Frequently asked questions
Defendant frequently asked questions This link will open a new browser window
Claimant frequently asked questions
1. General questions before registering
Is my claim suitable for Money Claim Online?
Consult the MCOL Claim Criteria to ensure your claim meets the necessary requirements before issuing:
Guidance for using Money Claim Online
MCOL is an automated system and your claim will not be checked before issue. If your claim is issued incorrectly, it may be struck out and the issue fee will not be refunded.
How much will it cost to issue a claim through Money Claim Online?
MCOL is not eligible for fee remission or exemption. Costs are set out in leaflet EX50.
As well as the issue fee, further costs may be incurred throughout the life of your claim and Court staff cannot predict these. Seek legal advice before issuing if you are concerned about incurring costs.
Will the Defendant be able to see my address?
Yes. The address you provide when completing the claim will be displayed on the claim form, which is sent to the Defendant.
Once you submit the claim, the Court cannot withdraw it before the Claim form is served on the Defendant.
Should I take any legal advice before issuing a claim?
Court staff are not legally trained and cannot provide advice about the validity of your claim. Responsibility lies with the Claimant to ensure the claim is suitable for MCOL. If you are unsure that your claim is valid, then you should seek legal advice before issue as the procedure to rectify any mistakes made can be lengthy, and may incur a fee.
You can find out about access to legal services in your area through your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Or by contacting Community Legal Advice.
Why do I have to re-register?
On 18th May, 2010 MCOL became part of the Government Gateway and any existing customers who registered with MCOL before this date will need to register with Government Gateway in order to continue to use the service. You should consult the registration guide for more information on registration: Money Claim Online Registration and Enrolment Guide
You must note down your log in details and MCOL reference number that you are provided with during registration as if these are lost it may not be possible to retrieve them.
I already have a Government Gateway ID – do I need to re-register?
In most cases, yes. Some existing Government Gateway IDs will work with MCOL, so you can try and use your existing account. However, in most cases, you will find that you need a new Government Gateway account in order to access MCOL. This should not affect any existing accounts you have.
How will I be able to view my existing claims in my new account?
Once re-registered with MCOL, there is an ‘import claims facility’ in the homepage. You will need to input your old log in details in order to retrieve any previously issued cases and import them into your new account.
You may only complete this action once. If you re-register again, you will not be able to re-import your claims.
How do I find my MCOL reference number?
Log in, then click on ‘edit registered details’. The MCOL reference number is displayed on the top right hand side of the screen.
I have lost my log in details for the old site so I am unable to import my claims – what should I do?
Contact the MCOL helpdesk via telephone or email in order for a technical query to be raised as it may be possible to retrieve these details. You must provide your MCOL reference number when contacting the helpdesk.
When you originally registered with MCOL, you would have been sent an email confirming your user ID and possibly your password. You should check to see if you still have this email before calling the helpdesk.
I have lost my log in details for the new system – what do I do?
If you have lost your Government Gateway ID OR your password, there is the option to retrieve this from the website by clicking on the link next each of the log in fields. You will need to provide your ID or password, MCOL reference number and postcode in order to do this.
If you have lost your ID number AND password, the helpdesk is unable to assist you as there is no way of retrieving these details. If you have an ongoing claim then you will have to proceed manually. Provided you have your claim number, Court staff can advise you how to do this. In order to issue further claims through MCOL, you will need to re-register.
3. Making the claim
The system won’t accept the Defendant’s postcode – why not?
Ensure that the postcode is correct. If it is still not accepted, contact the MCOL helpdesk who will raise a technical query to resolve the problem. You must provide your MCOL reference when contacting the helpdesk.
I do not have enough room for my particulars of claim – what can I do?
The particulars of claim included on the claim form may not exceed 1080 characters, on up to 24 lines. This includes the interest paragraph, if appropriate. You may serve additional particulars after issue. In order to do this, you must provide a copy of the additional particulars to the Defendant and the Court within 14 days of issuing the claim, and file an N215 Certificate of Service with the Court. The Defendant will have 14 days to reply from the date you serve the additional particulars to them.
You can download the N215 here: Forms and Guidance.
How do I calculate interest?
To find the daily rate of interest, take the amount you are claiming and multiply it by 8% then divide this figure by 365. This is a sum of money, not a percentage, which equates to the amount of interest accruing daily.
Multiply the daily rate by the total number of days the debt has been owed in order to get a total amount of interest. Then add this into the claim amount.
4. After issuing a claim
Why has the claim been issued by Northampton County Court?
All claims issued through MCOL show the Court of issue as ‘Northampton County Court’ because MCOL is administered at the Northampton County Court Bulk Centre (CCBC). You will not have to attend CCBC for a hearing - claims are transferred automatically to either the claimant’s or defendant’s local County Court to be heard.
You can find out more about the CCBC here: Northampton Bulk Centre.
I’ve made an error on the claim I have submitted – can I edit it before it is served?
No. If it is a typographical error, then the Court may be able to amend this without a fee. For any other amendments, e.g. the Defendant’s name, the claim amount, etc, you will usually have to apply to a District Judge for permission to amend the claim. The fee for this is £40.00.
The District Judge will consider your application but the outcome is not guaranteed. Court staff can only advise about the procedural aspects of amending a claim - seek legal advice if you need any advice about the details of your claim.
In order to make the application you will need to complete an N244 form. You can download the form here: Forms and Guidance
You may also need to reserve the claim, using an N1CPC claim form, which should be completed exactly as the original claim form, and then amended in red ink to show the changes.
You can download the blank N1 CPC Claim Form.
What will happen next after I have issued my claim?
You should consult the user guide, which explains how the claim will progress. Guidance for using Money Claim Online.
It is the responsibility of the claimant to ensure that the claim is progressing. The Court is impartial, and if there is no action on your case, the Court will not contact you. You can view the up to date position of your claim from your MCOL account.
I’ve been paid in full, or I want to withdraw the claim – how do I do that?
You should contact the Court directly, either by email, letter, fax or telephone: Customer Help Desk
If you are withdrawing your claim you should also confirm that you have notified the defendant.
I have received a ‘Notice of Transfer of proceedings’ – what does that mean?
This means that your case has been transferred to another Court to be dealt with and that all future enquiries should be directed to the Court of transfer. You can find the contact details for County Courts in England and Wales here: HMCS CourtFinder.
Defendant frequently asked questions
How do I file a response on MCOL?
You will need to register for a Government Gateway account on the MCOL homepage. Once you have logged in, you will then see an option to ‘Respond to a Claim made against you’ on the bottom right hand side of the page. Log into your claim here, using the claim number and password on your N1 claim form.
You must keep a note of your Government Gateway log in details, as you may not re-register and log into your claim from a different Government Gateway account.
My password doesn’t seem to be working – what should I do?
Ensure the CAPS lock key is off. Input the password exactly as it is printed on the claim form - it is case sensitive and it will not be recognised unless you input the exact combination of upper case letters, lower case letters and numbers. Ensure that you are reading the password correctly – e.g. if you see a character that looks like a ‘0’ (zero), it may be an upper case letter O.
Do I have to use MCOL to file my response or are there any other ways I can do this?
MCOL is only one way of responding to a claim. If you are having problems logging in, or would prefer not to use MCOL, you can fax, email or post your response to the Court instead.
You can find the contact details for MCOL here: Customer Help Desk