Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you this evening.
I will firstly clarify the position and answer your 3 questions in turn :
1. No, a CCJ lasts for 6 years during which time you can still apply to the court to set it aside - if successful it comes off your record as if it never appeared;
2. Yes, if you can get their statement, this would support your application. You should also ask them for the court fee of £255 if it was made by mistake; and
3. You need to make a formal application to set it aside. The N161 is completely wrong as this is an appeal - where a judge was wrong to make a decision. A judge will need to hear your application but you can use an advocate if you do not feel confident - more details to follow....
For as long as the CCJ is in place, and remains unpaid then the claimant can enforce with bailiffs. It also stays on your credit record for up to 6 years.
To set aside the CCJ you need the N244 form and a witness statement with a draft order. The N244 form can also be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n244-application-notice
I attach copies of those which you can tailor to your specific case. With the witness statement, if you want to refer to any evidence such as email correspondence, letters and so on, you can do that and attach them to the statement.
To fill out the N244 form, it should be as follows :
Q1: your name, Q2: defendant, Q3: an order that the CCJ dated......is set aside because (insert a brief reason why). Q4: yes, Q5: at a hearing, Q6: 45 mins, Q7: N/A, Q8: district judge, Q9: Claimant, Q10: the attached witness statement, Q11: sign/date/insert your details.
You will need 3 copies of the bundle (N244, statement, draft order) and a covering letter to the court with a fee of £255 payable to HMCTS. If you are on low income or have low savings (or in receipt of benefits) you can ask the court for a fee exemption – you can check your eligibilty here: http://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees
You can specify a telephone hearing and you ask the judge for an order that the CCJ is set aside. Assuming they agree to that, it comes off the credit record and you will be allowed to either defend the claim if the debt is disputed or alternatively pay what you owe and there would be no mark on the credit record.
If you have not received any court details (you need the claim number for the purpose of the N244) then you can check the CCJ details at http://www.trustonline.org.uk )
If you want to do the application and send me a copy to check, I would be happy to do that. Bear in mind the court expects these applications to be made promptly. If you want an advocate to do the hearing for you, which is entirely optional, you can try http://www.lpc-law.co.uk who would charge around £250-£350 and the fee is recoverable from the claimant if your application succeeds.
If you decide to pay for an advocate then if your application succeeds their fee is recoverable from the other side - in addition to the £255 application fee.
I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up questions at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.