto your creditor for them to decide if the offer is acceptable or not, If the creditor refuses your offer, the court will take a look at your details and set a repayment the court believes you can repay. If the creditor accepts your offer, the order will be made for the amount you said you could pay.
A County Court Judgment will be registered on your credit file and will remain there for 6 years. However, if you repay the judgment before the 6 years are up, you can apply for a Certificate of Satisfaction. There is a cost of £10 for court fees. This will then be placed on your credit file that will be seen by any lender you use to apply for credit.
To prevent a County Court Judgment from being registered on your credit file, you need to repay the full amount requested within one month.