A creditor can decide to take action against you if you are struggling to repay your debt to them. They will inform the courts that they plan to take legal action, and if upheld, the court will issue something known as a County Court Judgement. This is a legally binding order from the court to repay your debt or a smaller portion of your debt if it is unaffordable.
If you are able to repay the debt in full, the CCJ will not be issued and your credit score will not be affected. If you cannot repay the debt in the required time, you will be required to stick to a payment schedule. The CCJ will appear on your credit report for six years, even if you pay it back early.
For those with a pending mortgage application, this can lead to a difficult situation. If you are disputing the debt or if you plan to pay off the debt in full before a CCJ is issued, there is no reason a mortgage provider would know as it is not listed on your credit file. However, this can be risky. For example, if you are unable to repay the debt as planned, or if the dispute does not go your way, this could impact your mortgage application further down the line.
If you have secured a mortgage in principle, there may be more extensive checks further into the application process that could put the brakes on your mortgage. You may also be asked to sign documents which state that there are no pending hearings, and so you would be committing fraud to go ahead with the application before the CCJ is settled. The best thing to do is to wait until you know the outcome and then go forward with the mortgage application when your credit report is clear.