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Judgments taken out against consumers in Northern Ireland rose 16 percent in Q4 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, according to figures released today (Date: 27/01/2020) by Registry Trust.

1,732 judgments were taken out against consumers compared to 1,494 in Q4 2018. The average value rose by 7 percent pushing up the total value by 24 percent to £4,524,308, the largest year-on-year rise on record.

In Q4 2019, consumer judgments made up 88 percent of all Northern Ireland Judgments and accounted for 90 percent of the total value.

Northern Ireland businesses overall fared better in this quarter. The number of judgments rose 5 percent but the total value dropped 21 percent in total value and 25 percent in average value compared to the same quarter of 2018.

But, small businesses had a different experience. The total value of judgments against small businesses jumped 64 percent from £40,919 in Q4 2018 to £67,013 in Q4 2019, while the number of judgments rose from 33 to 45, a 36 percent increase over the period.

Registry Trust is the non-profit organisation which collects judgment information throughout the British Isles and Ireland. In Northern Ireland it collects information on defaults and small claims judgments, and High Court judgments.

Trust chairman Mick McAteer said: “CCJs are a critical indicator of the state of household financial resilience. The sharp rise in the number and value of consumer judgments raises concerns that household finances may be under stress”.

Judgments against consumers
Q4 2018 Q4 2019 Change (compared with Q4 2018)
volume 1,494 1,732 16%
total value £3,637,868 £4,524,308 24%
Average* value £2,435 £2,612 7%
median £923 £904 -2%
Judgments against all businesses
Q4 2018 Q4 2019 Change (compared with Q4 2018)
volume 227 238 5%
total value £611,140 £483,903 -21%
Average* value £2,765 £2,086 -25%
median £833 £1,012 21%
Judgments against incorporated businesses
Q4 2018 Q4 2019 Change (compared with Q4 2018)
volume 194 193 -1%
total value £570,221 £416,890 -25%
Average* value £2,939 £2,160 -27%
median £833 £1,008 21%
Judgments against unicorporated businesses
Q4 2018 Q4 2019 Change (compared with Q4 2018)
volume 33 45 36%
total value £40,919 £67,013 64%
Average* value £1,516 £1,718 13%
median £901 £1,198 33%

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.