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The number of debt judgments against Northern Ireland consumers fell by nearly 40 percent in the second half of 2020 compared to same period last year, from 3,136 to 1,900, according to figures released today by Registry Trust.

The value of judgment debt owed by Northern Irish consumers for the half year fell even more, by just over 50 percent, from £8.5 million to £4.2 million. The average value of consumer judgments also fell from £2,275 to £2,206, a decrease of 19 percent over the same period.

The period also saw a large fall in the number and value of judgments against businesses in Northern Ireland from 615 to 353, a fall of nearly 43 percent. The total value of judgments against businesses fell from £1.6 million to £1.2 million, a fall of 21 percent compared to the same period last year.

But, the average value rose significantly by 37 percent from £2,573 to £3,251. This suggests creditors are enforcing against fewer but larger debts.

Registry Trust chairman Mick McAteer said: “The latest Registry Trust data shows that Government and regulatory interventions, and forbearance by creditors, in response to the Covd-19 economic crisis are working. But, the respite may be short lived as the damage to business and household finances will show up later once the jobs and consumer protection measures are unwound”.

Half Year 2019 Half Year 2020 Change (compared with 2019)
Judgments against consumers
volume 3,136 1,900 -39.41%
total value £8,546,066 £4,191,947 -50.95%
average* value £2,725 £2,206 -19.04%
median value £908 £888 -2.20%
Judgments against all businesses
volume 615 353 -42.60%
total value £1,582,255 £1,242,981 -21.44%
average* value £2,573 £3,521 36.86%
median value £833 £1,020 22.45%
Judgments against incorporated businesses
volume 537 284 -47.11%
total value £1,496,059 £1,090,022 -27.14%
average* value £2,786 £3,838 37.77%
median value £833 £1,024 22.93%
Judgments against unincorporated businesses
volume 78 69 -11.54%
total value £86,196 £152,959 77.45%
average* value £1,105 £2,217 100.60%
median value £736 £991 34.65%
volume 125 104 -11.54%
total value £306,605 £402,759 31.36%%
average* value £2,453 £3,873 57.89%
median value £920 £878 -4.57%

0207 391 7287

Notes for editors

Registry Trust is a non-profit company established in 1985. Registry Trust holds a public register of Northern Ireland judgments. It collects details of undefended default, small claims and High Court judgments directly from the Northern Ireland Courts Service with their agreement.

Judgments can be removed from the register if paid in full within one calendar month of the issue date and Registry Trust is informed, but will otherwise remain registered for six years. If fully paid outside the one calendar month, the defendant can apply to have the judgment marked as ‘satisfied’.

To have a paid judgment marked as satisfied, defendants need to send evidence of payment to Registry Trust. The written evidence, which will be available from the claimant or the claimant’s solicitor, should include: the case number, the judgment’s date, amount, and the date when the debt was repaid in full. Defendants should add confirmation of their name and address at the date of the judgment and send it to: Registry Trust, 153–157 Cleveland Street, London, W1T 6QW. An administration fee of £6.00 is payable for each named person or business at a specified address or limited company name. Cheques should be made out to: Registry Trust Ltd.

Anyone may search for entries against a named person or business at a stated address or a corporate body in the British Isles and the Republic of Ireland by visiting Registry Trust’s website or by writing to Registry Trust, 153–157 Cleveland Street, London W1T 6QW.