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Former minister urges government to alter CCJ laws

Houses of Parliament London

A British peer has called upon the government to take action against companies that issue county court judgements (CCJs) without giving the recipient a chance to defend themselves.

Baroness Ros Altmann, a former minister of state for pensions, has warned that every day approximately 2,000 people receive a CCJ that they often know nothing about.

Under the current laws, parking companies or utility companies can sue an individual for a bill that is not owed, or write to an old address.

This can result in the person being found guilty when they’ve not had a chance to defend themselves.

However, Baroness Altmann has now urged ministers to create stricter CCJ procedures, such as introducing a requirement on firms to prove they have contacted the recipient’s current address.

The baroness also suggested that companies should have to prove to a court that all reasonable steps were taken to trace the defendant and that the person named is the relevant debtor.

Firms that are found not to have made sufficient efforts to trace the person would receive a penalty.

In August, figures revealed that there were 419,510 CCJs issued during the six months to August 2016, representing an increase of 13% on the same period for the previous year.

Despite this rise, a lender informed Loan Talk that growing confidence in the mortgage market had led to an increase in near-prime lending. 

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