A default judgment is where the court issues a judgment against a Defendant without the merits of the claim being heard and without a response from the Defendant.

A Claimant can apply for a default judgment where the Defendant fails to file an acknowledgment of service within 14 days, or if an acknowledgment of service has been filed the Defendant has not filed a defence on time.

Once a default judgment has been obtained, the Claimant can take enforcement action to recover the judgment sum by, for example, instructing bailiffs, applying for an attachment of earnings order or obtaining a charging order over the Defendant’s home.

Usually a Defendant only realises that they have a default judgment when they check their credit history, or they have applied for credit and are refused.

The usual reason for the creditor or debt purchaser obtaining default judgment is that the Defendant didn’t receive the claim form, was unaware that a claim had been issued and so was unable to respond to the court. Then subsequently the Defendant didn’t receive the judgment and was therefore unable to pay it in the 30 days allowed before it is registered on their credit record.