Court claims

Court proceedings are started when a creditor requests that the court issue a claim form. Most money claims are issued by the Money Claims Centre in Salford, which issues claims in the name of Northampton County Court.
Money claims

Claim FormCreditors who issue claims in bulk use the County Court Bulk Centre at Northampton County Court. These claims are issued electronically and served by post and can only be issued against debtors in England and Wales, Scotland has its own court system and procedure. The bulk centre is  just a centralised processing centre for money claims, many of which are expected to go undefended. If a claim progresses to the point where a hearing is required, the case will be transferred to the your local county court.

If you have received a claim (a form like the one shown above), you need to act promptly to avoid default judgment. See responding to a claim.
Claimants (or their solicitors) should send a letter before action, also known as a letter of claim, prior to issuing proceedings. See pre-action protocols.
InfoThere is no requirement to attach the documents the claimant will rely on when claims are submitted through the bulk centre. This is stated under Practice Direction 7 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

5.2A  The requirement in paragraph 7.3 of Practice Direction 16 for documents to be attached to the particulars of contract claims does not apply to claims started using an online claim form, unless the particulars of claim are served separately in accordance with paragraph 5.2 of this practice direction.

The rules governing claims issued through the bulk centre are set out under Practice Direction 7 of the CPR:

5.5  When the court issues a claim form, it will –

(1) serve a printed version of the claim form on the defendant; and

(2) send the claimant notice of issue.

Dealing with money claims

When a claim form is sent, the defendant has 14 days from the date of service to respond to the Claim from the date of service. The date of service is calculated based on 5 days after the date of issue. Failure to respond within this time frame makes it possible for judgment by default to be entered.

The date of service is always deemed to be the fifth day after the date of issue, regardless of whether that day is a business day or not. This is as stated under Practice Direction 7 of the CPR.

5.7  The claim form will be deemed to be served on the fifth day after the claim was issued irrespective of whether that day is a business day or not. ‘Business day’ has the same meaning as in rule 6.2(b).

The claim form will have a unique number and a password printed on it which can be used to obtain details of the claim, as stated by Practice Direction 7 of the CPR.

5.6  The claim form will have printed on it a unique customer identification number or a password by which the defendant may access details of the claim on Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service website.

These details can be used to log in to the MCOL (Money Claim online) website to respond to the claim online. See responding to a claim.

Possible responses to a claim

  • An acknowledgment of service. Acknowledging gives you a further 14 days to submit a defence in full or in part.

  • A defence. It is advisable to take advantage of the extra time afforded by an acknowledgment of service, however, it is possible to enter a defence straight away.

  • An admission. If you haven’t got any grounds to dispute either the account or the amount, you can file an admission. An admission can result in judgment against you.

If you file an Acknowledgment of Service, you 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.
Claims are not recorded either on the public record of judgments or registered with the CRAs (credit reference agencies). Only judgments are recorded.
ReferenceSee responding to a claim.

Need help? Join the forum
If you have received a claim, you need to acknowledge it within 14 days to avoid default judgment.
See responding to a claim.
Need legal help or advice? Contact us.