The court does not call you about hearings - they always sent you a letter with "Notice of Hearing". An appeal is where a judge is wrong to make an order either on a point of law or procedure. They are not wrong in this situation - it means you will have to apply again.
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.
Furthermore, only a District Judge can make an order to remove the CCJ, which means you must make an application to the court. Unless the claimant agrees to your proposal to remove it, in which case a simple consent order can be drafted and filed with the court for a lesser fee (£100). If the claimant agrees then you can use the attached consent order - they sign it, as do you - they should then file it with the court.
If the claimant refuses and if you do have to make a formal application, the judge will consider CPR rule 13.3 in deciding whether or not to set it aside, here is the link to show you the criteria : https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part13#13.3
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:
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 eligibility 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 )
Bear in mind the court expects these applications to be made as soon as you are first aware a CCJ was made. Any delay will harm your chances of getting it set aside.