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I have a default judgment obtained against me, what do I do now?

In my previous article, a guide on how to obtain a default judgment was discussed. In this article, we will look at the available options to you, if a default judgment has been obtained against you.

The first step is to ascertain, why was there a default judgment against you. Was this because you did not have a chance to respond to the claim form served upon you; or was it because you have never received the claim form (i.e. the service of the claim form was never properly performed)? There may be a good reason for you to make an application to the court, to set aside the default judgment, or to have the judgment against you varied.

Part 13.2 of the Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”) states that in the following circumstances, the court must set aside the default judgment:

  1. If the acknowledgment of service of the claim form or defence to the claim (or counterclaim) was in fact filed on time by the Defendant; or
  2. The Defendant has satisfied the whole claim on which the claimant is seeking judgment before the judgment is entered; or
  3. The Defendant has applied to have the Claimant’s statement of case struck out under CPR 3.4 and the application has not been dealt with at the time of entering the judgment; or
  4. The Defendant has applied for summary judgment under CPR 24 and the application has not been dealt with at the time of entering the judgment; or
  5. If it is a claim for money, the Defendant has admitted liability to pay all the money claimed but has requested time to pay.

In the following circumstances, Part 13.3 of the CPR states that the court may set aside or vary the default judgment:

  1. If the Defendant has a real prospect of successfully defending the claim; or
  2. If it appears to the court that there are some other good reasons why the judgment should be set aside or varied; or
  3. If the court considers there are good reasons why the Defendant should be allowed to defend the claim.

It is important to note, CPR 13.3(2) sets out that, in considering whether to set aside or vary a judgment under Part 12, the court must have regard to whether the party seeking to set aside the judgment has made an application to do so promptly. Therefore, such application must be made promptly following the receipt of the judgment entered against you, or else you may miss out on the opportunity in doing so. On the other hand, if you ignore judgment obtained against you, you may be faced with various enforcement actions and further costs consequences against you.

If you find yourself in the circumstances where you have been served with a default judgment against you, get in touch with us by making an enquiry online or call us on 020 7632 4300, to discuss how we may assist you in finding your available options and to resolve your disputes!

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