I have (had) an excellent credit rating and have a job that would be affected I think by having a CCJ.
My mum bought a property 15 years ago and put in my name but she continued to live in it, we had a deed of trust saying she was responsible for all the bills, and all bills were in her name,
She passed away at the end of 2012 and I was her executor, I looked at all her papers and contacted all the relevant parties, utilities, council tax etc to let them know my details and that I was now responsible for bills. The property was a flat and there is a managing agent, I told them my details. However I didn't realise that ground rent is collected by a separate company and did not contact the agent for the freeholder (my mistake).
6 month after my mum died I let the property out, the tenants said they'd pass on any post after that time. As the ground rent is only due every year and had been paid just before my mum died, no letters about the ground rent arrived before the tenants moved in.
Today the tenant contacted me with a letter she opened as it was addressed to the occupier, it transpires the ground rent of fifty quid was due in October 2013 and as it has not been paid, the landlord got a CCJ in January! The tenant said a few letters had come in the last few months but she'd just put them aside for me for next time I came round. I had no idea this money was due, I thoughtI had faithfully notified all possible third parties of my details when my mum passed.
I am willing to pay the full amount due including all the added costs and charges (which seem fairly reasonable for solicitors, the total is now about £ 250), however I am desperate to have the judgment removed from my credit rating. As the judgment was more than 28 days ago apparently even if paid in full it will stay on my credit file for 6 years. I spoke to the solicitors today and they say as they served on my last known address (and checked the land registry, property in my name, no other address for service) that unless they have done something wrong, the court is likely to refuse even an agreement to set the CCJ aside as the the judgment was correctly obtained. Apparently the solicitors have been refused consent orders to set aside in similar circumstances as an attempt to "credit whitewash" so they say there is nothing they can do to help me with regards to my credit rating even if I pay in full now. My credit rating is ruined for missing a one off payment of 50 quid that was less than 3 months overdue when the judgment was obtained! The ground rent of 50 quid per year was due a year in advance so the rent period it covers hasnt even expired yet (ends Oct 2014).
The only thing I can see possibly wrong with what they did is that I think they may have claimed for a letter they didn't send, they sent me copies of all correspondence today and I can't see in that correspondence a reminder letter they claimed 45 quid for. They may have just forgotten to scan and send it to me but I've asked them to check. Would a wrong amount claimed for be a ground to set aside? I haven't yet got a copy of the claim form as I apparently need to ask the court for that, although tenant is now sending me all the post (!!!)
If I explained the circumstances to the court in an application to set aside, i.e. genuinely thought had notified of address, but they obtained CcJ so quickly did not have time to collect my post, do you think I have any chance?
Please please can anyone help with any ideas of what to do now. Many thanks in advance.